I see her illuminated by the faint glow of a laptop screen. The gold and pink rays of dawn creep in through blinds as a breeze scented with flowers and cigarette smoke teases gauzy curtains. A pile of hair sits atop her head loosely bound and with tiny, flyaway curls tickling her forehead and neck. It can't decide if it wants to be brown or blonde. She sits slumped over a desk, fingers pecking at the keys though she knows she'll pay for it later—but that's what yoga is for.
A too-large sweater slumps off one shoulder and she secretly thinks it rather romantic, the peek of collarbone. To make up for it, her legs slide out from a pair of shorts, one leg tucked under and the other trailing the wooden floor. There is a soft bundle of fur curled up on a tatty blue rug and the sniffly nose nestles closer to her toes, warm breath chasing over them until she rubs the dog's head with them. Her fourth cup of tea rests nearby, steam curling, and she pauses a second to watch the rivulets chase each other until they vanish.
She is, what she often termed it in the past, a proper adult with a tiny pile of bills and a calendar she actually uses. There are a few plants still alive and a collection of art; books are everywhere in a semi-organized mess. For a second as her fingers skitter across the keys, she is paralyzed. The sensation is a familiar one, always taking place just before hitting 'send' and yet, a heartbeat later, she does just that. She smiles, reaches down to scoop up her pup, and tiptoes across creaking boards to wrap herself in a downy blanket and drop off to slumberland for a while.
I have dreams. I'd call them visions, but that's too hokey. Glimpses of my future—the future I crave, the future I could have, the realistic attainability—pop into my life all the time, occasionally coming true in an instance of déjà-vu. Sometimes the image is hazy and sometimes, it comes with a startling clarity like having a sister dump a glass of icy water over one's head. Not that I have any personal experience with that.
I see the best and worst versions of myself, or sometimes something in between. The most common one who features is my favorite.
She bears her height with a pride that was entirely absent of her youth when she tried to shrink. Her body is balanced and she carries herself with full confidence in its abilities and movements, its power to be. She's managed to find her style and it shows, no longer tugging at her shirt or dress plagued by the fear of a roll of flesh showing through. When she smiles, it is not nervous, but warm and secret, carrying a thousand tiny meanings when it flashes across a room. She is not a snob, but she has come to appreciate a certain manière in people (and she realizes that dropping French phrases makes her seem, well, snobbish, but she swears it's just a side effect of studying abroad...which also makes her sound pretentious. C'est la vie. Ugh. Damn it.).
She whispers in my chest that I will find her, become her, if I keep moving. A person at rest stays at rest and she knows from her past just how easily her mind falls to entropy and madness if left stagnant—like Sherlock's, but she doesn't want to compare herself to that genius of a man. She dances and bends her body, kicks up her legs, smiles at strangers on the street and gives a little twirl. The romance of her childhood is tempered but alive, matured like that of her old heroine Anne Shirley. She hopes to find her match someday, but he, too, is a dream, an idea, a vision. A glimpse of a maybe future she hopes will come to pass—but not desperately, never desperately.
As she walks down a road with great, big trees and brick pathways, her eyes meet a stranger's with a little zap and their whole lives spill out in front of her until she spots a new window display in her favorite bookstore and all is forgotten.
She steps inside, greets the owners like old friends, and slips her fingers between pages of a well-loved livre. She feels not an ounce of shame as she sighs and announces in a proud, strong voice,"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."
She is my future, I am her past. I wonder when I'll know it's the present.