Thursday, June 2, 2016

Consume, the Journal of a Dreamwalker: Seventh July

As a child, I was sickly. A frail constitution, inherited from my father, plagued me into my early teens. I spent many weeks confined to my bed by racking coughs or fever or any number of other ailments. No doubt my parents worried about me a great deal.  

But early on I discovered the secret of dreaming, of stepping into worlds created by the unconscious mind and taking control. The fashion now is to refer to such a practice as lucid dreaming, but at the time I encountered the idea in a popular weird fiction magazine, it was merely known as Dreaming. The capital stood for the control one influenced over the imagined worlds. Dreaming was my escape from countless pokes and concoctions from doctors and faith healers. Indeed, I spent so much time in the lands of sleep that I constructed a city therein, a glimmering city of gold and precious jewels, inhabited by all the heroes and adventures of my waking reading. Conan the Barbarian resided there, and Tarzan, and Sherlock Holmes, all the idols of a sickly boy, alongside my sometime friends and playmates and, later, girls whom I admired from afar. 

At the center of this bejeweled city was my palace, an inverted, cathedral-like building of crystal. It sparkled and scintillated with an interior luminescence, lighting the city even at night, brighter than the moon but softer than the sun. There I ruled as a child-king, directing my subjects in their quests and great feats. 

I grew older. The city faded slowly as my body grew healthier. By the time I graduated college, I had forgotten the dreamcity almost entirely, though it periodically appeared in my subconscious dreams. Studies and romance and friendships had drowned out childhood fancy. By middle age, nothing remained of that shining city. Mundane toil, a wife and child, the demands of daily life, had erased the thing completely. Still, some nights I would wake, and for an instant remember a glimpse of that inverted palace, glowing in the night. 

Then one day, as I toiled at my desk, a brief glorious vision struck me. My city, as it was in the old days, shining as a diamond and bursting with light and laughter. All my middle-aged lassitude slipped away and I desired to dwell within that city once again. 

And now, I go in search of my past.