Last night I did have a terrible dream. Actually my terrible dreams are not even those with the nightmarish imagery, the ones which wake me up with a sudden skipped heartbeat, and the notion that there is something evil lurking in the room. The terrible dreams are not like that, but worse. They are the ones in which my brain, the centre of my nervous system spends its REM moments chewing over dry bones — there’s no content, no emotional content, just an endless landscape of the same with unvariated dry textures or a random jumble of dessicated “thoughts” which never manage to add up to something more nourishing.
Last night, I had one of those dreams, and I think that it was related to reading this blog . I spent my upper high school life in the very region depicted in this blog. As splendid at the landscape here might be, in all of its potential, how dreary were my days up in the Lesmurdie hills. How souless were they.
How numb I was, throughout the two years of my Australian school education. If any genuine life was being lived around me, then I didn’t notice it. There might have been music to those days, but I, for one, certainly could hear no beat. I spent my days in numbness, feeling very little of enticement to treat what was going on around me as in any way real.
This was hardly the fault of the Lesmurdians. Right from the start, life in Australia had a kind of phoniness for me. I couldn’t really believe its people took themselves so seriously. To my mind, the whole school system had everyone embroiled in a vapid bureaucratic stoogery. The people I met in school were just the whispiest ghosts of the types of people I had gone to school with. I couldn’t take them seriously, at all.
Last night I did dream of one girl in particular. Her face came peering right in front of mine, a mask of “ugly”. I knew who it was after this sudden and strange appearance woke me up, and my then half-conscious mind made the deduction — it was “C”.
“C” sat next to me in one or several classes in the school, and in terms of character and verve, was eminently forgettable. I’m not even sure that I have her name right in my head, although I probably do. Her whole being had been forgettable, until last night.
Suddenly she was in front of my eyes, reminding me of what it was like to feel empty, to be that lost and passively indifferent high school kid, (who didn’t know which way was “Up” because she had lost Africa, and with it, her context.)
I believe that “C” immediately went on to be a bank clerk after finishing high school. I never saw her after that, and had no desire to. I can’t imagine someone with so little vitality could still be alive — anything is possible!
These days my life is overfull with something that feels like a swirling movement and energy. Whereas in high school it was possible for me to imagine life as somehow prematurely “set”, to see us students as flies caught up in a spider web, already injected with death, destroyed before our lives had started, I now cannot imagine anything in life being quite so still as I what I’d seen.
That said, I have a funny attitude nowdays: I feel like the calm in the eye of a very complex storm. I feel pulsing all around, and consequently can’t imagine or perceive even the quietest thing as actually still. I’m more inclined to slip into a military mode, with regards to what in people is weird and seemingly still or apathetic — not quite believing what I see!! Or else half in faith, believing those weird apathetics just have to be resplendent with hiddenl energy.
So I am inclined to address such terrifying, empty ghost-masks these days as “sir” or “ma’am” (just in the same way as those who bust their ass in the military address mere citizens with no rank whatsoever).
In honour of their mysterious self-preserving power (which comes from being and doing nothing), I feel I owe these whispy ghost masks my obeisance.