The only dream of a night that has now included just a single hour of sleep has terrified without any of the ghosts of my past intervening. Is it progress to move beyond repetitive re-livings of historical losses? This dream was pure fear, ancient, eternal human fear. A dream a man could have had four million years ago. Perhaps I need to start at the beginning to truly move forward.
Television offers cold comfort in this strange hour. Should Americans use only English? Superman as an adolescent. News from here. News from there. News in a language I probably should, but cannot, comprehend. Game shows, vampires, murders down under. I stare - clicking the remote – cycling without purpose.
When I was young and it would rain in the night I would drift to the attic spaces, the storm covering the sounds of my movements, and I would lie on a scratchy old blanket in a place so dark I could not see my own hands, letting the rhythms push me into sleep and dreams of travel, escape, ocean voyages, and treks across an empty North American wilderness. Usually I would travel alone. But sometimes I might be accompanied by my own visions of the saints we prayed to: St. Jerome offering me a ride on his Triumph motorcycle, St. Francis cooking in the ships galley, pouring hot coffee spiked with whisky. Once, at age 12, Mother Mary herself - providing ham and eggs in a colorless café on the Alberta prairie.
copyright 2006 by Ira Socol