Dreaming is a sure sign that we are never truly aware how much of sanity is just some sort of mutual agreement not to question it. You know the thoughts you have while you are dreaming belong to you and yet because you’re asleep you feel no responsibility for them. Yet deep down inside you have to own them. You have to realize that who you are cooked that stuff up for you to smoke and there for a few moments at night you were banging away with some woman who wasn’t your wife and you sure as hell aren’t going to tell her when you rolled over and got things cranked up it was because your mind was out in adultery land dancing away.
So who are these strangers who inhabit our dreams and for that matter, who are these strangers who crank up the shows at night? There you are, at work, and let’s say it’s your job to figure out all the expenses your company has created during the month. You pull up invoices for this and that, and oh damn, that jerk in the motor pool forgot to submit the fuel consumption again, just use last month’s as an estimate and straighten him out later, and mother of dog, who in the hell approved the new laptop for Tommy? And you stop and realize that you haven’t seen a memo on this and Tommy is stupid enough to go cowboy on you and buy a laptop and try to get it approved later. There’s a process for red flagging things like this and you realize that this is going to get back to Tommy but damn, if you pass it on it will make you look like you approve of it, and damn, eight hundred dollars for a laptop? No, thanks, Tommy! So you keep going and you realize that there’s some expenses out there that are questionable, but not to the point of a laptop and there’s something going on because the secretary down in maintenance bought four staplers, no, wait, that’s the same invoice four times, damn echoing email, but you understand all of this as part of your reality at work. It is, in its own way, cohesive, except that Tommy is about to get his ass fired for losing a laptop, especially when some stripper down in Florida starts sending out nudes of herself on the company system.
You get called into the pre execution meeting about the laptop and you show everyone the invoice for the laptop and how you flagged it and everyone is sitting there all pissed off and you realize that had the chick just not sent those photos everything might have been okay, but damn, where did some loser like Tommy find a woman like that? And what in the hell was he doing down at Fort Walton Beach? But the execution committee wants facts to back up the firing and you have to print out the paperwork you’ve gotten for it.
That’s all bad enough, really, and you don’t want to be any closer to ground zero than you already are but Tommy confronts you about it, tells you that it’s your fault his purchase got flagged and you tell him it’s an automatic computer thing for anything over five hundred bucks, which he isn’t sure he buys into or not. Tommy clearly is on the way out anyway because he’s been bitten hard by the idea that a man who had enough cash to get the attention of a stripper for a weekend might be able to keep her. Before you can stop him he slips a thumb drive into your computer and there she is dancing on top of bed in a hotel room and you realize that if a man is going to take a bullet for a woman this isn’t the worst he could do.
Later that day, Tommy is gone and gone as in it is over for him, and maybe he’ll drive to Florida to try to find the woman but you get an idea. You crank up the presentation program for the company and include no one but Thomas A Galleon and hit the return button. There’s a pause and suddenly the screen opens up to a room with clothes everywhere and bottles and candles and suddenly there’s the woman, still half undressed and looking at the laptop screen and she’s looking at you as if she has no idea who you are, and she doesn’t.
“Hello?” she says and sits down, nude from the waist up, and plops the laptop in front of her.
“Hi!” you say and you had no idea it would work but it did and now you have nothing to say. The tattoo of a butterfly is right there in front of you and it is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen in your life.
“Who are you?” the woman asks and she shifts around and there’s a flash of ink and breasts and you realize now the rabbit hole Tommy fell down into has opened up in front of you and there is nothing you want more than the dive in head first and burst into flames on your way down.
“You know the guy that left his computer at the joint?” the woman asks, “I brought it home with me. Is he in trouble over this?”
“He got fired” you tell her and you step towards the rabbit hole, “what’s your name?”
She holds the computer up to her face now and is looking at you, examining what has appeared in her world. You can tell she’s getting bored but maybe there’s money to be made here. There a flash of metal as she licks her lips. “If you want it you can come and get it.” The woman tells you.
So there’s the story of a man with a stable job. You know that part could be true. We’re capable of having jobs like that. But you also realize it’s fiction, created by me, and you realize that fiction is created by people like me, and that it’s coherent to the point you see the plot forming. All of this came out of my mind, but your mind joined in. The characters were invented by me, but they were filled in by you.
That butterfly is all yours.
The question I have now, is how much responsibility do you own for the butterfly? I suggested it but did your mind fill it in? Did you see her room? Did you think about her name? Did you wonder what Tommy looked like?
How close to dreaming is what you and I have just been doing?