I dreamt a version of this dream for years after my father died. And as my heart wondered through its landscapes of loss and desolation this dream spilled into the daytime and half-consciously I'd be looking for him everywhere. In the broad shoulders of the man on the bus, in the blue eyes glimpsed in the crowd, in the footsteps of tall men everywhere, walking away.
Nowadays I dream the torturous dreams for Zelda the cat. She's been missing for over a day now which is not that long for cats but very unusual for her. We've had her for nearly two years and during that time she has never spent more than a few hours away from home. And now she's vanished and I'm devastated. I veer between terror that something happened to her (she's been trapped or hurt or run over) and anger that someone might have taken her (for Zelda never learned not to talk to strangers and spent a lot of time on the garden wall being an exhibitionist and she was so small and beautiful and sweet and would have been so easy to lure away because Zelda is as airheaded as she is gorgeous). Since I've many times previously lost Zelda within the house (thanks to her passion for boxes and cupboards and her talent for slipping into these unnoticed and then not crying out for help but being all "Oh hello! It's you! I lived here! And then I lived there! Isn't life funny?" when you found her).
For two days now I've wondered around the streets calling out her name, seeking her out in every cupboard drawer, hoping against hope that every black thing I see on the floor is her. But it never is. Zelda is AWOL, vanished, gone and I veer constantly between anxiety and devastation, chant like a mantra, beam out into the cosmos from the depth of my being: Please come back. Please please please. I love you. Return, return, return.