This Paltry Sum of Years Spent Dreaming

There is a sea I see in my dreams. It is endless and very flat. The movement is endless but gentle. Its waves lap upon the shore in round after round of reminders that this, my friends, is nowhere. Behind me there is a path that leads up to a mansion on a hill that glows orange in the dusk that lasts, I suspect, forever. To my left, a small hollow, a landing area covered by bracken and bushes and surrounded by lifeless trees that droop their grey leaves towards the salty water. I stand on a small landing, telescope to my left eye and look out trying to spot the shoreline. I see nothing but flat endless waters, with barely a breaking wave, hardly a speck of foam to break the utter monotony. Everything here is dying, yet never dead. Everything here is living, but not truly alive.

A man stands on the plain wooden dock. He has his own spyglass and examines the future horizon with the air of a man who has been standing there too long, yet has nowhere else to go and nowhere else he has to be, even if he wishes he were somewhere else, but never that he was someone else. Over the course of nights I have walked miles, yet failed to get more than a few foot closer to him. Last night we almost broke through the invisible barrier that separates us. I have the intense desire to rescue him from this dull situation, yet he is formless. Dust. Atoms. Rays of light. Memories. Just like me, I suppose. Just like all of us. We manage to hold our shape for our paltry sum of years, and then lose concentration and float away like a lost balloon to other places: the worlds that exist beyond this cruel world of pain and flesh and suffering. Yet to wake in this hinterland of the afterlife, this grey dull morass of nothingness, that truly is torture. What kind of God would insist on our worship, only to condemn us to nothingness if we fail to live up to his capricious demands? Not the kind that I will ever bow my knee to.

When I die I want to go to the Elysian Fields, and drink wine out of Aphrodite’s left shoe! I want to dance with the Minotaur and charm the Nereids. I’ll go hang with the furies and cackle with the heroes and heroines of old. I might plant a few rows of beans and sleep in a fairytale hollow with the fawns. I do not intend on letting an Abrahamic god have his wicked way with me! No! Perhaps I will organize a raid on the grey place and rescue the man with the Bob Dylan hair and the looking glass pressed to his left eye, dragging him not to glory but at least to a good party. Give me my shield, put on my armor, I have immortals quests to follow! Not that I was ever optimistic, but I am stubborn to an almost ultra-alive degree. It is my super power.

Yellow roses sit in a tin jug on my window-seat, something like the milk maids of old carried back from the barn with rough hands and rosy smiles of milk-fed beauty. The sound of cars and the rumble of construction never ending bothers me outside the window. I keep the room dark like my mood. I am tired. My bones are exhausted. I keep hoping for a miracle, that the doctor will say I don’t need these nightmare medications and that I can go on my weary way. I cry in a fit of vanity with the weight I’ll put on with the prednisone and the terror of vomiting with drugs that will squash my immune system that has turned on me and is eating itself. I am ouroboros, the snake eating its tail, my body devouring bone and organs greedy for self destruction. I taught it well. I suppose I could ignore it, refuse to go to the hospital today and just not play ball, but then the ominous blood in the sink and tissue starts up again and I get scared. I can’t help but feel the doctors are going to make it worse, and if they just leave me be it will fix itself. I was always a dreamer.

I want some cream from life. I want some long deep draught of cool water. Heck, the doctors, evil sadists that they are, won’t even cough up more than a paracetamol (quickly followed by a recommendation to not take that either since I am bleeding from the mouth) and a “I am sorry this is happening to you.” I am too. I am too…

Time to go, I suppose. Time to go find out what delights they have in store for me.


  1. Willow Croft

    I had many dream meetings with a certain person, and I actually met them in real life, and, as it turned out, that “imaginary” concept and energy and connection evidenced itself in this dimension, and even the people all around us picked up on that energy trasmitted (transmuted?) in that brief but powerful meeting. It was like “the dream is actually real”. (If that gives you hope…)

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