How strange, the mind. How it parses life out between chapters in two separate timelines. The living stories and the ones that occur in the grips of sleep. So odd! And then the bridge comes in the form of lucidity. Through a lucid dream, two storylines merge for a moment. And then memory becomes a fantastic thing.
Circumstances amongst the living unfold with a defined beginning and end. Logically, the awake mind will place events into a chronology that makes sense. Strip the mind of consciousness, however, and the ability to place beginnings and ends to situations is lost to the queer haze that permeates in dreams. Logic sinks deep into the pool of the being at rest. Its sister, symbolism, thus overtakes control and guides the mind through the dense queer fog. Meaning? I often wonder.
Here I am. Lucid in a place I’ve never seen before. I am not alone. No beginnings, no ends. No rhyme or reason either. Certainly, there exists some purpose that I cannot yet see? No, no. This is the work of electricity when, looked at close enough, is a random exchange of ions over membranes. What is significance beyond the grace in the chaos for which life is able to function? Micro to macro. A flood of potassium creates a visual, a meaning. Her face is clear. An exchange of ions over membranes and suddenly I am looking at an old and once beloved friend.
The mind addresses itself.
She looks at me with expectation. She knows as I do because she is me and we are we. A cavern hosts two bodies of one mind. As is us, so is this. This dream offers this painted landscape: a blue stone pocket with folds and creases that ripped its whole motif off of the human brain. Is that not so cliche? A heart to heart with your own mind in a dark blue cavern. An alley in the brain. In the moment I think little of the space. Instead I look at her, at my eyes on her face. The knowing that mirrors mine.
My self wears this face of an old friend. To the me now, she is a stranger. But that’s just the thing, isn’t it. Memory is not linear nor does it degrade. Like logic, like symbolism, memory floats in the pool of the mind. Parts of it surface on its own volition. Parts of it manifest as apparitions in dreams with many things to say. Looking at her, thinking about her, this me version of her, I feel warmth. Looking at her, thinking about her, I realize I miss her quite a lot. An ended chapter of life still reaches a hand out to touch the present. An exchange of ions.
“You’re me.” I say. Matter-of-fact.
“Yes.” She responds, folding her amorphous hands upon her amorphous lap. All is fluid but the shape of her eyes and the walls of the cavern behind her.
“I am talking to myself, then.” I say. Matter-of-fact.
“Well, yes.” She responds, smiling.
“What can you tell me that I don’t already know?”
“That’s a silly question, considering I know what you know.”
“What’s the point? Why appear at all? And as a person who seems to act with agency no less!”
“This is a dream. This is how dreams go. There’s not much in terms of explanation, you know?”
“Yes, I know.”
“I know you know.”
I pause. I look. Here I am having a dialogue with myself. The thought could make me laugh if I weren’t so hard-pressed over digging as deep as I could. This prime opportunity of being awake in this space reserved for my subconscious. Here I am, talking to a bit of me whose behavior is veiled and secret. I could discover something really profound. I could do it. I just need to ask the right question.
The winds beyond the cavern’s folds howl. I both feel and don’t feel the crisp breeze as it fetters in. Sensation is a riddle just as talking to dream-dwellers are. Finally, I speak up.
“Am I alright?” I ask. She knew already. She is me and I am her.
“Yeah.” She says. Knowing, knowing. “You’re alright.”
“I miss you.”
“I’m not her.”
“I know. But it’s nice to see her. Animated like this.”
“I know you know. You’re me.”
“Is this goodbye, then?”
“It’s always goodbye.” She says. Her face, my old friend’s face, wilts a little. It wilts as mine does when I consider the ways in which the world works. She is me. We are we. As is us, such is this. A universe contained within vast folds of tissue, communicating all at once in some chaotic order. One I can’t begin to understand. No matter how hard I wish to.
I am happy my mind holds onto things.
The dream ends. The dialogue ceases. I have learned nothing new. I get up and look at myself in the mirror. I see a face I’ve known for 27 years. Graying hair frames the same eyes returning my gaze. Blue and foggy with sleep, they crinkle back at me, blinking. I smile at this image of me. “Am I alright?” I ask.
“Yeah.” She says. “You’re alright.”