I do not have dreams in which I perform exhilarating acts of athleticism. My brother-in-law, on the other hand, reports experiencing dynamic mountain descents on skis and bicycles whether he is conscious or not.
I tend to dream things like my entire family is a herd of elk.
But yesterday, a conversation with Husbot triggered a memory of a dream in which I could fly.
Because yesterday we were at the zoo. We’d made it past the giraffes, the zebras, and the peach-faced lovebirds to the very furthest corner, the home of the white rhino. (He is white like my car is blue–in name only, before the dust settled.) After marveling at the double horn that almost doubled the size of his already massive head, and at his whole unbelievably prehistorical self in general, we retreated to a bench to eat our picnic lunch beside a pen in which two furry sleeping balls balanced on a branch above a sign reading “ring-tailed lemurs.”
I asked Mbot what animal he would want to be if he were an animal. He wanted to be the rhino so he could step in the mud.
Gbot wanted, for reasons I have not yet ascertained, to be a warthog.
Then I asked Husbot.
“A peach-faced love-bird,” he replied.
He was joking, but he insisted he’d want to be a bird.
Why? I asked, to the obvious answer:
“So I could fly.”
And then I remembered my dream, the one in which I could fly.
It was the most remarkable feeling, flying. It was an exhilarating freedom, soaring on wings over rooftops. There were a few of us up there, although I can’t remember exactly who they were. It was so lovely and so…quiet.
It was quiet because as long as we were aloft, borne on our own wings, we could not speak.
We had to descend to perch on wires and fence posts in order to talk to one another. While we were flying, we were mute, isolated in our freedom.
I was glad to remember that dream. To recall not only the visceral thrill of soaring weightless through space, but the limitations that accompany achieving such freedom.
Then a herd of schoolchildren approached, trampling the calm and raising dust and hooting at the lemurs to awaken them, perhaps from dreams of flight.