Dreamer, you are watching movies in your mind. You don’t even need to close your eyes. Thoughts, memory associations, bits of soundtracks, ephemeral emotional states, ambivalent images of yourself that keep changing, fantasies of interpretation on perception — none of it has any substantial or enduring reality.
“Whatever”, you say to yourself, mildly amused at the invisible person you seem to be talking to. You think, “I’m no different than anyone else, aren’t I?”
Perhaps you commute to work. Upon arriving at your usual destination, you don’t recall much about the actual trip. There were cars, you were driving. Now it is a blur. What do you remember of last week, last month? You suddenly find yourself in the office kitchen. You are pouring yourself a cup of coffee. You look for the creamer, but nobody bothered to replace the empty one.
In the midst of your annoyance, you will not pause for even a moment and ask yourself, “Who am I?” Really, you don’t know who you are, although you have mastered the art of pretense. Pretty much. Maybe mostly. . Well, maybe not. “Whatever”, you mutter to that person with the cup of coffee in their hand, the one without any creamer.
The person who lay dreaming in your bed last night has evaporated. The dream is over. What was it anyway? You are standing smack dab in the midst of your enduring struggle, confidently clueless. You can say things that will get you by — your schooling provided you with a host of workable facades.
You don’t think about Jesus, but you are a good Christian. God bless you! Nevertheless, to determine what it is you truly want in this mirage of a life will require some serious down time, and who has time to be down? You go to your cubicle; it is just as you left it. It is always that way, like at church, like in your bedroom, or any of the usual places where you dream.
You turn on the computer and check your mail. Before long you are totally asleep again, but simultaneously awake. You are probably a little apprehensive, but you can’t put your finger on it. You never can, maybe you should take a tranquilizer? You are on the verge of slipping into another waking dream, so you make a phone call. Make a few. It’s good to reach out. You are not alone, until you hang up.
This must be a dream, because now you are in the company parking lot again. How often has this scenario played out? You go to your car, you unlock the door with your clicker, you get into the front seat and turn on the engine. As your engine warms up, you close your eyes.
Now you are on the highway. You grind your teeth unconsciously and speculate about what you will eat for dinner. You know that you will watch the same characters on the same television program say the same things over and over. In that way, you become clear about what you should think and what you should believe, what you should be fearful about, and what you should buy. Especially what you should buy!
After a moment, you realize that you are complete asleep but simultaneously awake. The traffic is creeping. It is always creeping. Perhaps the cars at the front of the parade are purposely driving slowly. Perhaps that is the problem. On the radio, there is an announcement. You are not sure if you heard it correctly. You must have been dreaming.
You turn up the volume on the car device. Everyone in their cars this evening is listening. The whole highway becomes one snaking parking lot. In the midst of the collective dream, there has been an announcement. It is brief, but to the point. Slowly it begins to dawn on you, nothing now will ever be the same again.