Rendered Fat Content


Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing, William Blake, c.1786
"I seem to have stepped into another life which fills in the holes in the one I used to know so well."

Never much for sleep, I find that I've been vividly dreaming during this Pandemic. I had grown infamous for never needing much more than four or five hours of sleep and never remembering my dreams, but this last week or two, I've been sleeping through my three am alarm and sometimes even struggling to rise. I find myself so imbedded within alternate universes that the sunrise sometimes beats me up, an almost unprecedented occurrence. I revel in these scenarios flickering behind my eyelids, feeling warmly welcomed and more at home there than within my actual home, which has grown lonely and boring through the shutdown. I experience no empty hours in my dreams, but thrive. Last night, I bought into owning a restaurant on New York City's Upper West Side, a soon to be jazz club featuring fine but not fussy dining and first-class combos. The dream left me feeling exhilarated in ways the Stay at Home Order never has.

Humans seem capable of nearly infinite compensation.
Deprive one sense and another will start working overtime. Go sleepless and wakefulness takes on dream-like dimensions. Lose sight in one eye and half of one's visual field does not disappear, but the whole panorama flattens and preserves scope. We seem like marvelously engineered copers, filling in for missing parts to the point where we need a professional to determine whether we have seriously malfunctioning pieces. Most of us do not tend to dwell on what's gone wrong, but carryon just as if. There are, of course, exceptions to this general rule. Conditions can drive even the most optimistic into mumbling manic depression. Pessimists sometimes exhibit symptoms of uncharacteristic exuberance when sucked into a scam by some skilled pitchman. Overall, though, we seem generally capable of balancing deficiencies and excesses to satisfy presenting conditions.

I consider my recent dreaming to satisfy this suggestion, a form of internal compensation for dimensions inhibited by my present situation. In my dreams, I travel widely. I move through that world unencumbered, essentially boundary-less. Colors seem especially vivid with shapes a little larger than life, as if Diego Rivera had painted the backdrop. I feel at home there in ways that I cannot seem to feel at home when enjoined to simply stay at home. Though the places I find myself visiting might be far away from anywhere I've ever actually lived, I exist at ease there, comfortable in strangely familiar surroundings. Those lives seem like superior instances of my own, not Just Visiting excursions, but Welcoming Home ones.

My dreams bleed over into the early hours of every day. I move through the place holding a sort of grace which I suppose my DreamState imparted. My same-olds seem somehow fresher, at least until noon, when another overlong afternoon looms before me. I might catch a nap then, as if to refresh my wearying perspective. A quick dip into another realm and this more familiar one seems more amenable to my presence. I find that I'm turning off the evening news before the weather report, long my destination at the end of every day, trading in that freshly updated information for another handful of those magical dreams. I seem especially blessed to have found this refuge. Lacking requisite variety in my daily life, I seem to have stepped into another life which fills in the holes in the one I used to know so well.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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