Thursday, October 30, 2008

All a Dream

You may not like listening to other people’s dreams, but I have to talk about it.
I dreamed that it was the middle of the night, and I was lying in bed dreaming. All at once five or six people came into my room. I knew they were Republicans. One of them was solid and chunky, and he had a plastic I.D. card pinned to his suit. He demanded an explanation: “Why are you not voting for John McCain!”
I should be telling my shrink about this, and I will, as soon as I can get in to see him. I have this kind of dream every so often. Usually it is someone demanding that I explain my religious beliefs—not a secular guy who thinks religious claims are false, but a fundamentalist from my home town in Alabama who thinks it wrong to read the Revised Standard Version. Last night’s dream was a variation on the theme.
I stammered out Reason Number One: “Sarah Palin!”
I was about to give another reason, but the man in the suit was already arguing with me about my first reason. I felt foolish. Well, how would you feel if you had to sit up in your own bed in the middle of the night and defend yourself to five or six fully dressed Republicans?
That is why I hate to dream. I am always having bad dreams. Dreams about politics and religion. Dreams about missing class for a whole semester. Dreams about public bathrooms with wet floors and all the places taken.
You’d think that at my admirable stage in life I was entitled to a few good dreams. Drawing a sheep and getting the lines right. Running tirelessly through fields of endless poppies. Being asked a question and getting the answer.
But no. I would wake and find it was all a dream. The sheep is crooked, my back is tired, and the answer escapes me.
However, I will keep on drawing crooked sheep and trees that look like broccoli. I will still walk everywhere I can. I will still give my own answers and not anybody else’s and be wrong and so what. I will still vote for whoever I want to. And I will get a bumper sticker for my car that says, “I am not afraid.”

1 comment:

Beverly Choate Dowdy said...

I have that dream of missing the entire semester and trying to explain it.

The whole Republicans thing isn't a dream to me. It's my real life.

Have you read Rick Bragg's book All Over But the Shouting?