I dreamt last night that I was having a most terrible day, but not the sort of tragic terrible; rather, a mundane terrible. My glasses broke into two. It was a brand new pair. Then I took out my old one and found that it too had broken into two. And so I had to put on the older pair which I don’t really like because its too rectangular and small for my face. I was also not having any particular fun in whatever activity I was participating in. It’s like being at one of those parties you don’t enjoy, and yet you’re staying there hoping that somehow something will happen and make it far more enjoyable; but really you already have a fantasy in your mind which locks your happiness in place, and no other circumstance would ever make you happy. So it was that my mundane day was terrible, and when I got home, I ran immediately into my mother’s bosom, hugged her tightly and started to cry about my terrible day.
I surmise that the cause of this dream was the discomfort in the throat that kept me coughing and jerking when I so desperately wanted to fall asleep. Lying in the bed was torture. And the torture must have made its way into my sleep as well.
I had a dream last night of waiting to marrying a person I didn’t completely love. It was the night of the wedding and I sat among some of the guests, my friends, talking to them before the ceremonies began. Some seats ahead of me was my bride-to-be. She too was talking to some of her friends. She seemed really excited; much more than I was. Every once in a while she would erupt in laughter and so would all her friends, although I could barely make out their faces – they were all blurs. I suppose the dream agent does not pay much attention to sculpting the faces of the less important characters. Who was truly important came into the frame a little later.
I think I knew from the beginning that I loved someone else; that whom I truly wished to be with was not the one presently in a white gown, but she, who has now sauntered to my side, as gay as ever. In the dream, only her face I could see clearly – all the rest were part of the gouache setting. I spoke to her by a window on the top floor of my house. We were staring out at the guests scattered across the courtyard. She was asking me excitedly how I felt. I feigned a little joy. Could I tell her that it was her whom I truly liked? What then? Nothing would come of that, only disaster and hurt and shame and disdain. But as I stood beside her, I imagined for a moment that the both of us were guests, and we would talk about our own marriage while watching the bride and the groom meander through a crowd full of smiles. Then, she walked off to join the rest. The procession was about to begin.
I was back beside my bride. I wouldn’t dare look at her. There was such a regret welling up inside of me that when a friend came up to congratulate me, I could barely bring myself to smile. It was as if I wanted him to see the misery brewing inside me. And that was the last thing I remembered, the last emotion I felt.
Fancy meeting you here. Are you going to buy an elephant as well? I never thought I’d meet you here. You can have the grape one; I’m not quite fond of purple, and anyway, it suits you well. The last time I saw you in a purple dress, you looked absolutely ravishing. Actually why don’t I pay for yours as well? I know the shopkeeper, he’ll give me a discount. Besides, you don’t come here often, do you? It’s the first time I’m seeing you here. Always thought I’d be the only visitor. These are strange lands, aren’t they? Look around. There is nothing else but this shop house and these elephants; the edges of this space can barely be made out. And now, of course, there is you and I, as vivid as can be. Lean in close, I’ll whisper you a secret.
Have you ever had the sort of dream which you know, deep in your heart, you’ll never be able to capture? And thus at every opportunity that presents itself like a blossoming Cereus, you turn away; too afraid that if you extended your arms towards it, you shall find your fingers sweeping through the mist of a mirage. But you never do give up on the dream – you enjoy the reveries too much, and without it, life would seem to lose its flavor. It is tormenting, certainly. There is nothing you can do but to watch its exquisite form drift in the ether high above you. You wait patiently with clasped hands, comforted by hope and conceded to futility – oh, do you not know that you are only waiting for death?
I think we were talking about someone’s birthday party. I don’t remember what else went through the conversation. Then, in the turn of a second, I was outside the gates to a friend’s house. I glanced around for you, but you were no longer there. Perhaps you had gone home already; boarded the bus without my even noticing. Strange that I thought that way, since you don’t usually take the bus. As I was knocking on the gates, you appeared some distance from me; hurrying towards me. A little gladness swelled. You had on those sunglasses which you always wore. You told me that you didn’t know which bus to take home. I couldn’t recall the right one either. I took out my phone and opened Google Maps. It was utterly slow in loading. During this time, you —– and then my friends showed up, chuckling. Then, poof! Everything disappeared in the flash of the morning sun.
How delightful it would be if one could return every night to that wondrous dream he had on the previous; such that all the episodes strung themselves together and formed a distant, more pleasurable life than the organic one subsisting on reality. Perhaps we have had it wrong all this time; and life isn’t a crack of light between two eternities of darkness but a fissure that mars the landscape of an otherwise perfect otherworldly existence; and our dreams are merely portals to those forgotten fields of Elysium.