Sometimes at night I think to myself in the way that many can think to themselves when they are separated from the noise of the day. I often remember dreams or the unreality of dreams and sometimes my mind wanders into a fantastical daydream created in realtime as I let my mind wander. Unfortunately, this isn’t the best of situations as the dreams that I imagine are devoid of the protection of the dreamscape, that is, the protective shell of unreality surrounded by the vast moat which keeps away rational emotion. Often when others describe to me their own dreams, they confess to having a reaction to an event or vision that would never occur in the daylight of wakeful rationality. I feel this is true as well, so when my mind wanders over to the girl with the black hair, the girl who often inhabits my day and night dreams, I picture her in a way that tests my emotion and challenges my higher mind.
Tonight, I see her walking toward me across still water barefoot, her toes making little ripples with each step, her body draped with a flowing white dress that changes to red and back to white with each slow-motion gust of wind in the way a two-sided flag reveals a hidden side or color as the material inflates and releases in gentle waves. The material of her dress also changes from white cotton to a shimmering red silk not unlike the color of blood or a bright lipstick after a gloss has been applied. Off to my right is a professional makeup table in heavy white plastic or glossed wood with globes of amber light surrounding a mirror. The girl with the black hair stares into me. This is different from the dreams of sleep. In sleep, I never see into anyone’s eyes. I am not sure if this is because I don’t look or if the people I dream about never seem real enough to have eyes which reveal life to me. I am not complaining about this as I have no desire to confuse the dream world with the world of the living, and something comes to mind now. I remember a line from Inception where Cobb is talking to his dead wife Mal, explaining to her that he knows she isn’t real, that she’s just a shadow of the woman he once loved formed from memories and impressions. This is how I feel about the woman with the black hair as she is like a perfume left in the air after the wearer has gone away. Her actions in my dreams always seem fine if somewhat unsettling in my dreams and downright disturbing in my waking hours. I sometimes think that my mind uses memories of her personified by an action linked to an emotion in an effort to categorize or properly store her. She somewhat exists as a never-ending number like pi, and my mind needs to know how far past the decimal point to quantify for future reference. Plugging in the emotion is the same as me going to a coffee shop and asking for a number of coffee cups equal to pi and waiting for a response from the confused girls behind the counter who stare blankly back at me. The emotion, I assume, is to wake me up to the fault in my brain, to the question that needs to be answered by my higher mind. With pi, I don’t care. I somehow remember 3.14159 accurately but the number has no consequence to my life. The girl with the black hair is another matter. As time passes, accurate memories of her are passively being replaced by fallacies either through preferential comparisons to other female characters in books, realizations after the hundredth review of past events or just the ongoing entropy of my neurons. Interestingly, in my waking dreams, she looks straight through me; yet in my sleeping dreams, she ignores me. The waking dream seems to have a cyclical passion/purity to it. In the sleeping dream, she busies herself with planting apples or some other dream-like activity glancing only once to me as I’m the owner of the apple cart she is sourcing from. Back and forth she goes for probably twenty seconds, but in my dream I know it has been many minutes of ignoring me. Then a subtle glance at me and I see her eyes, unusually, and she goes back to her activity, but with a certain fear or hurried action to her body language. How the dreams can be so detailed bothers me in that they trick me with their illusions of reality like they are preparing to insert these dreams into whatever part of my brain stores memories. I know the sky is pale white and the ground is brown and full of clay, furrowed and soft. I also know that we are all surrounded closely by cornfields except on one corner where I can see a road, telephone wires and maybe a cheap American car, burgundy, which fails to move.
The dreams end as they begin, without my control or effort, like feeling a cool breeze off of the lake or the heat flowing from an open oven.