The Reader - Week 11
“You must have been having a sweet dream,” Jennifer said while buttering toast, “You were smiling in your sleep.”
“A dream about an old friend,” said Andy, “A dear friend, someone I don’t see anymore.”
“A not so-rude-awakening. A sex dream?”
“Yes, it was a sex dream.”
“What happened?” said Jennifer.
“She’s been in Hawaii for twenty years now. She works in the Honolulu Zoo,” said Andy, “She was always a critter person… It’s funny that I had a dream like that. We were never lovers.”
Jennifer put down her toast.
“I meant, what happened in the dream?” she said, “No, don’t tell me. But do, tell me about this ‘relationship’ that wasn’t sexual.”
“I, uh… the joy of being physically near someone, a woman that is, without the… the fear,” said Andy.
“Are you afraid of me?” Jennifer said, smiling, but Andy could sense that she was serious. “Is that why you drank so much last night you passed out?”
“That sometimes happens,” said Andy, “I guess I am.”
The sound of toast crunching.
“When you were young, did you ever sexually awaken someone?” said Jennifer.
“What kind of question is that?” said Andy, “What do you mean, awaken?”
“When I was nineteen, I went to a party with some people I knew at the community college I was attending. It wasn’t much of a party, in a basement of one of the guys in my humanities class who still lived at home. I had never dated in high school, I didn’t like boys when I was young—they were rude and loud. I read books. Jane Austen. Anyway, at this party was Ted, a guy who seemed different than the others. He was talking about things I had never heard of—meditation, nirvana, yogic energy—all that new age garbage. I don’t remember how Ted brought up the subject, but he said that by passing ones hands over, but not touching, a person’s body from the feet to the head, you could increase that person’s psychic energy, bringing them to a higher level. There was a bed in the middle of the basement, where the guy who was throwing the party normally slept. I don’t know what came over me, I suppose I thought Ted was full of b.s., so I said ‘Show me,’ and I got on the bed. He began to move his hands—slowly—a few inches above me, starting at my feet and slowly going up to my head. And then he did it again. And again. And again.”
“Did it work?” asked Andy.
“I don’t know about how much psychic energy he generated, but I was awakened. Lord, I was awakened.”
“Just then his girlfriend (who I didn’t know about), came down the stairs and that was the end of that, as far as he was concerned. They went into the laundry room. I got up and went outside and cried.”
“Why did you come home with me last night?” said Andy.
“It may sound stupid, but I’m still waiting for Ted to come back; to finish what he started.”
The Reader is serial fiction, published every Friday.