- Author: M.B. Julien
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Composition 1, Part 1
THIS ANTHOLOGIC LIFE
Last night, I had a dream. I'm walking alongside a row of parked cars in broad daylight, peering through each car's driver seat window as I pass by. This goes on for a while, and each time I think I'm at the final car, there is another one. I start to think that this will never end. It reminds me of how you can draw a circle on a piece of paper, and then put a dot anywhere on the circle and as you attempt to move away from the dot by traveling along the circle, you are actually moving closer to the dot.
As much as you want to escape from the dot, you are going to end up going right back to it. You might think that you are moving on from some horrible part or event in your life, but really you might just be ticking the time away for when you have to relive it. I keep thinking I'm at the end of this long row of parked cars, but I'm probably still at the beginning. Or back at the beginning all over again.
As I pass by each car, I see that every driver's seat is empty, but of course they are empty considering they are parked. Most people probably don't sit inside a parked car unless they are waiting for something, or in my case, someone. Every driver's seat is empty until I finally get to the car that's at the end of the row, the last car before you reach the intersection.
This car is also parked, but running, as if it is ready to stop living such an idle life, but at the same time too reluctant to do so. There is a man in the driver's seat, peering through the windshield of his car, watching all of the cars ahead drive by. Watching them as they pass by under the green light. Watching these cars as they serve their purpose, as they function properly.
As he turns his head to look at me, the day turns into night, and the face I thought he would have is nonexistent. He tells me that we can fool some of the people all of the time, maybe even all of the people some of the time, but we can never fool all of the people all of the time. That we can never fool ourselves no matter how deep inside our mind we think we are.
Before I could ask him what he meant, he was gone, but his car was still there, running. It then started to rain, and a storm immediately followed. I looked up at the rain and lightning, and then back down at the car, and now the driver door was open, as if the car was asking me to the take the wheel. For some reason, I couldn't bring myself to sit in the driver's seat, and that's when I woke up.
After I wake up and think for a few seconds, I write down the dream in my composition notebook. I write down all of the dreams I can remember because I believe it's possible that the people we are in our dreams could be another us in another life spawned by the decisions we didn't make in this life. How different our life could have been and how different we could have been as a person if one little decision was altered.
In this life, I made the decision to go to college after high school for a couple of years, and I got what I needed to get to be successful. In a dream I had years ago, I was homeless. My assumption on why I was homeless was because in that life, I made the decision to not go to college; an assumption based on the misconception that a formal education is necessary to be successful.
So much of a life altered by one single decision. I started to think, even believe, that our dreams show us who we could have been, for better or for worse, as opposed to who we are now. As opposed to this life we have chosen to lead. A portal to possibilities that's just barely out of our reach. Every now and then I ask myself if college was worth it, even though I'd end up losing my sanity, or if I'd have been better off homeless, and maybe at peace.
I close the notebook and put it back on the shelf. A shelf that holds hundreds of notebooks, all containing my other lives. My dreams. My complex. Somewhere along the road of parked cars, along the road of my life, I became aware of the psychological impact writing down these dreams had on me. Had for me. Writing down these short stories where I believed I was the main character. That the story being told was the story of my life. Finding so much meaning in a life drowned in meaningless. This purposeless life. A life with no driver. A life that never passed by under the green light. I try to trick my mind, I try to fool myself. This is me, walking down this long road of parked cars. This is me looking inside all of these cars, looking for a driver. Looking for a sign of life, but the only life I can find are in my dreams. In these notebooks filled with words, living my life vicariously through this strange fiction. I look at these notebooks, and I curse this addiction. This anthologic life.
For so long I have cursed this life, but in the end I can only come to accept it because I believe we all suffer from the anthology complex. We all compile these short stories that turn into fantasies. We all suffer from this condition where we live the life of someone else, the story of someone else, where we see ourselves as ourselves, but under a different persona. Sometimes this persona is a big change, or a slight change. It doesn't just come in the form of dreams, but in the form of fictional work.
We watch these movies and television shows and sometimes we see ourselves. Even if we don't realize it. We read these books and magazines, and sometimes we see ourselves. It comes in the form of art. We listen to these songs, and sometimes we hear ourselves. Sometimes we hear the stories of ourselves. We see these paintings, these photos, and sometimes we see ourselves. It comes in the form of thought. Sometimes we are sitting at home, or at work, or at school, and we begin to think, daydream even, of another life.
Our mind comes up with these people that we represent and these actions that we perform. Unfortunately, sometimes we know the version of us from the other life better than we know our true selves, and sometimes we like that person better, too.
I stare at the shelf, and I try to remember the driver's face, but he was faceless. I try to remember the sound of his voice, but all I can hear is the sound of mine. The problem with trying to remember a dream is that it's like a faded memory sometimes, and if enough time passes by, say a few years, it gets harder and harder to distinguish a memory from a dream. Reality from fiction.
Sometimes it can drive you crazy, but having an organized shelf of notebooks that can differ reality from fiction helps. Another thing about dreams and memories is that they can have very similar properties. Usually in both our dreams and our memories, when we try to remember them, we see them in third person. In our dreams we aren't Jesus Christ, we are ourselves meeting Jesus Christ, and when we try to remember it, all we can see is ourselves meeting Jesus Christ.
I keep trying to remember his face, even though I know he has no face, and that's when I remembered that I had a dream in that same exact location a few months ago. I was in a helicopter, and the pilot was trying to land the helicopter on the same street I had been walking down in the dream I had last night.
The helicopter lands and there is a lifeless body on the sidewalk near the last car in the row of parked cars. The same last car I saw the driver in last night. I got out of the helicopter and kept trying to walk over to the dead body, but each time I got closer, it seemed like he went further away. It was as if the distance kept cutting itself in half, but I still could never reach him. Just barely out of my reach. After a long time of walking, I simply woke up. Sometimes dreams were weird like that; even though I had that dream in the past, the events in it happened after last night's dream.
That's what I believe anyway. That's what makes sense to me right now. And it's happened before. One time I had eight dreams where if I rearranged them in a chronological order that made logical sense, I could make a tale out of it. That's not to say the tale itself would make any sense. These eight dreams led me to believe that maybe individually, our dreams may seem random and irrelevant, but if we can remember these dreams, or write them down, and then put them in an order that made sense, we could see the many tales of our many lives.
THIEVES FROM NEW YORK
About a year ago, I had a dream. Dressed in a rich man's suit and tie, committing a poor man's crime. They put the money in a garbage bag that I supply because I threaten their existence. The funny thing is a third of them have probably never taken the time of day to ponder their existence. Sometimes I wonder if I've taken the time of day to ponder my own.
Is existence really that important? Is that life? Just merely existing. If you are in outer space, and you see a piece of rock in a stationary position, it will stay that way forever. If you see a piece of rock moving, it will continue moving at that same exact speed in that same exact direction forever.
This is true if no other forces are applied to the piece of rock; forces such as gravity, electromagnetism or friction. The piece of rock doesn't have a specific reason as to why it wants to stay stationary or why it wants to keep moving, it just does because it is. It's not waiting for something to come, it's not traveling because