I was once a collector of dreams. I watched them play in front of my eyes, woke up and wrote them down in my dream journal which I kept beside my bed so they wouldn’t flee away from me. My precious little dreams. It was weird and wonderful at the same time to read about where my mind and soul went and what they saw while I slept and was scientifically half dead. Sometimes I remembered all the details, sometimes I lost them. But then, one day, my metaphorical dreams took over my mind and heart and everything that was left of me. I wanted to be so many things. I had to work on dreams I made in my head. So I started skipping my good night sleep. I still do that, sometimes, I don’t want to sleep when I’m creative or terribly worried. My dreams stopped coming to me. Or they stopped staying.
But last week, a dream rebelled. It tiptoed to me and it stayed. It’s still in there. It’s like a warm memory walking all around my mind. It refuses to leave. I’ve written it down. I want it to stay, forever. I wish I could film it, play it over and over again because it hurts. It hurts enough to be turned into art.
I saw that I had packed my tiny teal backpack and I was leaving for Lahore with my twin, Noor. I had borrowed money from her. We were taking a rickshaw from Thatta to Lahore. Since Lahore is a whole province away, it can only happen in my dream. I was leaving because I had to go find a mentor. Someone who’d teach me how to control my art. I felt like it was slipping out of my hands and my mind. I could feel it leaving me and it made me so scared. (Imagine: a girl without art and heart)
Still in rickshaw, it had gotten dark outside. We were in an old part of the city, probably somewhere in old Karachi, with huge old buildings around us. Some historically ruined flats wanting to collapse but couldn’t. We stopped at a shop, asking for directions. (Imagine: a lost rickshaw with two same faced girls who knew nothing)
We were at a university of some kind, looking for an art teacher, trying to hide ourselves because it felt too dangerous and wrong. It felt illegal, chasing an art teacher. It felt as if I was there to steal something v important. (Imagine: two same faced art thieves)
We sneaked into his classroom, looking for him. I still remember how his class looked like. Small grey sofas and small glass tables everywhere with red notepads on them. It shouldn’t look like this, I thought. It looked cold, it felt cold. Things made of glass look rude to me. Maybe I was expecting wood and sunshine.
We found him on his table. He looked like an old business man. He shouldn’t look like an old business man, I thought again. I probably begged him not to kick us out, two same faced art thieves, before listening to me. I told him I can’t go to n art school at the moment but I needed help. I wanted to know how to cope with art, my art. I needed to know how to control it & what to make out of it. I was crying, the wet-face-can’t-speak-anymore crying. I can still feel it in my bones. It was pathetically sad, I don’t want to cry in my dreams.
He wrote something on a paper and before he gave it to me, he was interrupted by a girl who suddenly appeared out of nowhere. She asked him about some supplies she was going to need for the class. I knew her. I know her in real life. I know she doesn’t like talking loudly and she hates her hair and she is hella shy and certainly doesn’t belong to an art class. But she didn’t know me. She doesn’t know me in real life because we never actually met. Another person stepped in the room. I knew him and he knew me. He was carrying a baby who wasn’t his own. He told my twin that he was trying to find ways to forgive himself. I wondered if he slept peacefully at nights.
We were coming out of the university and I told my twin that my college’s staff is jealous of this place. It was Karachi. This meant I never reached Lahore.
It ended. Without any warning. Or my paper slip from that art teacher.
I don’t know what it means. Or if it means anything at all. I don’t know my dreams and they certainly don’t want to know me. But this dream is what I think should happen in next chapter of my life. Lahore is one of the most glorious cities of Pakistan, famous for its culture and fashion and media industry oh and its art university too. I just want it to find a way to shape my art into something meaningful and handle it with care. I also want people who were once a part of my life to finally find peace.
Have you ever kept a dream journal? It’s a crazy creative thing to do! And I hope your dreams are treating you well.