There are times when I am at last able sleep, and I am beguiled by the impossible beauty of my dreams. Images heartbreaking in their splendor rush to me -my mother vibrant, licking my face; a home constructed of catnip; Mingus reaching for me in euphoria, his eyes warm and loving. My consciousness rises like so much smoke into the ether as dreams envelop me, and I sometimes feel at peace.
There are other times, however, when I am plagued by nightmares I cannot fully describe because the pain that resides within them exists outside of language. A clown hanging by his foot from a streetlight. Mingus bathed in blood. Poisoned catnip I cannot stop myself from ravenously consuming. My heartbeat a clock ticking the countdown to my death. Dogs dressed as people, handing out bowls of rancid blood and bones.
Such images as these haunt me. They invite the question: is it better to stay awake and avoid all possibility of these nightmares, or should I gamble, hoping to tumble into the sweetness of a happy dream? And then there is this: are both types of dreams another kind of loss? Both a release of the self, of control, of identity to the swirling chaos that is the subconscious?