In my dream - the same dream I’ve had for years - there is a dog running next to me, as if we’re racing. I think we’re racing. I can’t tell how old I am in the dream but I feel young. Is that something you can feel? In the dream I feel like I’m ten years old but when I think about it afterward, I never see myself in this dream; I never look at my hands, never see myself reflected in the water. Nothing. But the dog and I are running. And it isn’t really a dog but the idea of a dog, something vague and a little off, but I’m confident this is a dog running along next to me. The kind of dog I always wanted when I was a kid but my parents couldn’t afford to get me. The kind of dog you see in commercials, playful and big enough you can roughhouse with. We’re running.
In the dream, it’s like one of those places where there is nothing but grassy fields and a small town off in the distance, but that isn’t where we’re running. We’re not running away from anywhere, either, or anyone. Sometimes I look up at the dream sky and it’s so blue it reminds me even while dreaming of the way my little brother would color with crayons, hard and with so much force the blue crayon would stick to the paper and leave a thick coat of wax and crayon bits all over.
Although in the dream I’m not scared nor excited, and the phantom-dog-thing next to me is friendly enough, whenever I wake up from this dream, I feel this uneasiness. As if something’s out of place, as if something’s become disjointed somehow. As if the world is an elbow or knee and it’s been bent in the opposite direction, broken, and healed, only…wrong. But the feeling passes and I never lingered too much on it, then.
Now that I’m older, and I have the dream, everything is the same as ever, but I wake up feeling a little sad. Maybe it’s a weird psychological thing about never having a dog, or feeling like a wanted to grow up so bad when I was kid, or about always wanting to be on the move. I’m not sure. But I wake up now from this dream I’ve had for years, and I wonder what it means now, what it meant then, the dream. I linger around this feeling a lot more than when I was younger.
Maybe I’m just getting older and I want to wake up running.
Maybe that’s all there is.
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