It was the kind of dream where the world doesn’t work–not a nightmare, the type where nothing is as it should be. People don’t act right. Situations don’t resolve. A chimera…where food tastes like dirt and when I run from the bad guy I’m running in sand or swimming against the tide…getting nowhere. Helpless. Stuck.
I wake at odds with the universe. I blame my brain–the migraine that didn’t sleep away. It’s probably a neuron or two misfiring, sending out mirages, that’s what happens with the brain. The same brain that produces magic also wreaks havoc on its unsuspecting host. Letting illusions of memory, false emotion, hallucinations, smoky bad dreams escape their proper boxes.
It’s a work day. I get up. I throw together some oatmeal with strawberries–I fight the mirages with a handful of drugs. I sit with my coffee. I look at the clock. I time it out for an hour. The drugs and coffee should pull together by then. At least a bit. Then the dream should fade, too.
I get the bread out of the oven. I’ve forgotten about it. Smelled it ten minutes ago, thought it was part of the delusion. A nice golden brown–good save.
The dream returns for a minute. I sit with it. We talk. I let it swirl around.
“I’m not a mirage. I’m a collection,” it says. “You’ve had a busy week.” The week in review. Work pressures. Business pressures. Tax season. Finished book. Personal stuff. “We need to have a meeting,” emails about the boy.
Glass half-full people store such things in boxes. Dreams walk around tearing them out when the boxes are full. Creating mischief. Things in boxes can evaporate or explode. Simple physics. Dreams unlock the boxes. Release steam. Give messages. Show paths. Solve problems. Even write posts. If I listen.
I want to sleep for a little while longer. Call in. Skip the day. Reset it with a better dream. Wake up in a few hours and make a new bowl of oatmeal and drink a new cup of coffee. Try again. Throw another log on the fire.
But in a few minutes, I’ll get ready to go, like Americans all over the nation. We’ll all tackle Mondays together. And we will all shake off our dreams. Together. Some of us will live our dreams. Some will ignore them. Together. We’ll wait in line for coffee together, turn the keys to our cars together, and somehow breathe the air on the planet together. I wonder whose air I’ll breathe? Someone who will inspire me?
I look around. I wonder who’s had a good dream, and whose was bad. Which guy in the coffee line is living his dream and which woman’s trying to escape hers? Impossible to know. For one moment in time, we’re all awake, experiencing reality together. I smile at everyone who notices, I “have a great day,” the world, and I leave the world of dreams for my reality.
[images: writerscafe.org and laughteriscatching.com]