Lately I’ve been having dreams.

Vivid dreams: the kind where I wake up, roll over, and for the briefest of moments believe I have encountered something somehow real.

They’re not the happy sort. 

Not the sort of dreams that find me flying, soaring higher, before jumping and leaping, and dancing one by one, from pillowy cotton candy clouds, to Neverland. 

No, not that sort. 

They aren’t the kind of dreams you wake up feeling relieved from, either. They aren’t nightmares; not exactly. 

Instead, they are the kind of dreams I imagine Alice must have had after Wonderland; the kind of bizarre fever-dreams that find you wandering strange-yet familiar places, seeing real but distorted realities; the kind of dreams that you awake from, exhausted; the kind that make you wonder: Why did I have that dream? must it not mean something?

And maybe it does. Maybe it does. 

Most have centered around one person, around a time in my life that is no longer. I had a dream last night that I won the lottery, that my friends and I somehow managed to win eight million dollars each. I watched them rejoice. Watched them run to the bars and drink their troubles away, for once unafraid of this thing we call money, or for that matter a tab; I watched them buy apartments and houses; I watched them pay off their debt, free at last from those chains. I watched, already knowing all the while what I would do with mine.

I would give it away—I would give it to her.

“This,” thought I, “surely this will be enough, will make me enough.”

And I realized then that I wasn’t dreaming anymore. I realized then that there was a real realness to the dream, and it caused me to awaken. I awoke and stared at my phone and listened to the distant sounds of life beyond my open window, and I felt worse. I felt worse because I now know there are some things you can’t dream away, can never escape from even through sleep.

I am not enough—not in this waking world, nor in the dreaming one. 

I grow tired of sleep,

but I grow tired most from dreaming.

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