Last night, I had a dream, and I awoke with a strange desire to put it down into words. It started with me in my maternal grandma’s house, but it wasn’t the flat that I know she lives in. It was a big white wooden house, with an open kitchen that overlooked green fields of tall grass and that led to an outdoor patio. It was like my family had been transported into the American countryside, but it felt comfortable and bright instead of strange and foreign. My grandmother was cooking congee. Ginger, and lean pork, and maybe some chicken.
Then all of a sudden, someone decided to wheel in a stranger from the patio and we then decided prop him up on the kitchen counter by the windows. He was tall but wasn’t heavy at all, or at least the weight felt comfortable and comforting. I rushed to get some pillows from the sofa and tried to place them behind him, reaching my arms around him so I could adjust the pillows. When i tried to pull my arms away, he winced and told me not to move, saying that it hurt him when I tried to move away. Everything moved in the glare of the afternoon sunlight, illuminating the scene with a dreamy Instagram filter (something like Walden?) and imparting a sense of ease. I didn’t want to hurt him, so I stayed there for a few minutes until I felt his weight shift and I could pull my arm away comfortably. It must have been for a few minutes, but I just stood there with my arms around him and listened to everything happening around me. I remember feeling the weight of his body on my hand and it feeling sore from the lack of circulation. But everything else felt mundane and easy, tinged with laughter and the comfort that comes from being with people that have seen you grow up. I grabbed a bowl of congee and plonked myself down on the sofa, laughing with my siblings while the TV muttered on in the background along with snippets of conversation that floated up from my grandma, aunt, and mum.
The dream then proceeded in a series of flashes. He was always there, propped up on the kitchen counter, just next to the doorway to the patio. Just like the house and the rest of my dream, he brought with him a sense of ease and of almost-laughter. He asked me to bring him for a walk, and we joked about how I would struggle with the wheelchair on the dirt paths. We walked and laughed about things that went unheard, with concerns over me struggling with the wheelchair long forgotten. The dream was so much like a film, with short scenes that must have been overlaid with some kind of music or with the sound of rustling leaves, grass, and the wind. He told me he liked me and the he asked me out for dinner. The rest of the scenes became inconsequential, but were held together by a thread of ease, comfort, and giggling about silly one-liners and inside jokes. Maybe it’s what I imagine peace and contentment to feel like. There were no extremes of emotion, just a constant procession that eliminated any sense of a void or of an emptiness.
It felt like I made up some of the details after I woke up, filling in little but important details like how I think he smelt like, or the weight of his hand in mine. It reminded me so much of this dream I had years ago - it must have been at least 4 or 5 years ago - where I dreamt that I was upset and someone with wings literally flew down and wrapped me in an embrace. What I remember most clearly from this dream was how the person smelt - clean and light and beautiful, and most importantly, comfortable and comforting.
Today is my sixth day in London. I’ve never been alone in a city before, or lived with strangers that I hear outside the room, talking, cooking, doing laundry. The spinning of the microwave and the ding!, the clatter of crockery on marble counter-tops and wooden tables.
The days are laced with a weird mix of anxiety and lackadaisicalness. It probably stems from not having anything concrete to do or work towards to, both in the short and long-run. It’s London, and there’s always something to see or do, but I guess this lack of excitement can ultimately be attributed to the fact that there’s no one to do these things with. Experiences such as going to a play, or sitting in a park, are so defined by the act of sharing it with someone. I guess it really is time for me to discover the value of being alone - to transform this loneliness into a form of freedom in isolation.
If loneliness is indeed the perpetual state of seeking, then I think it sums up my dream pretty well. On the one hand, it seems pretty shallow: the crystallisation of my desire to be wanted, to have someone enjoy being in my company. On the other hand, I think it also represents this doubt over I have over the idea of a “career”. Do I really need to go through the corporate grind to be able to enjoy days held together by threads of ease, laughter and contentment?
My dream sounds like it’s composed of images from Tumblr and Pinterest.