I once made a man with my dreams. I embellished upon the skeletons of his existence. His name was real; I had indeed met him and spent a few hours with him here and there. I had a vague image of his smile, like an old photograph in sepia with the edges slightly curled. I couldn’t recall his voice but was certain that I would recognize it at once.
That much was true. But the rest was an illusion created by my dreams.
Something about him compelled me. At first I thought it was physical attraction, then I hypothesized chemistry, until finally I realized he was a blank canvas upon which I painted my ideals.
He was worldly, ambitious, and together. Not quite accomplished yet, he nevertheless had the potential and drive to get there. He was not the most charismatic man, but he smiled easily and often, assuaging all concerns of falsehood.
He was a seeker of adventure, a challenge for my otherwise conservative nature. In the face of life’s many disappointments, he was an unyielding optimist, armored with his humor, anchored by his character, never taking his eyes off the ball.
He complimented me. Where my weaknesses lay, so did his strengths.
Our conversations never bored me. We would seat ourselves for an early dinner and find the entire night behind us in the blink of an eye. And still there was so much more I wanted to say, so many questions I hadn’t asked.
On one particular morning as I walked to work in the cold, my insides knotting over the stress of the upcoming day, of incessant and endless work, I thought of him. He flashed through my mind suddenly with the gentle glow of a newly kindled fire, warmth spread over me and I stopped trembling from both the cold and the anxiety.
Thus was the man.