things that are better at night

I wake in the night from a violent dream in which I witness a man shoot a woman in close range. I am kneeling behind a tall white fence and when I see this and when I hear the shot reverberate in the dark night, I gasp, duck down, and try to make myself as small as I possibly can. 

As dream logic would dictate, then I am carrying my son home from a carnival where we have stayed out too late riding the carousel and the bumper boats and throwing darts at water balloons. His cheeks and hands are sticky with the remnants of blue cotton candy and when I turn my face to his, which is resting on my shoulder, I can smell the sugar on his breath from his open mouth. 

Things that delight - the sweet breath of sleeping children. The soft whirring of the ceiling fan above my bed. Beach roses. Long summer evenings when the heat streaks the sky with pink. Embracing someone you have not seen in a long time and so the embrace lingers long enough for you to feel for a moment like you are floating. 

When you wake with a cry from an unsettling dream and someone you love holds you close and covers your face with kisses. 

In the dream, the man slips away from the scene through an open gate. He is tall and his hands are large. I awaken, sit up in bed and try to remember his face. It is wide and pale. His hair is dark, his eyes impassive as he lifts the gun to the woman’s head. I will need to remember this, I think, to describe him to the police. 

Did I mention that he was tall and that his hands were large? Did I mention that he had the familiar look of someone I had met before in a dream? 

Things that are better at night - A dress of iridescent silk. The scent of jasmine in the garden. The soft voice of a lover whispering in your ear, his warm breath. 

The anticipation of pleasure and then the memory of it. 

In the fifth month of the year, certain events are set into motion that in the seventh month come to pass. A man travels to see his parents who are ill. A woman visits with a childhood friend, who reveals many secrets. A promise made is broken. Someone you had trusted leaves you wary. Someone from whom you had kept considerable distance becomes a confidant. 

Phases of the moon - new moon, crescent moon, waxing and waning. Gibbous moon, waxing and waning. Full moon. Blue moon. First and last quarter moon. 

Things that are far away, but seem near - A childhood friend, who moves far away but with whom you exchange letters often. A much anticipated event, like a birthday celebration or a trip somewhere you have never been that is still many months from now but you think of it all the time. 

A sailboat in the ocean when you are looking at it from the shore. 

The constellations in the night sky. The full moon. 

Things that are near, but seem far - The crest of a hill on a warm day when you are walking toward it and you are weary and there are no trees to offer shade. The last long minutes just before a much anticipated event. 

When you argue with your lover and he turns away from you. He stands up and begins pacing gloomily. You remain in your chair, stare out the open window. You are near enough that if you reached for him, you could touch him, could pull him back toward you, but it is as if instead you are separated by a thousand miles.