The Dream within the Dream

Monday, July 15, 2013

We had a dream together. Something about a checkpoint. The soldier said please and thank you because you told him that he had to and for some reason he obeyed you and he didn’t even point his gun at us and he was only four feet tall. We felt bad for him. We told him so. I don’t remember which one of us said it or if we both said it. He started crying, but we weren’t embarrassed for him. We said don’t worry about it, just get rid of the gun and we’ll take you with us, we’ll go eat soup together, good vegetarian soup with homemade bread and butter and everything will be okay. That’s what we told him anyway. I can’t remember what happened after that.

I had a dream alone. In my dream I was missing most of my left hand. An animal had eaten it, or maybe I had torn it apart myself. It was grotesque and I knew it would never heal, but it didn’t matter, because it didn’t hurt anymore and you kept telling me that you loved me and I wanted nothing but to listen to you say it, but I barely heard you because all I could think about was my sleeve and if it was long enough and if I could pull it low enough to hide what was left of my hand.

We had a dream together. In the dream the bullets stopped in the air and it was the most marvelous thing any of us had ever seen. We were all running through the narrow streets and the soldiers on the rooftops raised their rifles and aimed their rifles and fired their rifles and instead of hearing the shots echo off the walls and then the screams we heard everything suddenly go silent. We saw the bullets racing at our backs and at our heads and then they stopped, right there in the air, they didn’t hit us, they stopped instead, spinning, deadly, but not moving anymore and it was up to us if we wanted to let them touch us or not and of course we didn’t, most of us, and we didn’t want to run anymore either, so we stopped running and turned around and faced the bullets and the soldiers on the rooftops and we walked back up the narrow street without fear now, without even any excitement. We walked right around the bullets, most of us did, ducking calmly to avoid them and walking back up the street without fear, except for that guy with the curly hair, you know the one I mean, the nervous guy with the backpack and the glasses and the skinny jeans. He turned around and looked at the bullet spinning in the air beside his ear and he just turned around again and took one step right toward it and then another one so that it spun right through the back of his head.

You had a dream, I know you did. I heard you talking. I saw your mouth move. Who were you talking to in your dream? You took all the covers and I was freezing all night and all night you faced the other way and didn’t touch me. Why didn’t you tell me the truth in the morning when I pulled you to me and kissed your shoulder and asked you what you dreamed and you said you didn’t have any dreams and if you did you didn’t remember anything?

We had a dream together and it was such a beautiful dream. We dreamed the land had returned to a pristine and perfect state. There was no more razor wire and there were no more prisons or checkpoints or roadblocks or walls and there weren’t even any roads and if you wanted to see something far away you had to climb a hill to see it because there were no more watchtowers and no more satellites or drones, just birds up there and stars and clouds and we did a lot of dancing and kissing and even our wounds shone with a joyful, pinkish violet light and we kept saying we’re not dreaming, we’re awake and this is not a dream, and no one believed us but we insisted that this is what we see all the time when we’re awake whether our eyes are open or closed and in the dream it was true, it wasn’t a dream and we knew it couldn’t be one not just because we said so but because we couldn’t sleep, none of us could, we didn’t know how to sleep anymore, none of us had slept in years.

I had a dream alone and in it there were TV screens everywhere and I mean everywhere, on every surface, even trees, and all of them were showing Real Housewives, which was about women in tight dresses drinking champagne, except that some of the screens were showing a strange creature called Wolf Blitzer talking about an evil god named The Sequester and a few of the screens were showing a film about how impossibly beautiful the world is but it turned out to be an insurance commercial and I thought this is the stupidest dream I’ve ever had and then I woke up on an airplane with a TV screen on the back of every seat showing Real Housewives and Wolf Blitzer and that insurance commercial and some cop show and some other show about the FBI and another one about doctors who were really cops who only treated dead people and in my dream I thought I was right, this dream really sucks.

We had a dream together and in it we told each other that we would love each other forever and we meant it but we couldn’t agree about what it would mean and whether it meant that we would have to be strong and brave for each other all the time or if we could mainly relax and get stoned and watch TV and we weren’t sure if it meant we should tell each other what we wanted from each other or if it would be better to make the other person guess and then stay mad about it forever and in the end we weren’t even sure if it meant we had to love each other in the same place and the same time or if we could figure out how to do it more abstractly, as a sort of statement of principles that would not involve living in the same apartment and negotiating the dishes and the cleaning of the toilet and of the hidden areas on top of bookshelves and behind and beneath the furniture and because we could not agree about these matters we decided that perhaps it was better not to love one another at all or touch each other ever and we grew very cold and our skin began to crack and we fell to the earth and lay there remarking to one another that the wrinkles and fissures on the surface of the earth resembled the marks that were spreading on our own skin and we agreed that this was surely a coincidence.

You had a dream, I know you did, because you were crying and screaming in your sleep and I had to wake you up from it and hold you and kiss away your tears and cradle your head in my hands and assure you that you were okay, that it was over, that everything was going to be fine and somehow I believed it as you fell back asleep and in the morning when you woke you didn’t remember anything but I did, I remembered your entire dream and I was terrified and alone and I didn’t believe anymore that anything would ever be fine and I missed you even though you were right there in my arms and I looked but I couldn’t find you anywhere and even though you were right there you weren’t there to hold me and kiss away my tears and promise me that no matter what I believed or didn’t believe everything was going to be all right.

We had a dream together, I’m sure we did, I’m sure I didn’t make all of this up, because in our dream we were birds and we knew how to fly and the land beneath us was scarred and torn with razor wire and burnt-out ruins and artillery craters and we knew all about the dead and where and who they were and we could hear them calling out to us as always but we didn’t answer, we just laughed about their funny voices and the ruins beneath us and we kept flying because in this dream we were birds and we were concerned only with things of the sky and the land below meant nothing to us. Can you tell me now if we were dreaming then or if we were awake, more awake than we’d ever been because I don’t know anymore and the funny thing is that I looked over in the middle of the dream and I saw you smile, I saw you laugh and I knew, right away I knew, I was positive and certain and sure that we weren’t dreaming, that there was no such thing as dreaming, and no hope of waking, just you and I and all of us forever.

Monday, July 1, 2013