What are dreams if not universal production?
The last thing I read before going to bed last night was the part of Plexus where Henry and his friend O’Mara were having a conversation, in which the latter was complaining about the time he spent in an orphanage. Henry is “insensitive” to this story (he’s heard it a thousand times), and tells O’Mara that he needs to get over it, to forget it, to move on. O’Mara is stuck: he can’t help blaming everything — his brother’s incarceration for a barroom fight that ended in murder, for example — on this childhood event. He works himself into a stupor, blaming his stepfather, and decides he’s going to ‘sleep it off’, make it go away…
Henry, on the other hand, doesn’t sleep off anything. His dreams are vivid and alive, and this one involves his recently rekindled interest in bicycles, after finally leaving the Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company — I believe this is first dream sequence I’ve read of his though he is frequently caught in reverie. It’s filled with motion and contact, tired cyclists massaging one another’s sore muscles, tending to a bicycle after a long ride etc.
I too am often a vivid dreamer (Henry and I are both Capricorns, something I never considered until reading his Big Sur…), and I wonder if his account jumpstarted my dreaming machine last night. For I had a long convoluted dream, involving something like an airbnb stay with a rich and odd middle-aged couple, perhaps on a houseboat: the man was treating me like a son, the woman was beautiful and when I was snooping around for a slinky negligee or something of hers, I found his stash of ice cold beer and helped myself to one…later he came in my room to talk about Aristotle and I hid the beer.
Shortly thereafter I must have left, for there were videos they sent me, inviting me back. In his it looked as if he were water-skiing slowly, without the skis and rope. He talked calmly of big ideas before falling into a vertical wall of water…She did the same, though much more delicately…I must have returned for the body of water served as the setting for a few daytime crossings with my brother and a female friend of his — I’m not sure. Next I must have returned to the couple and met their children (my peers) and their social circle, but we were temporarily on land. I was videotaping their everyday life, which felt so civilized, so inviting.
And then, the denouement, the slow unaccompanied floating/flight that marks about one dream of mine every couple of months. I was looking down on the couple’s houseboat at night (I almost always fly at night) and the group of my peers were glowing and swimming out into radiating patterns. I released myself from my floating and began falling to them, constantly reorienting my path so as not to fall on anyone. As I got closer, I removed my glasses (in waking life I just got new glasses about two months ago), folded them up and held them to my side as I plunged into the water. I came up and a young woman (the couple’s daughter?) asked, “can I have him?” I looked at her, in the moonlight, and felt calm. Then a caption came up telling me her name: Emilie Zuite-Ici.
And that was it.
I’ve often said I was I had an affect (meaning affection in the Spinozist sense)-recorder, but then I realize again that this is exactly part of what I am. That is actually why I’m writing this — so I can get back to that place…