Patrick has this recurring dream. She is standing in front of him. Behind her right shoulder is a stream. At first it’s a light brown, then it becomes marbled and finally black. After 30mls it stops and then starts again, light brown and finally black.
In the dream she is the same age as when they first met. Hair like a mushroom, eyes like the prunes he uses to shake his bowels awake. Patrick reaches for her, every time, but she’s like a panda behind thick glass. He’s careful never to leave fingerprints on the panes.
When he wakes up he can still see her in his head. He draws her, but only parts at a time. Today he sketches her eyes and ears, tomorrow perhaps the nose and eyebrows.
Scattered on the floor, among beer bottles and browned Venti filters, are dozens of scraps of paper. On Friday he’ll finish the week's cycle by collecting all the pieces and putting them together. Day-by-day her face comes back to him, complete. She still hasn’t left him, even after 40 years. This recurring dream, everlasting. His studio now a shrine to her. Hundreds of collaged faces, one added to his walls on weekly basis.
This Friday promises to be the last time he puts together her face. He is tired of the glue that makes his hands dry and stuck together. Once this week’s face is done, he will find something new. He'll find comfortable sleep.