Bee-stings and Balm

Interconnection, shadowing and weighting in identification

It had been such a wonderful dream. Why had he woken her? Now he was asleep and she couldn't. Her mind idled. What had the dream been about? Sailing? Some sort of ship? It had been a strange ship, full of life and energy, but seemingly on the verge of sinking, or of plunging over the edge of the world, danger had electrified her. Or maybe she'd been scared. It was hard to tell with dreams. It was hard to tell with her. She should have been scared, she was on a doomed ship. Yes, she must have been scared, it was the normal thing. Still, she couldn't help but think she'd been excited, that the wonder of the ship outweighed its doom for her. That seemed more important. Why did he have to drool? He never drooled when he was using a pillow, but get his head resting on her negligee and he just had to drool, the saliva was soaking through the silk, not much, just enough to irritate. Still, he was cute. His hair was so soft. Why didn't she get those curls?

His hand was resting on her stomach. Could she bring children into this world? Would they be able to build the house? Or would they all be left squatting in some half-finished shell of a temple to a misguided dream? What was that pause after she told him? That little pause with that look. Would she be able to hold him if the dream died? Why did he look like that? Why had he woken her up? Was she fading? She'd read once that as we age we either fade or intensify. Was she fading away? Would she be able to hold onto him after she faded? Was this the last time he'd drool on her negligee? Would she wake up one morning and find him packed and gone? Was it right to tell him about the baby just to keep him here? Was that why she'd done it? How could he sleep at a time like this?

Could she make a go of it? Could she rally people to the cause? Would he stand behind her? Would he still drool on her? Why do all of these things push in on her? Do normal people worry about drooling? His hand shifted off her stomach. She considered trying to put it back. It had meant so much, acceptance, comfort, warmth, he'd accepted the baby as long as that hand was there. Now he would no longer love the child. He would leave her. She began crying quietly in the night, holding back from sobbing lest it waken him, lest he stop drooling.

He hated it when he drooled, it was so undignified, and to drool on her. The mother of his child. And wouldn't his hand hurt the foetus with all that weight? He shifted his hand from her belly, and slurped up the saliva that he could, firmly sealing his mouth before he fell back to sleep.

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This work is Copyright (c) Mike Fletcher 1997