Artwork by Beth Meadows

The elusivity of sleep and dreams

Added on by B.
Almost every morning around 7am, my neighbor spends thirty seconds starting his car. Once it's started, he revs his engine for another 20 seconds or so.

Simultaneously, I lie in bed awake, fuming.

***

Most mornings in between 3am and 5am, I wake up and can't fall back asleep until about an hour before my alarm goes off or the revving of the engine starts outside my window, whichever comes first.

I eventually fall asleep, deeply, so when my alarm finally goes off, I often hit snooze for thirty minutes to an hour.

Putting my alarm across the room so that when it goes off, I have to get out of bed to turn it off, hasn't cured my snooze addiction. All it means is that I walk back and forth between my phone and bed for about thirty minutes, in five minute intervals.

It's completely masochistic, insane, bewildering.

***

One early morning while it was still dark, I woke up from a dream that I realized has been recurring, in theme, for a long time. The scenario changes, but the feeling is the same.

Basically, there is a problem to be solved or task to be completed- I have to find someone, gather something in boxes, prepare for an event, or take an exam. I work to accomplish the goal, but the end result is unreachable. In all my might and effort, I can't complete what I set out to do.

I see the person I'm trying to find, but they disappear. The things I put in boxes keep falling out. I gather what I need to for an event, but they keep escaping me. I go from room to room on my high school campus, unable to find where I'm supposed to take the exam.

The tension and frustration is palpable, as everything I want or need becomes elusive. I wake up, relieved it was a dream, and by the time I'm fully coherent, I forget the dream altogether.

***

Although reality grants me the ability to accomplish small tasks throughout the day, there are still the White Stags in my life, ever-elusive goals I can't fulfill.

I'll hunt them down with time.

***

I know one thing. The impending reaction to my neighbor and his revving engine is becoming less and less elusive.