I have this dream from childhood that incessantly rewound and repeated until I turned fifteen. Some nights and afternoons, I wake up to my siblings’ worried frowns, their faces crowding, asking me what was wrong as I would be sweating and dazed, to this:
A couch, I am sitting down and it is facing an elevator to which I promptly walk in. Its doors close but stop short of a narrow slit. I am stuck inside. Figures of people composed of soft, muted-colored clay peer at me from the outside, their eyes big and seemingly puzzled, when at the back of my mind I know this to be taunting, eyes fraught with accusation – something about failure, something about not letting go. Sometimes, I am staring right back at them, my face only inches away. (This especially freaks me out because the figures crowd the slight opening with their clay faces, their eyes unblinking that we stare…and stare…and stare.) Always, I am stuck and there is nothing I can do.
Tell me that’s not strangely horrifying. Yet when somebody pointed out a similar dream, or said, “I dream of closing doors too small for their frames”, my perspective immediately changed, transformed. Without the quality of uniqueness, that only I dream of this in all the world, my own dream has been rendered powerless. It would never bother me again like it did before; I would only bookmark it to break the ice with a stranger, or tell it the easily spooked. That is not to say my dream now suddenly means nothing.
I’m saying that my dream has been upstaged. Demystified.
I think every other dream, fantastical or real-life adaptation, will be subject to this. I think, more ever so hopefully, every person I meet will be subject to this.
You see, I’m waiting for someone to mess up.
More accurately, I am waiting for someone to undergo this particular metamorphosis. I’m not actually wishing and damning this person to oblivion and all manners of hell. I won’t be doing anything! I’m just waiting until I note a flaw, able to harbor one small misgiving on my part, realize that this girl is really not all she’s cracked up to be . That there is more to her than what I’ve come to expect and not all of it has to be good. Shouldn’t things be this way, anyway? Not a lot of people know how much power they have over others. The ones who do know run the world.
It’s like high school all over again. Some people are just able to disturb you, confound you, and make you love them despite and/or for it. You are under their spell so much that you want to act and think the way you think they would want you to, because surely, their kind of cool is the best kind of cool, and well, you’re a twat. Surely when she snatches the words right out of your mouth just like you would hers, it means something. When she says what you were only wanting to say, when she picks up your cues in comedic timing, when you and her are a medley of jumbled ideas that sound wonderfully avant-garde and existential, it means you have lesbian tendencies – I mean – it must mean something .
Psychologists write about the importance of first impressions and how the subsequent actions only serve to reinforce what’s incurred the first time. I write: kindred spirits, magic.
And so I fall. But I’ve been in this route before. One familiar to even the best of us, I won’t even try to state the obvious. (All these paragraphs are stating the obvious and so is this parenthetical sentence. God.) I believe I won’t fall too hard. The first step to recovery is owning up to your addiction slash infatuation, etc, etc, and I am well on my way.
But if she did do something absolutely stupid, it would be devastating. I wouldn’t want her to thoroughly disappoint me. It’s hard to find people I can truly like these days.
I wonder if I have ever disappointed her. But then I was never short of special. I am exactingly perfect.