Dreams of an Optional Existence

We (my many selves) were in a movie that started like a dream. A swirl of paint like a Van Gogh happening in reverse, slipping from the surreal drunken starry state to the real — the this-is-a-crisis moment of reality.

There is a sense of “this can’t be happening” in real life that doesn’t exist in dreams. You know it’s a dream by your willingness to accept as reality things that cannot be.

We were under a tank like a Chinese dragon. From the inside, it was just a metal bunker, and we were hanging on to valves and chains and keeping it from floating away.

Outside, things were sliding in and out of existence at will, without warning, randomly. Until one of them wanted in. This ghost of some other self — probably one of mine — was trying to lift the tank. It was heavy and hard for us to control, but she seemed to lift it lightly like the lid to a cake dish to reveal us. With gravity on our side, we pulled down against her, and then, in a flash of light that seemed to come more from within than without, we were exposed, and she was no where to be seen.

In fear, I turned to our guide, a soft-bodied, middle-aged woman with short cropped hair and an air of expertise about hiding and escaping. It was clear she had been doing these things for many years. The funny thing, though, is that no matter how expert you are at hiding and escaping, it doesn’t reduce the fear. Fear was all over her face. We were exposed, and she couldn’t reverse it.

These little bundles flew out when we were exposed. Bits of ourselves that got knocked off by the force of the light and the wind. We scurried around to grab hold of them. Everyone found their pieces except me. The guide gave me a dreadful look. Without gathering up those pieces, I was more vulnerable than the others.

Around the camp fire, on barren rocky ground, everyone but me clung to their little bundles, which on closer inspection looked like hacky sacks and stress balls. Meaningless objects. It was implied that without my little bundle, I would be the first one picked off by these sneaky spirits, the first to fall into some alternate dimension of questionable existence. I told the others in my crew, “Don’t tell me that. I don’t wanna watch this movie if I know I’m doomed from the start.”

But now, in waking life, I wonder: what would happen if I allowed myself to be carried off by these trickster spirits? What would I see if I stepped into their dimension?

carry on
the shell

One thought on “Dreams of an Optional Existence

  1. Well, yeah… what would happen? And what are you hiding from? A part of me feels like that about creativity, about art, about writing… It is perversely amusing that while anyone in the world can Google my name and see what I’m working on, I’ve gone to great lengths to be quite secretive in day to day life about what I’m doing (especially around my family).

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