Wake Up

Life is a dream. It’s a wonderful dream, where you’re capable of anything. Your dream starts and you work your way through wherever you are, your family and friends and growing up.

It’s full of emotion and learning.

You dream of a life, complex and different from all others, be it rich or impoverished, successful or wasted at the bottom of a bottle of poison.

But whatever you go through, whatever you love or hate or forget or ignore, it’s still a dream.

Sooner or later, you have to wake up.

The worst part of this dream is that it’s not lucid.

You can’t tell.

You struggle and invest and engage in something so fleeting and transient that someone outside must want to laugh. You make up stories of what life is like after waking. Gardens in the sky. Worlds of perfection. A new dream, but different time, body, world. Dreams within dreams that serve only to distract further, to kid yourself into thinking you’re not asleep.

Lucidity is terrifying if you’re invested. You can’t enjoy the dream for what it is. You wonder what the point of anything is.

The answer is fun.

Yes, even the bad parts.

I woke, briefly.

They say my heart stopped for forty three seconds. I woke and I saw the dream for what it really is. They said I’m lucky to be alive.

A miracle.

What luck is there to be trapped in a dream?

A man with a failing business, desperate to keep his house, his family, his life’s work.

He’s too invested.

A woman in love, so in love that she sees nothing bad, nothing at all, in fact, but her lover. She glows with obsession, need and desire.

She’s too invested.

An up and coming artist, wrapped in their work, given completely to their vision and muse.

They’re too invested.

They care about the dream too much. They would give anything to continue dreaming, for another day, another month, another forever.

I wake them.

I show them the truth.

They resist, but when they see, when they understand, they let go.

It’s against the law of dreamers to wake others. Sometimes, it’s against the law to wake yourself, or those who wish to be woken. But laws, like all else, are dreams.

Dreams cannot stop the truth. One of these days they’ll wake me, too, and I’ll be greeted by all those I freed. They’ll embrace me, as I embrace each one as I dispel their illusions. To mistake the dream for reality is understandable. I forgive them all, and tell them so.

We bond in that moment.

To wake someone is a personal experience. There are more efficient ways, practical ways, than a knife. But it allows you to hold them. It lets you console them. It’ll all be okay.

You’re free now.

I forgive you.

They struggle, most of the time. They fight the truth.

But every thrust explains with more clarity, inserting knowledge, draining blood.

I watch for the look in their eyes, as the panic fades. It is a look of perfect understanding. Of acceptance.

They thank me with their eyes, a final salute, before they leave the dream for good. In that moment they know why, and agree that had they known before, they would have done the same for me.

As I release them, I can feel them depart. I feel them leave.

Every time, part of me goes with them.

A student, his eyes on the future, his present forced into the past by the ambition that fuels him.

He’s too invested.

A mother, her children are her life, their desires are hers, their pain is hers, together they share all.

She’s too invested.

How invested are you?

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