This is all a lie because I was something before her. I have the childhood diaries, the photo albums, the diplomas to prove I was a dollop before her.
These are counterfeits, I suspect, because Iíd go crazy if I knew she really did bake me from her membranous juices.
Sometimes I canít remember exactly what she looks like and I panic. All I can recall are generalities. Her hair is milky cinnamon, like chai. But is it thick and full? How thick? How full? I forget what her hair feels like wound around my fingers, or when I pluck a strand from the pillow in the morning, after she has left. How many centimeters across is her nose? Iíve never counted all the moles and scars on her body. There are too many details, and I forget to remember them, to concentrate and memorize when I see her.
Sometimes when we are in bed and I am on the edge of sleep I feel as though I am floating. Behind my eyelids is washed out reds, and I am in her womb. Not her physical womb, but the womb kiln she creates with a glance, smile, or just the sound of her breathing. In her womb, the mattress drops out from under me, the cover dissipates, and the pillows melt. There is a bubbling wet noise like a brook or coffee percolating. The light pulses red and pink, red and pink. This is her thoughts drifting like blood through her veins, like Ophelia drifted, into the tributary that is me.
If I think about this, even a fraction of a dull thought, I am suddenly in bed, and I can feel the ridges in the sinkhole that is our mattress. I try not to think, and I try so hard I canít help not thinking. I get too excited.
Last night I dreamt I was working alone in a firecracker factory. I used an iron stick to pack gunpowder into roman candles, like one would pack cannons. I waited for the explosion and was disappointed each time. I only worked this job because I have a partially acknowledged death wish. The packing of fireworks is repetitive, the same quick gestures a thousand times a day. The joints in my fingers ached and crackled. No matter how many roman candles I finished, I expected each to be the last. I sucked in my breath and kept forgetting to exhale. Nothing. And nothing and nothing except the pile of finished roman candles grew higher and wider, creeping and collapsing like tiny avalanches.
It was a boring dream. Mine usually are, but she has epic dreams that are coherent, layered, and oddly prophetic. Sometimes I think she is stealing the vividity of my dreams but honestly I canít remember ever having interesting dreams. They have always been heartbreakingly banal.
Sometimes while she sleeps I watch her eyelids quiver and her lips purse and I try to guess what she is dreaming. I whisper to her the names of people we know, animals, foods, and places we talk of traveling to. Every morning, if I manage to wake before she leaves, I ask her what she dreamt, and itís never anything I suggested.
I wonder why we donít form a closed loop. We are a channel that flows from her to me. Sometimes I leave her sticky inside or on her swells and mounds. I can see the pearly dollops of my dollop self shining in the half dark, but that is the closest I get to looping back into her. After letting me admire my leavings, she wipes it all up with the warm wet cloth she keeps ready for those times.