Art by Takuro Kishibe: Kanagawa

Why I Believe in My Dreams

By Bailey Mezan

I have resolved to believe that this dream kept me sane.

I was ten when I realized that my parents were unhappy. It was their unabashed apathy that tipped me off – the icy demeanor which they regarded one another. It showed in the cold pats they performed robotically in the place of warm embraces, eye rolls that showed more aggression than affection, or arguments that evolved into silent family vacations. Soon my father began coming home late, we stopped having family dinners and I would spend more time in one of my many after-school activities.


Years later during my parent’s divorce, it struck me that the long weekends I spent at grandma and grandpa’s were meant to keep me away from the coldness of my own home. That all of the sports and activities were meant to keep me as engaged and distracted as possible. This manufactured over-stimulation was their version of a ten-year-old sedative, and it worked. Despite my parent’s own sorrows, I remember this as a happy time filled with sleepovers on school nights, grandma’s egg burritos and being the best player on my indoor soccer team.


I also know that during this time, I was having the same dream over and over. It occurred about once a week during the span of these 2 years. In the dream my mother, my father and myself were driving down a residential street lined with ceramic flower pots and budding yellow Marigolds. My father would stop our station wagon in the middle of the road and two men would approach our vehicle. The men were tall and lean with stark white hands. Their faces were concealed by face masks and they didn’t carry any weapons, but I knew they were dangerous. They hovered over my family’s car and peered in.


My mother and father stepped out of the car. I glanced up to see my mother’s weepy eyes and her terse mouth. I looked to my father to see the face of a man wracked with shame and defeat. My mother climbed into the driver’s seat and my father stood limp and shaken between the two masked men. He watched my mother’s every movement as she started the engine, as if tracing her silhouette into his memory. We slowly rolled forward and I took one last glance out of the back window to see my father’s despondent eyes a final time.


I have resolved to believe that this dream kept me sane. It facilitated the conversation between my sub conscious and my family life. This dream was the only interaction I had with the silent war going on, a war that was happening around me, but that I was estranged from. I was excluded from their battle, I had no allegiance to either side, and nothing was being asked of me. No one expected me to understand or react to my family’s downward spiral, though the simple fact remains, I needed to digest their impending divorce somehow.


At the age of nine, my dreams were my source of truth. I had an open and trusting relationship with my dreams and that relationship continues today. I take my dreams seriously and I am a patron of their untainted wisdoms. My waking, every-day conscious is too busy to be trusted. The murmurs of truth deciphered from my dreams mean more to me than my own logic. My day-to-day mind is too exhausted and overworked to be disquieted by every nuance. As a result much is lost by my conscious – it cannot be a reliable source for the substantial details of my life.


While I spent my adolescents in a scrupulous haze of overstimulation, my subconscious was an antidote for the understanding that my conscious was missing. Rather than admitting myself into the battle, making my innocence a victim of their unhappiness, my mind left it to my dreams to find the answers, to ease me into the reality of my new-life, my fractured family, into the truth that there may be casualties and some would be left behind.

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