Lucy Dreams


“Dad, the news is on.”

“Isn’t it always?  I can’t watch that.”

“Why don’t you like the news?”

“I don’t hate the news I just know what it is.”

“I didn’t say you hated it.”

“Ok I hate it.”

“Why do you hate it.”

“Because someone I trust who worked in the news said being on the news had been a sick addiction for him and he felt bad about it.  Then I thought about it and realized how simple it was.”

“What did they say?”

“What we call news they call TBC or Time Between Commercials. It’s not made to inform, it’s made to keep you watching through the commercials.   They will do almost anything to keep us watching through a commercial or maintain an endowment.  The arguments aren’t real.”

“But what about bad stuff that gets reported?  What about all the killings?”

“What about it?”

“We need to know.”

“Why?”

“To be safe.”

“No.”

“No?”

“Sit down.”

He sat.

“This morning, I tried remembering what I’d dreamt last night.”

“Dad.”

“No, listen.  I wanted to write it down.”

“Why?”

“To find out who I am.”

“You’re dad.”

His boy could make him laugh.  “All I could remember was waking up and falling back asleep a bunch of times.  It wasn’t until I was sipping coffee this morning that I realized I hadn’t been fully waking up.  I’d been in between wake and sleep.  I’d been dreaming about dreaming.  I wonder if that’s what happens when we die.  Maybe we wake up from a dream.  I think there are levels to this thing.  I think dreams are real and so is this, even if it’s just another kind of dream.  And maybe that’s more important to know for some than others.”

“Like who?”

“Like lots of people—imagine you were in prison for something you didn’t do.”

“Are you afraid to die?”

“It’s natural to be afraid—like being hungry or thirsty.  Dreaming proves how little we know about life.  It’s basic and it happens every night whether you remember or not.  Some part of us is there all the time, or I wouldn’t remember the dreams would I?”

“So you’re afraid.”

“I’m afraid.”

“Then why is the news here if it’s so bad?  Why does it happen?”

“Think of society as a bed of roses.  A gardener waters the roses to make them grow.  He doesn’t want to wait for the rain.  The news is how we water society.  We want to grow the economy faster than it would on its own.  That’s human nature.  The news waters our attention and the attention turns to buying things that pass before our eyes.  I’m not saying it’s bad or good.  I’m saying don’t watch it.  There are better ways to help.  Being informed is way overrated.  It never fed anyone.  I saw hundreds of homeless people today.”

“Dad.”

“Sorry.”

“I see Lucy dream, sometimes.”

“Me too, he said.  She growls low and whimpers—I haven’t seen her laugh yet like I do.”

The boy smiled.

“But we’re not afraid for her when she does, are we.  We know she’ll wake up.  Maybe somebody sees us, too, you know—who doesn’t worry, even when we cry, because they know we’ll be waking up before too long.”

“And everything will be OK?”

“Sure, sure.”

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