Tuesday, October 22, 2013

i dreamed . . .

. . . I asked Luke if he was ready to go skiing. It was three in the afternoon, sunny, and there was a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. The day was almost over, and I knew if I didn’t get up immediately, I'd spend the rest of it lounging around. So I stood up with a start and poured myself a shot of whiskey.

Part of me wasn’t ready to get up, and I split into two halves when I stood up. “How interesting,” I thought, looking down on my two halves from a bird’s-eye perspective. One half of me was still asleep on the sofa, and the other half of me was a ghost hovering over my sleeping body, watching my other half sleep. It was a revelation. In that moment I understood the sacred mystery of dreaming. Dreaming was nothing more than a big misunderstanding stemming from a fundamental confusion, a confusion people have about how their eyes work. You see, people assume they’re blind when their eyes are closed. In fact, there’s a lot they can still see. When people are asleep, for example, they see dream visions. Dream visions aren’t imaginary. They’re as real as day visions. It was so simple. If it was a snake it would have bit me. Then I practiced my new sleep-seeing superpower. I visualized a crumpled piece of brown kraft paper, and it appeared all at once, hovering three-dimensionally in the space before my eyes – so life-like, so skin-rough, so papery. I imagined I was riding my bike and, presto, I was riding my bike. My tires went flat, so I visualized a bookstore and dropped in for a browse. In the cafĂ© next door I practiced writing the lyrics to Visions of Johanna on an index card with my eyes closed. I was really getting the hang of it. I went walking through an arcade of oak trees, and when a baby squirrel jumped on my pant leg I shooed it away with a manila folder and kept walking.