• Rachel Lynn Clark

The Dream

What a weird dream I just had. I dreamed I went to a strange place far from everyone and everything I’ve ever known. Everyone was speaking a strange language I couldn’t understand. I know it was a dream because every time I tried to read something it was absolute gibberish, and nobody could say my name, much less spell it.  I had a job, I think - I remember standing in front of lots of kids, talking and chanting and singing, and everyone looking at me like an alien. Maybe I was a teacher... or maybe I led a cult. Even now, three weeks after I woke up, I can’t tell if it was a good or bad dream.

There was an old man who made lewd comments at me and my friends one night on the street, and another who handed me a microphone and asked me with a smile to sing "Hey Jude". There were children who whispered hateful things about me when they saw me coming, and children whose eyes lit up with joy. There were billowing smokestacks and water-stained buildings, and there were shrines and mountains and unspoiled natural beauty. There was delicious karaage and toriten, and then there was mayonnaise and corn pizza.

I made friends there. They made me laugh and smile, they held me when I cried, they drank and sang and carved pearls out of oysters with me. They gave me advice on life and listened patiently while I complained about work and boys and the world. And they were the best part of the dream.

One night I went to bed, and when I woke up I was in Texas. My dog was by my side, and my mom was in the kitchen making me coffee and migas. I went outside, and my truck was in the driveway. I went to the store, and no one stared at me like an animal in the zoo. And as reality set back in, the last year felt like one long dream.

I wonder if time will change how I remember it. I wonder if I’ll remember the endless rice paddies glittering in the sun like panes of glass with fondness instead of loneliness. Maybe I’ll look back on those nights I stayed up drinking and woke up hungover as a moment of learning, rather than poor management of my despair. I wonder if I’ll forget that dream entirely.

I hope not. For all the rain, there were lots of rainbows.

Gosh, what a weird, sad, funny, infuriating, amazing, unforgettable dream.

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