in the nightmare world

Alea iacta est.

"it should not have come to this," 
they say, as though great oracles: 
he settles in his damp hotel, 
and hears the sounds of distant shouts 
that seem to find him guilty still -- 
the sudden flash, the sweep of light -- 
and once again, the world is nil 
and he has no, and can't be 


In my dream, I’m traveling above the clouds, but on foot.

I realize it’s a strange juxtaposition, but, you know, dreams. At any rate, the pathway is rickety, and slippery, and even though none of it makes any sense, the general sense of terror seems real.

Is real.

I suppose, upon waking, that this is my mind’s way of symbolizing where I am in life; yet I find myself wishing fervently that my brain was a little less creative as regards symbolism, because it is a long way down.

But then, it usually is, isn’t it? From almost any place you are, there is still a long way down. Some of us deliberately explore those depths; these can be years lost to haze or sharp with the pains of going where you know the pains are.

The dream wasn’t content to be a one-night thing; it comes over, and over again, like episodes of “Bluey” when you live with an infant or toddler.

I will almost certainly have the same dream later tonight.

I don’t, though, I have a dream — or rather a memory — of a woman I saw in a hospital waiting room about five years ago. There was something about the phony, antiseptic surroundings and the shattering reality of her grief and fear that struck me forcefully at the time. “This is your, and everyone’s fate — this is where we all end up. But her grief is the only one in the world right now, and it’s right here, and there is nowhere for her to escape to.”

a loss so real 
that it was having that seems empty: 
a weight so pressing 
that there's no movement in any direction.

As I child, I dreamed of being Superman; being in the sky then was a matter of freedom, and power — the power to do good. I still love the character of Superman: the ultimate outsider, determined to give everything he has to helping others, and being decent.

The thing about being Superman, however, is that you never really get to be happy. It isn’t quite as bad as being Spider-Man (who is typically miserable), but it isn’t great, either. One of the reasons why there are people who identify with the villains rather than the heroes in superhero stories is that the villains appear to be having more fun.

I’m not a good villain, though; I’m more like a disappointing superhero. One who can walk in the clouds, but falls a lot.

So I dreamed I was back in Florida as a kid, walking around a nearby lake on an Autumn morning:

In my dream, even though I am maybe eight years old, I realize that both of my parents are dead, as they are now. My brother and sister have moved out, and I am to head back to our old house, where I now live alone.

Do I believe, or do I not? 
In what is good and true and right 
And that the day combats the night 
Or am I locked in webs of fate 
That keep me here: 
Too lost, 
Too late

I cannot fly, nor walk in clouds: I can try to help the grieving, and ease the pains of the sorrowful.

Maybe I can manage the responsibilities I’ve been given; maybe not. But, as my father was wont to say, those two phrases are actually the same thing — it just depends on which we choose to focus.

Memento vivere.

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