Hippocrates believed that during the day the soul receives images but that during the night the soul creates them, and this is called dreaming. The Chinese and many others besides believe that the soul itself leaves the body and journeys to the ‘dream realm’.
They say the moment you flip a coin you know what your decision is, not because of the side on which it lands, but because in the few seconds that the coin was in the air, you suddenly knew what you were hoping for. I want to be able to equate that to dreaming for you in some elaborate and delicate way, but words don’t play well with me. I can only say that, to me, a dream can tell you all you need to know, all you refuse to acknowledge or accept in your waking hours, without the horror of having to share the experience out in the ‘real’ world, where it would be written into the hearts and minds of others as opposed to just your own – because you do truly experience it, in a dream, don’t you? You alone suffer it, feel it and remember it. The truth of the matter is brought to the harshest, most exposing of light and in that moment, when your soul is in the air, you know.
I awake from a dream, 11 years in the making, and of a story I have always ached to be able to tell, the words never quite cooperating with one another, no matter how many times I read Henry and June. A comedy our story may be for my friends, riddled and bent with kinks and absurdities but it is and always will be my greatest tragedy. I’m being dramatic I know, on another morning I will feel differently, it will be slight, but it will be enough. I won’t be so weighed down by bad-dream-residue…
Coming to in the middle of a life, at once not knowing how you got to be where you are and yet fully cognizant of everything that led to this moment I find myself standing in an unknown courtyard. Indefinable weeds burgeoning from between the cracks in the foot worn and overlapping concrete slabs, that resemble the mental image I hold of the tectonic plates I had been looking at only yesterday, back here in the ‘real’ world. It feels like winter, the very beginning or the very end. We stand face to face as best a girl of 5’3″ and a 6’1″ man can, and he tells me that she has died. The cancer came back and spread to her lungs, her bones and finally her blood. She passed away on her side of the bed into eternal, blissful ignorance. We can be together now and why wouldn’t we? The years that have passed since the last time being irrelevant, we can finally make love. Not just fuck. And that’s the first thing. I feel rushed, I feel her spirit lingering in the wallpaper and the carpets, watching on in abstract, mute bemusement. I feel wrong. He wants to share her death bed and I want to scratch it all clean. I bring him home and in the morning he makes to leave, to return to that house that was hers, nothing has changed. She is no longer in the picture and neither am I, not really. I am still the other woman to a fucking ghost that he wished right into the grave. An end has come but it is not my happy ending and it never will be. He follows me out into the dawn, that strange half light, stark and dim, like our love and I turn away from him as he tells me that I make my own misery.
As published in the June 2015 issue of ‘Opening Line Literary ‘Zine’ – http://www.openingline.org/2015/06/june-issue-out-now-dreams.html