saturday 19 may 02001 10:09am
chapter five: in which dahlia wonders what is real

there was a dream, and in the dream i was hurting. he had hurt me. i woke, hurting. looked at him lying sleeping beside me, knowing that it wasn't him that had hurt me, telling myself it wasn't real. got up and began my day but there were rocks in my chest i could not get rid of. telling myself it was just a dream. but i was there. i felt it, the hurt and things that happened. why is that not real simply because i was asleep?

i knew that he was not responsible. i was not angry at him. but the rocks were lingering so i woke him.

"baby, i had a bad dream."

"awwwww...." pulling his arms from under the covers toward me.

i tell him the story. he pets me, murmurs sweetness at me. falls back to sleep. so quiet. when he is asleep, he is real, the dream he is having is real and this place is fantasy. or maybe when he is dreaming, this place just isn't. it isn't the place that is. when he is asleep and i am looking at him, he looks real, is the stone at the center of the world and everything else just wind, i am sunlight flitting across the room. when he is asleep and i am looking at him, all the world is solid and real and he is something else. i could put my hand right through him. i don't.

that evening i said thank you, apologized for waking him. he had no idea what i was talking about.

was he awake or asleep when he comforted me?

if we experience something together, and only one of us knows about it afterward, is it less real? if one of us experiences us both somewhere but that one is asleep, is that less real?

when any one thing happens, how do i know whether i am asleep or awake, and therefore whether it is real? when i am awake, i think i know that i am awake. that i am real. that everything else is real. when i am asleep, i usually think that i am awake. that i am real. sometimes there is a sneaking suspicion, but then again, sometimes when i am awake i think i might be dreaming. and the pinch is not a reliable measure of reality.

when i am dreaming, am i real?

in my dreams, i have adventures. lovers come to me and things begin but almost never come to fruition because through the veil of sleep i recall my promises. in sleep i stop, try to remember if i have permission. even in sleep my heart is true.

the dream i had was earlier in the week. i mean, i remember it then, and i feel awake now, so i am going on the assumption that things are real. that is really the best one can do.

i never remember the poems i write in my sleep, though i remember writing them.

still don't know what the tree outside the window is called.