We made it. Now we've no responsibility besides feeding ourselves, gathering firewood, swimming in the river. 100 miles from the nearest population center, we are deep in the wilderness on a friend's property. The big house stands on the edge of a man-made pond, fronted by grass and a gazebo; the enormous trampoline by the vegetable garden, rising into the wide green pasture. Mules and horses graze there. When I walk past, their eyes look at me with infinitely glass sadness. I turn a complete circle, head tilted back to catch the whole gestalt: a desert island of civilization surrounded by oceanic wild--the nearby mountain tops poking into the even-light. I can hardly believe we made it, nine or ten idealists now at home in an ideal world.
I think to myself, "If only this weren't a dream," and start walking back to the house where they're starting dinner.
When I come to the screen door I spontaneously walk past it, dissatisfied with the dream world as is. I hear laughter coming from the kitchen, jazz music on the stereo. Around to the back I stand at the edge of a wide river, watching the water flash and flow. I look deeper, through the surface, until vision is river. Until body is water and I awake in my bed. Turning over; morning slanting through the window.
I know what was missing now, and roll over again, my body seeking the familiar position. At first I imagine sitting on my front porch, hoping that she'll just walk up to me like she always does in waking life. But I'm still in bed and still alone. Surrendering to un-guided hypnogogia, I relax into the cloud kingdom--maybe I'll find the right size shoe--I've never been to Holland--trees falling upward into a giant birdbath--freezer section of a grocery store, sitting with my back against the cold glass. I open my eyes as a man with three young children asks me to watch them while he shops. I'm drowsy and agree as they cuddle up next to me. I put my arm around them thinking, how I am ever going to fall back asleep with these kids around. But they seem quiet and sleepy too so we all just doze off there--the hum of the freezers like a mother's lullaby.
We made it. Now it's midday and the wind is blowing through the trees like a great hot breath. Even the three kids are with me, happy to run and play on the trampoline. I'm back and I know what is missing from this wilderness paradise. Walking across the grass towards the gazebo, all my friends are sitting in the shade talking and laughing. They wave to me and I smile affectionately at all of them. They look so beautiful and genuinely happy to be here. I wonder to what extent their real life brains are registering this scene that I am seeing. The dream still feels a little tenuous, so I try some dream spinning and it solidifies. Then I notice that my hand feels a little numb, like I'm sleeping on it. Must be those kids pinching my bloodflow against the freezer door. I massage it a little and rubberbands manifest around my wrist and fingers. I pull them off and more appear but the numbness is subsiding. No matter--as I take a running start then swoop up into the air, flying high above the house and pasture I begin to circle around, catching distant views of the glacier and even the peak of Mount Shasta way off across the mountains.
Now looking down below to the gazebo I see my friends walking back towards the house, ostensibly to make lunch. I concentrate on the striped canopy of the now-empty gazebo, willing it to be more than it is. Suddenly from my height I catch sight of an ankle poking out from the shade underneath. I dive towards the ground and land in the pasture, already running. There in the shade, lounging sweetly in a chair, is She. The one for whom I have made all this effort at dreaming. The one for whom all the world's a dream, and she and I: the Dreamers. How do I express to you, dear Reader, the soul-satisfying sensation of sprinting through the green grasses, leaping over the muddy brook, rushing under the canopy and collapsing into the arms of Love herself? I can only say that it is like a world where your every thought manifests itself, where your every wish is fulfilled, and where time, distance and the laws of physics hold no sway. I wish I had a better memory of the following minutes. Once my goal was acheived I relaxed my concentrated hold on the dream and began to be drawn along with it. We roll playfully in the sunny grass, her eyes watching me--wet jewels. I want to shout and laugh to the echoing mountains! Sky blue! Forest green! Oh Robin Redbreast, red breast. Let me be here always, ear to your rising chest, red heart beating out the pulse that makes waves on the distant Pacific. Please, just this once: may I never wake up.
We play for long hours, trading kisses and musings, until even-light is falling on the mountain tops. And quite suddenly, she is gone. I was expecting it, I suppose, and walk slowly back to the house and into the kitchen where the jazz music is playing. My friend's mom is at the sink describing funeral arrangements both for the family dog and a local man. In the middle of the kitchen is a small, one meter-deep pool, into which I fall gently. I realize I am nude and that everyone else is too. I float in the warm water while the people converse. Their voices muddled and bubbly by the water in my ears. Floating serenely on my back, back into bed and morning slanting through the window.
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