*The engine rumbles beneath us as the plane is guided to the runway; I always thought that strange – a plane having to drive along the tarmac before it can set off. The fasten seat-belt light is on, the hostesses have taken their seats. Where are we going? somewhere warm I hope. The fact is I don’t know, I just wanted to escape. With one of those miniature whiskey bottles in hand, a book on my lap (Life: An Exploded Diagram – Mal Peet – one of my favorites), i’m ready for the pilot to whisk me away to a life of paradise.
My little brother to my left with all of his focus on the screen in front of him, my mother to my right with her head buried in a book. She loves books my mother, words are her drug. For a short stint of time she owned her own book shop, if she had it her way she will be buried with her all time favorite novels when she passes. I look behind and see my Grandfather, the man who I’ve looked up to since before I could walk – my father figure. Next to him, my beautiful Grandmother, with the gift of walking yet again bestowed upon her. Across the isle, my best friend – Georgia. Beautiful and happy as always, a shoulder to lean on a woman to laugh with. Once I thought I fell for her, and maybe I did, but she will always be one of my closest friends for as long as I will live. To her right, my girlfriend. A specimen, really, a goddess in my mind – even though our relationship has not been going on forever, I can truly say I love this woman.
As the plane takes off, nothing changes. Nobody looks unnerved, it’s as if they are oblivious to world around them, perfectly content with their lives. The fasten seat-belt sign turns off, “finally” I say allowed, greeted by no such acknowledgement. The pilots cabin opens swiftly and effortlessly, and there she is. There in her shirt and trousers, accompanied by her favorite watch and her pilots cap. My childhood sweetheart – Kathryn. It’s been so long since I have seen her, yet everything is the same. The tattoos on her arms, her beautiful brown eyes and petite body. She looks at me and smiles, the way she used to, when she loved me. Do I still love her? Of course I do, but it doesn’t mean I don’t love my girlfriend. The woman who shaped me into the man I am today – regardless of any faults and imperfections – is going to hold a place in my heart until I die. She walks down the aisle, she was once the woman I worshiped – she was once my messiah. She stops at my row, looks at me and smiles. “Whatever we went through, all those years we hurt each other, I just want you to know that I don’t regret anything, and I am happy” she says. Her unheard voice I’ve craved for what seems an eternity caress my soul in ways unknown. Yet I cannot speak. I cannot open my mouth and speak my peace. But I know she knows I love her, and the fact she’s happy gives me a reason to seek happiness within my own life.
The plane is sailing in the wilderness of altitude, away from the rest of civilization. The people I love are around me, I have made my peace. I am happy, and content in the knowledge that my life is fucking brilliant, because of the people around me.*
Yet some days, you wake up and you no longer live in the paradise of your dreams. You wake up and are greeted by a thick black cloud of anxiety and depression, readily awaiting your wakening to start pouring. What’s made you like this? Maybe you’ll never know. Are the same people still around you? Yes, but for some reason it doesn’t feel like they are Gods gift to you – they are just more people you need to hide your feelings from.
Maybe the only place we can be happy is within the comfort of our own dreams.
Maybe our dreams are trying to tell us something.