It seemed the right time to share a dream, and it seemed the right time to chase the dreams of the living, rather than the ghosts of the dead.
For a long time I felt responsible for both their deaths. Nothing allowed me to sleep at night. My own nightmares had almost become friends.
One of the first things I did once I returned to the USA was visit my Army buddy Bill and Miss Amarillo 1969. They were both at Memorial Gardens. I had not been able to return home with my friend in arms. I said I was sorry, and like always he seemed to understand.
My other great love, Miss Amarillo 1969, was a high school sweetheart. She said she would wait for me. She didn't and had kissed a windshield on Highway 287 South. I placed a single rose in the vase and a card under the vase. The card said how much I missed her.
She had been beautiful. But with so much charm and beauty she became the object of admiration and worship. She had no time to wait on someone who might never return home, she was only guilty of affecting my life, nothing more.
I looked out across the Texas prairie and saw us dancing. In my head Nat King Cole played, and the younger gentler versions of ourselves held each other and laughed even though long ago we had left innocence behind. She touched my cheek with her fingers and I smelled the flowers in her hair.
She stood on her toes and kissed me softly, but as I pulled her closer she vanished into nothing.
A soft landing back to reality, to replace the things that had once been familiar and safe.