Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Real Time

Every now and then, I wonder if I am already dead, and if what I am thinking at the moment is my brain’s last attempt to communicate and understand before it finally expires. I might be stretched out on the ground, or in my bed, murdered, the victim of an accident or a heart attack, bleeding on the pavement, surrounded by strangers, loved ones, or friends — or as yet unnoticed and alone, the unfortunate task of the first person who finds me.

It’s funny, in a way: Here I am, dead, and yet think I am alive, and that I am writing about wondering if I am dead — just after, or perhaps even during, the event of my death.

One day after school when I was in the fourth grade, my mother was waiting in our dingy-brown 1961 Chevrolet Impala in front of the building to take me to my piano lesson. As luck would have it, I was running on the sidewalk, then I slipped, fell, and momentarily lost consciousness just a few feet from the car. While I was out, my mind kept working. I saw myself climb into the car next to my mother, then I saw her pull away and start down the road, and then I saw us driving through the country to the white two-story house where my piano teacher lived.

When I opened my eyes, I was completely surprised to find myself still at school, and to learn that something that had happened had not happened.

Well. Apparently I am still alive, for I have been sitting here for some time. Or have I? Years ago, in a matter of just a few seconds, my brain created an entire trip down a country road. It is also known that long, complicated dreams can take place within mere moments of so-called “real time.”

Maybe this is a dream. Or, maybe you are the one who is dreaming. It might even be that we are dreaming together, that we are living inside each other’s dreams, and that those dreams are being lived inside an even larger dream — one that is infinite in its complexity and cosmic unimportance.

Yes, yes. I know. I could go on like this all day. Or, maybe I already have. . . .

Songs and Letters
April 6, 2006


JFM said...

Was this truly written in 2006? Or did you just write this at the end of your daydream on June 5, 2018!
No matter! This was great reading! Or am I dreaming that you are writing this now!!!

William Michaelian said...

The best thing about your questions, Jan, is that they’re impossible to answer. My specialty! Because it gives me another chance to say, “I don’t know,” although I suspect the answer to just about everything is, and always has been, Yes.

*** said...

A mist that almost forms
before an eye that almost sees
what has almost been
as it almost

an ocean


almost without her veil

"A mist that almost"
Recently Banned Literature, June 6, 2014
— William Michaelian

William Michaelian said...

Ah, thanks — I love reading poems by strange unknowns. You sure can find them, though ~