I find it incredibly fascinating that penguins are generally monogamous and many mate for life. One might argue that for penguins, there are soulmates. I’ve wondered lately, as I lay about sleepily; do penguins dream? More specifically, do they dream of their special, loved one? Their soulmate? Maybe penguins don’t have to dream because life is snowflakes and fluffy babies with their partners when they open their eyes. I’m not suggesting that life is easy for them. Just that things would be immeasurably more bearable if there’s such a thing as a soulmate, and you’ve got one, right?
I don’t believe in soulmates personally, at least for humans. It’s romantic nonsense for us. It’s irrational. Maybe it works for penguins because – I assume – they aren’t the complicated, hot mess that humans are. All feelings and fucking.
It must be a relief – or a curse, I’m unsure – for those who don’t dream. Dreams are bittersweet in many ways. Sometimes upon waking, I long for the dream world to be my real world. To not know what the dream world holds might be how penguins get by with their realities.
Currently, I live in two worlds.
One World is where he stands the first night I met him, hoody on, strumming the guitar strings as if plucking at my heart. One where he and I get lost in that kiss in the car, where I notice the ache in my back as I lean over the gearbox to fall deeper. It’s the world in which our hands find each other, seemingly of their own accord, as we walk down the road to the house we share. It’s the world where I compromise a little more and he nurtures a little more, the world where we come back together, despite all that’s happened. This world is without definition, no edges, hazy, and I try to hold onto it every single night.
The Second World begins where the other finishes. This world is alarm clocks and schedules, friendships and casual sex. It’s rational. It’s where I tell myself it ended, several times, for a reason. In this world, I remember the fights, the tears and the pain that we caused each other because we just weren’t on the same page. It’s where I date this other man, happily, but know there’s a void that just cannot be filled by anyone new. This is the world in which penguins are just penguins. They aren’t an anthropomorphic cliché that I seek to find in a partner of my own.
I don’t want to be in between worlds any longer. I want a new world. One where we both acknowledge that we’ve changed since the last time we tried together. I want a new world where perhaps the changes we’ve made and the ways we’ve grown have resulted in each of us becoming who we need for it to work. I want to silence those thoughts that tell me not to call him and I want the other side of the bed to be his again. I want that hoody and I want the back ache inducing kiss.
Penguins come to mind when I wake because that’s the world in which I want to live. A sleepy collision of worlds One and Two – rationality and reckless hopefulness. I want my world to have him in it again. I want to wake up from one dream to another. I want to have his stubble on my cheek and to feel his breath on my skin when he says: “Good morning Penguin”. I want him to read this and to take the step that I’m unable to make.
I’m leaving this here, now. For another Penguin to pick up.