Reality, Memory, Blurred Lines


I have this incredibly vivid and tactile imagery in my mind of a time when I was flying. It starts very slow and simple… with walking. If I think hard enough about it, I can feel the shoes around my feet, and the thrumming persistent rhythm of the soles padding against pavement. I’m outdoors. The surroundings are sunshine, blue skies, tall glass buildings, open spaces, and smiling people; everything that I hate and that makes me uncomfortable.

I start to move faster, and as my strides widen, I’m bounding higher and higher away from the ground. With a jump I take to the air, and find I don’t need to touch down as often, or at all. I try and stay lower, willing myself closer to the earth, but the rhythmic connection of shoes to surface is gone. The simple act of walking, that I had never previously considered routine and reassuring, is no longer available for me to apply as a means to keep calm and centred.

The image changes. I’m gasping, and grasping out for anything in reach. I connect with trees. Buildings. But nothing slows me down, or causes descent. Moments pass and there’s no longer anything for me to connect to. The ground is fading as I ascend to unreasonable heights, only able to manipulate my direction by turning or twisting my body in angles that are difficult to maintain.

I close my eyes to avoid seeing the distance between me and the ground, and while I don’t remember opening them, I can picture the earth rushing towards me, and the thought is enough to speed up my heart rate and cause me to clench my jaw.

I know this is a dream, because logistically it cannot be anything else. Yet my brain reminds me of how it felt to fly through the air, connect with solid surfaces, and to slow to a sudden gravity-free stillness elevated above everything in view.

This is why I hate dreaming.