Thursday, November 3, 2011

Last night, I dreamt for an entire year.

I was only asleep for a few hours.

But in those few hours, I experienced an entire year of my potential future.

I remember every detail just as I would remember the details of one year of my actual life.

The dream began simply enough.

I had just started my first year of graduate school, doing research in materials science.

Not exactly what I wanted; but in the dream, I was happy with it.

I made friends.

I carefully built relationships.

I earned trust, and I trusted.

I fell in love.

And we were very happy together.

An old friend with whom I had lost touch died in a car accident.

I ate delicious new foods; drank fascinating new beverages.

I listened to beautiful new music.

Nothing was out of the ordinary.

Everything was as it should have been.

Everything was so real.

It was not until the end of the dream that things began to fall apart.

Until reality began to crumble.

For a time, not long before I awoke, I saw in watercolor.

The elaborate false reality that my mind had constructed slowly began to collapse in on itself, gradually making less and less sense; gradually growing more and more dangerous until I eventually awoke.

It took me almost twenty minutes to fully realize where I was.

To realize that I was no longer dreaming.

To realize that, for a time - however false - my life had been bearable.

To realize that I had once again passed out face down on my living room carpet without finishing the assignment that was due that morning.

To realize that this will not matter to the rest of the world.

That I will be expected to return to my normal life and function as usual.

I woke up this morning one year older that I was last night.

How can I just pretend like everything is the same?

How can I just pretend like nothing has happened?

How can I adequately convey this...this disorientation?

Perhaps I will write about it one day.

One day, perhaps.

For now, I am still trying to remember who I was.


  1. You should write phrases for existential greeting cards.

  2. This is really beautiful. I enjoyed reading it, Hayden! :)

  3. Oh man. I can relate to this one. Sometimes my dreams are so vivid that I swear they are real. And then I wake up utterly confused and end up trying to process the dream in the back of my head for the rest of the day while also trying to focus on the reality in front of me. The land of dreams is a strange thing.
    But anyway, wonderful writing once again.

  4. Jas - Perhaps I should look into it.

    Roached - Thank you. I am glad that you enjoyed it.

    Lauren - Dreams are certainly interesting, indeed. I typically have fairly violent nightmares most nights. This was a nice break from the norm, although I can't say that I enjoyed waking up from it. And thank you for the compliments. You're very kind.

  5. Beautiful post, my friend. Truly. I wish I could have such detailed dreams of the future - I'm sure the experience was very illuminating and showed you a lot about yourself. My suggestion? Write it down, as much as you can. Every detail. (Of course I am commenting this nearly 2 weeks after you posted so I don't know if that advice still applies - I know my dreams usually fade about 10 minutes after I wake up). At the very least, you recorded the details in this post and they show you the key to finding what will make you truly happy. It's a great step forward.