Last night I had this dream. This girl I’d fallen in love with was sitting next to me on a airplane bound for Europe. This was the ideal dream for me. We cuddled next to each other in the seats, held each other’s hands, and planned our journey to the various cities we would go see together. In the dream I felt the love I had for her. And yet, there was hesitation in her countenance, to the point of apprehensiveness. But dream me brushed it off.
That’s when I noticed the airplane was having a difficult time taking off. We were skimming the runway, then cars on the highway, and then barely clearing trees. I looked to the pilot, who for some reason had no co-pilot and asked what was wrong. He assured me we were fine. He was way too relaxed and unconcerned with our impending crash that I assumed he was one of those pilots who over indulged in adult beverages prior to his flight. I turned to the girl to reassure her that we were fine; not knowing if we were actually going to be fine, and then, I woke up.
It was one of those moments when you wake up and feel like the dream was real and then you begin interpreting it in depth. Well, I for one have an over analytical mind and somewhat of a bias. I know what the dream meant but I wasn’t about to plan my conscious endeavors off the predication of an unconscious warning. That’s when I decided to do what I usually do when faced with this kind of existential dilemma. I talked to the Dream Man.
I first met the Dream Man when I was 12 years old. I was sitting upright in my bed, the room was dark and the full moon cast strips of white light through the blinds. I was crying because I had a dream about my mother dying. The dream was so incredibly vivid I had thought it actually happened. That’s when in the corner of my room I saw a silhouette of a man, about six feet tall and a husky physique. At first I felt a pressure in my chest that I equated to fear, but then I felt a resounding comfort. He spoke in a deep voice, what I assumed Santa Clause would have sounded like, and I felt his kindness. Never actually seeing the features on his face, I spoke to him that night. The outcome was that he said my dream came from the fact that I had upset my mother that day and did not apologize for my actions. The dream had shown me that if my mother was gone the next day, I would have never reconciled the argument, understood my wrongdoing, and realized her love and concern for me. I would have wandered the rest of my life in pain. After that we spoke about my life and everything else that was going on, essentially addressing the roots to the confrontation that day and the path I was going to take from that day on. The next morning I hugged my mother and apologized.
She died the following day.
It was then I realized that my dreams and the Dream Man were one in the same. I could envision things and he would let me know how to interpret them. It happened many times after my mother’s death, and not all outcomes were tragic. But I hated the Dream Man at times. I didn’t always want to know the reality. I wanted to believe that my dreams were just dreams and that sometimes they could remain as fun fantasies or irreplicable nightmares. But it wasn’t possible for me.
Through adolescence he would show up in my room every so often when my dreams were vivid. Sometimes I would even call to him and ask for help. There were good times and there were bad times. But slowly the spectrum shifted more towards the bad. The realities that followed my dreams become more and more daunting to a point that I chastised the Dream Man for only interpreting my pain and garnering my sadness. But again he proved right in saying he was just the one to explain it all, and that this was all a part of my destiny.
So for a few years I realized that if I consumed enough alcohol or did enough drugs, just enough that I wouldn’t die, I would not dream. This became routine, and the dreams stopped. And though the dreams stopped, so did everything else. My life fell apart in other ways. It was time I had to embrace my gift, my fate, and let the world unfold as it should. But the Dream Man was not the same after that. His interpretations became more cryptic, his advice more cynical, and his voice not as comforting.
After the outcome of one particular situation I confronted him and asked why he guided me in such a way as to cause me further harm. He said, “You could have been righteous with your gift. It may be that your destiny is to embrace the darkness of the world so that others may see the light. But you worry only of your own path, when before you worried of what was right and true. Now, I leave you to make the decisions on your own, and though I will continue to be here, I will not impose what I think is the just act that must precede your foresight.”
That brings us to last night. The girl I love, the place I wish to go, and the uncertainty of the journey. I went to my room and sat on the floor and began my mediation to the Dream Man. Unlike our encounters at night, during the day I can only hear his voice come from the closet.
“Last night you saw something you did not like.”
“Yes. I fear my new found love will never come to fruition.”
“You think this why?”
“Her face, she’s uncertain as well.”
“And the pilot?”
“My blissful, naivety.”
“But what do you seek?”
“For once in my life I want to be certain that I will have happiness. My dreams have rarely shown my successes or any optimistic outcome for that matter. I want this one thing to work for me. I don’t want it to fail.”
“Why do you still fight that which is true?”
“Because it’s too painful to realize this will never be.”
“It can be.”
“Your dreams are your reality. If you wish to only dream, spend your existence with her there. Experience the reality you desire through that universe you created.”
“Are you saying what I think you are saying?”
“But that would not guarantee anything?”
“It would guarantee your hopes to manifest what you choose. Eliminate the conscious reality; focus only on the dreams you wish to live by being the sole creator of your sub-consciousness.”
“But none of it would be real.”
“Is it not real for you already?”
“All I wish is that I can live a life with this person. Why can I not have that?”
“Your decisions are still yours; your free will is still yours.”
“That’s a lie.”
“Then embrace the truth.”
The rest of the day I paced the floor in my room. I called my friends to get their advice regarding this girl and my uncertainty. I even went to see the girl in person and within that short time of seeing her I felt reality coming and I did not want it. So that night I called one last time to the Dream Man. This time I saw his silhouette and it was more pronounced. The Dream Man did not seem to be there to console my angst.
“Why should I listen to you?”
“You know by now your gift is also your curse.”
“Yes I’m very aware of that.”
“And you also understand that I know more than you.”
“I’m not so sure of that.”
“Your stubbornness never fails to show.”
“Yes well you know that I have one thing you do not have, and that is emotion. That very emotion that causes me to question what is best for me and my life.”
He laughed; I had never heard him laugh before.
“What is emotion? You feel it in your dreams. Your emotion is more a part of my world than yours. It’s all just one interpretation of a false reality stemming from a subconscious existence. You are just the unfortunate one to be privy to all this.”
“How do I know you even exist then, and after all these years I wasn’t just insane? Maybe I’m just a man in foam room somewhere living a different life.”
And then he stepped forward, closer to my bed now, his face still obstructed by the darkness.
“Maybe. Maybe that’s all this really is my friend. Maybe, it’s time you wake up.”
And he was gone.
I had never been so uncertain with myself. Contemplating my life is such great detail it became unbearable. I didn’t know what was real anymore. But I did know that after these 15 years with the Dream Man my fate was sealed, and the path was inevitable.
That’s when I looked at my night stand at the tool to my endless slumber and wondered, do I continue to follow this path, embrace the uncertainty, and live with the repercussions of my rebellious and selfish desires; or would it be easier, to trust the Dream Man.