I had a horrible nightmare last night. I was riding a bicycle down an empty deserted road. I was pedaling fast. I don't know where I was going. The road was wet, as if it had just rained. I slipped and I fell on my right side, still holding onto the bike. My entire right side was being torn up on the pavement like a high powered cheese grater. I felt my knee and cheek being scraped hard against the cement. I closed my eyes and put my hands out in front of me to stop myself. I finally stopped and sat up on the side of the road. My head was spinning and I couldn't see straight. I looked up and saw a man walking past me, glancing at me. For some reason this frightened me because I knew he was going to harm me. I got up and tried to run away from him but I was injured so badly that I couldn't run very fast. He caught up with me, laughing this scary maniacal laugh. He ran past me, put his arm out, grabbed me around the neck, and threw me to the ground. I was so badly hurt that I knew this was going to kill me. Then I woke up.

It was 3:01am. I had been asleep for less than two hours although it seemed like the dream would never end. My heart was racing and I almost started to cry. Dave was curled up in bed next to me. We went to bed with this unsaid tension between us. He had a bad night, I said something to make him feel better, and he misunderstood what I was saying and got a bit upset. "I was just trying to make you feel better," is the last thing I said before we went to sleep. I wanted to wake him up and tell him about my dream and ask him to hold me. I needed to be touched. I needed to touch him. He was having a dream and talking in his sleep. Then he rolled over on his stomach and started snoring. I lay there quietly, trying to decide if my need to touch him was more important that his slumber. I have never felt such a deep need to touch someone before in my entire life. My body felt hollow, and the feel of his warm skin on his fingertips could fill me up again. I decided not to wake him up, although I'm sure he wouldn't have minded. I gently brushed my fingers against his right shoulder, just barely grazing the scar where he had a mole removed and another where he got hit with a javelin in high school. His skin felt like velvet, even where the scars were. I wanted to whisper, "I love you," but I didn't because I never do, because I am afraid he might hear me. I rolled over and went back to sleep.

I never love people more than I do when they are asleep. I could sit awake for hours just watching him sleep, listening to his breathing and the sounds of slumber. He is so beautiful when he sleeps. When you sleep in the same bed with someone, you make yourself incredibly vulnerable. His life was in my hands; I could have easily killed him at any moment and he would have been completely helpless. I don't know why I equate vulnerablity with beauty. But when he's asleep, I can imagine that he loves me. I can pretend that I am everything he's ever wanted. I can see him in his purest form and just for a second, I am allowed to be in love with him.