What does it really mean when somebody says he or she is living the dream? I’ve wondered that my entire life. Everybody seems to be in pursuit of a dream, looking for the man or woman of their dreams, working towards a dream life. All of which is kind of strange to me, but maybe that’s just because life would be very interesting indeed if MY dreams were to come true.
Are the dreams of other people really so very mundane that they can afford for them to come true? Is what the average person dreams about simply a life of luxury, wherein everybody likes them and everything goes their way? Because if so, I think they’re doing it wrong. Dreams aren’t meant to be fulfilled. They’re a way of escaping from the very things that make life unbearable, or at least boring.
My dreams are filled with fantastic landscapes and mythical aberrations, like sword-wielding gorgons, zombies with a conscience and flawed gods. Time travel features prominently in my dreams, as does flying. I fly a lot in my dreams. In my dreams, mirrors are doorways and shadows are deeper and far more complex than a lack of light might presume. If only one of those dreams came true, it would be a real game changer.
Maybe people just confuse dreams with wishes – ponderous aspirations more easily attached to falling stars. We can wish for better lives, wish for better things, wish we didn’t have a vain, self-obsessed oompa loompa running the show, but it doesn’t mean those wishes are going to come true, any more than dreams will. No, that sort of stuff we must take responsibility for, ourselves.
If we really want something bad enough, we’re going to have to work for it and leave dreams out of the picture. I think that’s what people mean when they say life sucks. It doesn’t really. Life is what we make of it, good or ill. Life is the thing that happens when we aren’t dreaming, or wishing on space debris burning up in our atmosphere. Life is what makes dreams desirable, but it’s also the only reality we’ve got.
That’s why I write. Not because I’m pursuing dreams, but because I recognize them for what they are: phantasms and what ifs, escapes from the mundane and bromidic. Transcribing them is a challenge for me, and how I make my living – making sense of the nonsensical and tying it back in with the pedestrian to create cautionary tales or universal truths. I realize, however, that that’s about as close to reality as they are ever going to get.
For me, life is complicated enough without dragging dreams into the mix. They’re better left behind my eyelids, or transformed into stylized fictions on the page, stage or screen. This is for your safety, as well as mine. The day my dreams come true will be the day a state of emergency is declared and scientists hang up their clipboards. Real Twilight Zone shit and who wants that?
Oh, who am I kidding? I would LOVE it if that actually happened. I don’t expect it to, but hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?