Sweet Dreams – Written February 4, 2003

When I sleep, when I walk, when I sit, when I drive: I dream all the time. There are occurrences in my everyday life that could suggest that I am delusional on some level simply because I will live so much of my existence not paying attention to reality. The question most important to me is, “If a person having delusions of grandeur knows he is having them, is he still dreaming?”

Now, there are those that say that dreaming makes the mind weak, others say it strengthens it. I like to tell people that I dream when I can not write. My dreams are like my words, at times, as if I am writing a play in my head that no one will ever see, including myself. As soon as a dream is dreamed, it will never be dreamed that way again, nor will it ever occur that way in real life.

In the past, I have tried to explain, both to myself and others, why I am the way I am. Early in life, I developed my abilities of communication and sympathy into a keen skill of empathy. For me, understanding people is no problem. Usually, it takes me only a few hours of talking with someone to break them down into who they are, in the most basic of terms. From there, I can remake their personalities as I interact with them. For people I spend a lot of time with, I can easily dream about.

Lee, my best friend at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, has been my closest paisan since I was twelve. He and I know each other so well that we literally know what the other will do next. We have each other down so tight that I can literally hold a conversation with Lee without really communicating with him. This is not to say I am telepathic, just that I know who Lee is and can emulate him into a situation I find myself in and he can tell me his opinion of the situation. I find that this is both really cool and really weird.

For some reason, I can empathize with people on a level that most people simply can not. On top of this, I imagine people I know in real life being present in situations they are not in and then make up their personas to further my own existence. What really troubles me, however, is that I personify the advice of people as people. Instead of combining all the people I have met into one giant super-friend with perfect advice, I keep everyone separate. I attribute this to my instinct – if I find myself in a situation I wish I had help with, I think “I wish Lee was here,” and then it comes. Had I said another person, it would be another person. The more time I spend in my apartment, the more I notice I can predict almost all the actions and articulations of Ben, who I have lived with for six months.

The real dreams that oppress me are the dreams of desire, not of necessity. Girls, cars, careers, parties, houses, friends, vacations, love: everything I wish was occurring that is not. These dreams are the dreams that ensnare and hold men into delusions and desire, only to awaken and realize that the really real world still exists, and the dreams feel unattainable. I never know what to do about these dreams. One can not hold on to dreams because they will disappear and may take a part of you with them. Dreams are like bombs that are dropped on the psyche – sure, there are a few that inspire and benefit, but for the most part, my dreams are the biggest detriment to me furthering myself.

This essay was written after I received a message from a friend of mine saying how she was glad we had talked the day before after we had not seen each other in almost a month. She called me sweet, which is not something I am called often. But this girl is a different girl – just between myself and this ink, she is practically ideal for what I want right now in a girl. She’s beautiful, smart, funny, nice, and manages to have style, taste, and class, which is hard to do in the world I live in. I have dreamed about this girl before, but I try not to because she is the ex-girlfriend of a good friend of mine; not that I feel bad for dreaming, but I worry what may happen if my fantasy of desire spawns itself into a dream of necessity. In the end, it stays a dream. Most things in life just happen, dreams are really pretty worthless anyway, expect that they keep people striving and keep hope alive.

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