Say you’ll remember me
Standing in a nice dress
Staring at the sunset
Red lips and rosy cheeks
Say you’ll see me again
Even if it’s just in your wildest dreams
– Wildest dreams, Taylor Swift –
In my wildest dreams I would arrive in ICU and politely ask your 24/7 personal nurse to step away from your bed and take an extremely extended coffee break. I would take away all of the machines and tubes that currently, and tenuously, tether you to physical existence. I would lower the bars on your bed, wake you from wherever you are right now, help you stand, and walk you away from this nightmare.
We’d teleport to Queenstown, straight into the heart of a perfect New Zealand summer. We’d find ourselves standing by a lake ringed with mountains whose tips stubbornly remain covered in a thin dusting of snow. The sun would be strong and warm and enjoyable, a light breeze would tickle the back of your neck. All of your family and friends would be there with a freshly poured pink lemonade waiting on ice, just for you. There would be pink balloons and lanterns, glitter and tinsel, flowers and fairy lights. New outfits straight from Melbourne would be laid out – all the cutest dresses auditioning with matched handbags and flats, jostling and screaming out: “Pick me! Pick me!” You would shower, change into the triumphant outfit, and apply makeup with ridiculous ease – no need for rest stops, or long minutes of simply sucking in oxygen, or mental preparation for pulling on the next piece of clothing. Freshened up in a jiffy, you’d step outside and mingle with your guests in the still and balmy twilight air. Rafael Nadal would obviously be there so you could admire his arms up close and personally. Also, Dr James would swing past. You could stay up late, all night if you wanted, and watch the sunrise.
The next day you’d have enough energy for absolutely anything. You could bungee jump. You could climb a mountain, or several. You could sit quietly in a cafe nursing a hot chocolate and lose yourself in a world created by Kate Morton. You could scrapbook. You could simply marvel at your ability to breathe – in and out, in and out, in and out – now so simple, so easy, so automatic and guaranteed, but not taken for granted, never to be taken for granted. You could plan your longed for trip to Italy centred around carbs, carbs, and more carbs, with a side of carbs.
Magically able to speak fluent Italian, you’d meet the person you’re supposed to spend the rest of your very long and healthy life with. You’d have a handful of bilingual and very attractive children and bring them to Australia with the promise of long holidays spent back in Italy. You’d un-retire and go back to your dream job with your work family, be the best in the business, and feel wholly professionally fulfilled. You’d buy a house and have golden retrievers. We could walk them around the arboretum when I come to visit you. By then the trees will have grown and there will be real forests to get lost in. You’d smile at me when I suggest the arboretum (my passion, the place I can’t stop going on about), but you’d indulge me and secretly love being able to walk at all, and for hours.
In time, your kids would go to school, leave school, get a job, get married, have kids of their own. Grey hair and wrinkles would arrive, you’d retire for the second time, need your superannuation. I can see you acquiring retirement hobbies and enjoying slowing down when everyone else is also slowing down. You’d pass away peacefully in your bed when you’re good and ready, when you’ve lived long enough, when you’ve done everything you want to achieve, when there are no dreams stuck up on a shelf, collecting dust, until your lungs don’t suck anymore.
Let’s live in this world, you and I. Let’s live in my wildest dreams.