Lose the present connection, lose all the potential futures. Planned trips, milestone celebrations, even benign moments together just become damning thoughts a mind could depict with enough want and focus.
Dreams have a way taking the amalgamation of those conscious thoughts, hollowing them out, and scraping out core ideas you were too afraid to realize.
Most escapes from dreams bring relief: lids fly open, waking in the bed you trusted before departing, exhaling a sigh with the immediate comfort that your brain just created a wild world with no real lasting consequences.
But then there are the episodes that don't end. Waking doesn't pull you from the soul-dragging sensation because there is a keystone of truth that lives in both your metaphorized dreamworld fears and your physical, cortisol-drenched sweat.
The worst episodes have no adrenaline. Just a calm, deep, despondency. A numbing drudge from the neck to the core with the pain focussing around a slow beating heart. A realization that what is lost in the dream would never come to fruition in life.
The dream starts with me pulling back from giving my son his first and last embrace. I look into those big emeralds. A vibrant traffic light green: unreal to human nature but so plausible in this image. I want to believe his stare is adorably far away because infancy hasn't perfected his ability to rack focus, but I know it's because you are your father's son. You are happy, you know only simplicity.
You'll have no bit of me because I couldn't pause my endeavors, I couldn't quiet my mind, I couldn't settle for an unoriginal narrative. I couldn't smile through passive comments, I couldn't feel judged through every interaction of feverishly being myself, I couldn't convince myself that happiness maxed out at 22%.
As I balance on my haunches in front of the image of you I'm washed over in grief. You were the subconscious hope being created after subtle comments towards my stomach, pictures with nieces, and the outright claim that next steps were wanting to be made.
Waking up is realizing through the loss of one came the loss of another. The rest of the day spent in our collective reality moves with a sad haze, but a comfort to my ego: I always knew you'd have green eyes.
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This has been the first in a series of Sad Stories To Make Sense of My Mind. The Table of Contents will direct you to a list of descriptions to choose what heart string you'd like pulled next.