Dreams Of The Sleepless

“Where do we go when we sleep?”

“We simply disappear.”

“And where do we go?”

“I’m not sure. In fact, I don’t think we actually go anywhere. We simply cease to be.”

“Would you go after me if I disappeared?”

She was lying on the blanket, staring at him with sleepy eyes. Her voice sounded far, as if she was already drifting in her sleep and hadn’t realised yet. Tired beams of sunlight came down through the thick foliage of their tree, drawing patterns and white shades on her oblivious shape.

He was sitting next to her, watching the clouds pass by through the narrow spaces between the branches and the leaves. From time to time, he turned to an old notebook and wrote something down, as if the cracks in the clouds held the answer to some unuttered question.

“I wouldn’t. We would disappear together.”

She sat up, suddenly woken up by the gravitas of his words. She looked deep into his eyes, trying to peer into the impenetrable mask that bore his gaze.

For the briefest of instants, the shadow of a smile danced on his lips.

“You lying bastard” she smiled back “you would probably start taking notes in that old notebook of yours while I vanish in my sleep.”

They remained silent for a while, reading each other’s eyes.

“Perhaps” he finally said.

He closed his notebook and lay next to her.

4.21 (a dream)

I saw Death today.

It had been too long since the last time it visited me in my sleep.

It was a strange dream and I was in a strange place with some friends whose faces I couldn’t recognise. In fact, I couldn’t recognise any of them. Not their voices nor their gestures, not their shapes nor their presence. But still, I knew they were my friends. I guess it’s the kind of relationship you establish with your dream companions, that pact of familiarity you make with the strangest parts of yourself, those ones you have always known but only get to meet in your dreams.

We were running away from something, I think. Or perhaps we were carrying something with us, some kind of unseen cargo that only exists to give the dreamer a feeling of purpose but then you never really get to see.

            I don’t know.

We had been cast adrift in a quiet sea. The sky was the colour of grey granite, and the ever present, ever still clouds were just as thick. Yet, from some place I can’t recall, pale beams of dying light filtered, giving the water, the boats, our faces a ghostly luminosity the like of which can only be found in dreams.

I don’t know how much time we had been sailing those stony waters. I don’t even know whether there had existed something, anything before the grey, hungry sea had decided to swallow the world.

I guess there had been. There must have been. I don’t know. We didn’t know. None of us knew.

Oddly enough, we didn’t talk to each other. There weren’t many chances though. We were travelling in three separate boats. I remember seeing my friends slowly drifting before me in their small ships, their expressions fixed, their gaze unfocused, as if they had decided that the external world was not worth experiencing and had locked themselves in themselves.

Was I travelling alone? I don’t know. I think I remember feeling some kind of presence in the boat, just within reach, but I can’t recall seeing him or her or it not even once. Perhaps I was alone. Perhaps my friends were just reflections of myself, each of them a crack in the mirror of my mind.

Perhaps I was the reflection.

            I don’t know.