“I asked her friends to tell me about her. They said her name was Jacqueline.” Dave shook his head and continued, “I can’t think of the last time, if ever, that I’ve heard that name, but when I heard it, I was euphoric. I said, ‘I love that name!’”
My husband smiled broadly as he described his dream, a dream-like-a-movie kind of dream in which he fell in love with a girl named Jacqueline.
She did not sound like someone to arouse jealousy. “She was short, really short. And not especially attractive,” said Dave. But the joy of new love - that sparkling, can’t help-but-grin feeling – lighted his face as he told me about her. He was bemused himself, it was obvious, by the lingering delight that held him.
It is testament to my confidence in Dave’s devotion that he can point out hot babes and cute butts ad infinitum and my sole response is to agree or disagree with his judgment. It is testament to our love that he can inform me that the admittedly adorable young waitress serving our drinks wants him, and I merely concur, noting that I, too, had noticed her yearning. It is testament to his character that my only reaction to his mood, made buoyant throughout the day by the warmth of this new dream-love, was pleasure at his exuberance.
Because I know him and I know he loves me.
He tells me, every February, he does not believe in Valentine’s Day. He says every day is Valentine’s Day. To an extent, he makes that so. Whenever one of us travels, he writes a poem and wraps it around a piece of chocolate, a poem and chocolate for each night we’re apart.
He also has loving rituals for milestones such as our children’s birthdays. The day after his dream of Jacqueline was our daughter Casey’s birthday. We were on vacation in Florida and on our way to dinner at Ristorante Mediterraneo when Dave announced, “We have to make a quick stop.”
I knew the reason for his proposed trip to Whole Foods and said, “Don’t worry about it this year, Honey. We’ll be late for our reservation.” He gave me a look and of course, we went to the store.
I’d already noticed a card lying on his bedside table at the hotel and when he rejoined me in the car after completing his errand, the shape of the grocery bag suggested a bouquet of flowers.
He saw my raised eyebrow as I glanced at the bag and said, “What? Don’t expect anything. It’s a baguette.” As if. I knew the tradition. There would be flowers and a loving card waiting for me when we returned to the hotel.
We left Whole Foods and drove on to the restaurant. Dave’s eyes were sparkling and a whisper of a smile played at the corner of his lips. Some might assume he was planning his surprise. I knew better.
“Jacqueline…” I teased.
He laughed and gushed, “I love that name!”
We both cracked up. What fun that this dream so entertained us.
A dream can also taint a mood. A few nights ago, I dreamt about work, about planning the benefit, talking to a parent of one of our students and bluffing my way through the conversation because I couldn’t remember the woman’s child. And then I missed my first class, even though I don’t teach anymore, and discovered I’d lost my schedule so I was late for the next class as well. What a nightmare.
I woke with a knot in my stomach. All that anxiety, sub-consciously delivered. Luckily, Dave’s dream successfully banished mine. I turned on my pillow to see that Dave was awake. “Any word from Jacqueline?” I asked.
He grinned back at me with bright eyes and exclaimed, “I love that name!”
Where do dreams come from? I like to think they’re messages; the Universe calling while we’re resting, receptive. Or maybe even deceased loved ones lending a hand from the Other Side. But Dave claims they’re simply “debris of the day.” He’s a psychologist, so he should know. But then, where did Jacqueline come from?
This morning, Dave woke me with the Sarasota Herald Tribune in his hand. It was open to the Arts section. He said, “Check out the front page.”
I rubbed my eyes, confused by his insistence. Staring back at me from the newspaper was a woman by Picasso. She was weird and blue-black and cock-eyed like many of his paintings. Her nose was in profile, her cheek triangular. “Um, Picasso?” I said.
“Read the caption.”
I squinted at the tiny print underneath the picture. “Head (‘Jacqueline’), Pablo Picasso. 1960.”
Jacqueline! Dave hadn't mentioned his new love was blue!
But, oh, we love that name!