Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mighty Small World

My dreams have become as stagnant as pond water. Before falling asleep, I try to will my subconscious into going on grand adventures, but I’m stuck in a vortex of dreaming about work and hanging around my apartment. The lull in my dream life might be the result of trying to renovate the muddled attic of my mind into a well-organized loft where junk is stored in labeled boxes. Lately I feel like I’ve outsourced creativity and spontaneity and replaced these fun qualities with routine and responsibility. Despite the monotony, I’m sometimes amused by the unfailing, absurd politeness I present in my dreams. Last night in a very boring dream, a man drilled a hole in my bedroom ceiling, letting a disc of plaster ceiling crash close to my bed, all so he could peer down at me lying in my bed and say, “There’s a hole in your ceiling.” My response was to wave idiotically up at him and call out, “Thanks for letting me know!” I actually did this and my own neighborly voice woke me up. The last time I woke myself up in a dream, I was entertaining all of Charles Dickens’ characters at a party and making everybody, including myself, laugh, but sadly, I haven’t had a fun dream like that in a while.

Not only does my dream world seem small at the moment, but the world itself seems very small. I live in Istanbul, yet I feel like I’ve barely strayed past my own backyard. I keep meeting people from Portland who know people I knew in Portland. Today I had lunch with a new Turkish friend, and even though she hasn’t ever been to Portland, our catalog of shared acquaintances was staggering. I’m still in shock. These sorts of coincidences are only supposed to happen in Portland where everybody knows everybody, but likes to pretend they don’t. Last summer, I had drinks with a girlfriend in Portland and it turned out we had both dated the same guy . . . . in Portland. Our minds were blown. But after today, that mutual affiliation with a Portland guy who likes to play the dating game seems like no coincidence at all, more like talking to the person sitting next to you on an airplane and finding out you’re both headed to the same city. Well I’ll be damned.

The school year is nearing its finish and I am excited about reviving my drawing projects and, hopefully, my dream life over the summer. I’m signed up to run a half marathon in Portland, the urban equivalent of the bar on Cheers, where everybody knows your name. The world is small, but I hope my mind expands to hold some more vivid and interesting dreams. 

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