to page 3 of conversation
I want to change the subject a bit, yet it seems close to memory and
imagination: I'm talking about dreaming. Are your dreams still as
clearly visual as before?
As always, I have dreams where I can't see very clearly, but more
in the way we all may dream of running from danger but being unable
to make much progress. Other times, at least as I recall, I see people
and scenes as I used to, with normal detail and color. And now, added
to the mix since my vision has been deteriorating, are dreams like
the recent one where I was driving along a familiar stretch of the
Hollywood Freeway, just like old times. The dashboard and the roadway
looked nearly as foggy, faded, and blurred as they would in reality.
I realized I had no driver's license, and that it would be a miracle
if I made it another quarter mile without crashing, and wondered how
on earth I'd gotten into the situation, and woke up with relief.
Yow, that sounds terrifying. When you've just had one of the other
kind of dreams, one that is visually clear and detailed, and suddenly
wake up with such vivid images right there in front of you, it must
be a strange experience.
Strange, you bet. The archetypal rude awakening. I don't experience
surprise, since the true state of my vision floods back into consciousness
instantaneously and undeniably. What I do feel is a poignant sense
of reinflicted loss, of repeated disillusionment. It's like that
Bruce Connor film loop of the JFK assassination, "Report." The President
and First Lady emerge from Air Force One, pose for the cameras at
the top of the roll-up stairway, smiling, waving. Then the open
Lincoln glides through Dealy Plaza, the President is hit, he slumps,
the Secret Service swarms, and then Jack and Jackie are in the plane's
doorway, smiling and waving. Over and over again. Worst is when
I dream of love. Clearly seeing eyes, and lips, then emerging from
the dream to lose not just the wish-fulfillment of romance but the
prospect of seeing its physical, actual face, ever again.