The night before my thirtieth birthday, I dreamt of Leonard Cohen. I always dream of him at turning points in my life. He is like an angel; he is like a lover. He is never far away.
In the dream, he is giving a concert at my childhood church: an old wooden Presbyterian building. A mess of pews and cobwebs.
He is taking an intermission, standing off to the side: sweating, smiling, resting. I approach him giddily. I touch his arm, and with a hungry whisper I say, “Can I kiss you on the cheek?”
A moment, barely a pause. Then he gently places his index finger under my chin— lifts it. Our eyes, together. Our eyes, forever. (His eyes are glassy-cloudy, like a crystal ball. They give me much information.) And then, with a sly smile, he moves his index finger out from under my chin and draws it deep into his mouth. Engorges it. Licks. Sucks. As if that finger is a cock he is so happy to devour. My heart is racing. He pulls his wet finger from his mouth and then places it on my lips.
The finger is still for a moment. Frozen. And then he draaaaaaags it across my lips, my slightly open mouth. His saliva and mine, together. Forever, in this space. His eyes, which seem to have never left mine (which I know can’t leave mine), seem to say: Wasn’t that better than a kiss, my darling?
He jumps away to the stage, continues song.
After “Closing Time,” we, his dear audience, his sweet adorable children, run out of the church with him. We rush! Leonard is leading us—he is a god, a saint, a savior. Such speed! We all run, following him to where we don’t know, our fingers open, swinging by our sides, towards the grass and free sun.
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