I once had a dream. Unlike MLK’s, it wasn’t historically noteworthy in the broader scheme of middle school elementary textbook lore.
In my dream, I heard a voice that made no sound and which I heard with my mind.
I once had this dream.
See, I lived alone.
I had recently moved out. I had a roommate, Julie, from Ecuador, who I wanted to fuck. But I was rapidly overcoming the juvenile urge because she was not my type, and not to mention, she wouldn’t give it up no matter how hard I tried.
She had one of those crooked and over-sized noses you see on the faces of women with faltering self-esteem. The kind who you know were beaten up in their raucous personal history by an ill-tempered, small-dicked Alpha guy who got tired of their shit and resorted to the Mike Tyson school of discipline. She loved partying and drinking and eating and partying and she was fond of telling me how she got into Hollywood nightclubs when she was 14 with a fake ID.
I lived with her. I was her roommate. Drama was her scene. Everything that befell that fucking house was dramatic and tragic and ultimately climaxed in a flurry of police activity.
Sleeping there was a lonely, nightmarish experience. Any moment one of her raucous Alpha boyfriends might drop in ready to either argue or fuck. After spending the first 23 years of my life enjoying the peace and serenity of my childhood home, this was difficult. But I needed to live on my own. Needed to.
So each night, I would turn out the light, cover my head, and sleep fitfully.
And one night, I had a dream.
How do I explain…
You see, dreams are so uncanny, aren’t they?
The surreal tragedy of a dream is distasteful for it can never be reclaimed. Attempting to recount a dream is as difficult the day after as it is 25 years later.
I was asleep in a deep, black void.
The dream took place…at the boundaries of my sleep.
In the darkness and vacuousness of that landscape our consciousness retires to at night.
A big black egg and I was the yolk.
Immersed, floating in darkness.
I saw nothing.
And felt nothing other than the clammy coldness of the air as it cuddled me.
While darkness surrounded…
In this sea of blackness, a light, flaring, fuzzy, blurry, but piercing, like a spotlight viewed through the shimmering embers of a tearful recollection.
The light was bright but not in a way it illuminated. Like a spotlight, but with the diffused nature of an unfocused beam. The light rested lazily but angrily and sternly in the darkness, a subdued glare which greeted and watched me.
The light spoke.
With a silent voice.
With a muted voice.
Words, warmth, issued from its source.
Afterward, when awake, I thought of those near-death experiences people talk about in which they see a whilte light which fills them with warmth and love and urges them to enter…?
That was nearly my sensation.
This is what this white light asked me…except, it did not ask me to follow.
The white light. The bright light. Call it anything.
It was a light and in the eternally black void, it was bright.
And warm. And life. It suffused me with a generosity of spirit and tenderness of love whose vividness could only be possible within the confines of such a solitary dream.
The light was radiant with bottomless warmth, but it did not draw me in or ask me to follow. The light simply existed and accompanied. Visited upon this dream out of duty to intimacy. And it talked to me in that voiceless voice. I was entranced by its humanity, its warmth… And everything seemed hollow and to reverberate like a loose tin can. And I knew, the light…was my mother. I knew in that voiceless wisdom.
And then it spoke my name. In a voice I could hear with my suddenly present ears.
And I awoke. Not quite spooked, but jolted, disordered. Fazed.
I thought of the dream all day.
At work. On the way home.
I ate dinner at my parents often.
Even though Julie cooked occasionally, I still enjoyed a parental home-cooked meal once in a while. I’d been groomed on dinner conversations throughout my childhood and I couldn’t get enough of them now.
I visited my parents that night. We ate dinner and talked about the usual stuff, work, life, etc etc etc.
It wasn’t until after dinner, as I readied to leave, and we were standing in the living room, that our conversation evoked a memory in my mom. She suddenly told us of a dream she had the previous night. The previous night.
She told us that she was asleep, or so she thought. Laying in the dark, in the bedroom, next to my father, she heard my voice. As clear as night. Shocked, she exclaimed, “David?” into the bedroom’s darkness. And woke up. It struck her as an odd dream but only now, later in the evening, had she remembered it. I asked her if she remembered the time, not that it mattered, because I didn’t remember what time my dream had occurred. She said it was in the “middle of the night.”
I don’t recall ever feeling a chill run the length of my spine as it did that moment.