On Being a Dreamer

On Being a Dreamer

Every morning I wake up, and I think, “What can I do that is impossible today? What can I do that will crush my spirit in ten thousand ways? How can I disappoint myself and others today?”

Sometimes I do a really excellent job ruining my day. On my best days, I get it out of the way in a hurry: typically all it takes is for me to open up my twitter client or Facebook page and oh boy how quickly I lose faith in humanity and my ability to mold it exactly so. So many mornings! So many frowns! I’ve taken care of this problem to some extent by “not caring” or “pretending to be apathetic,” but mostly I am still just very disappointed. Shame on you, humanity, a thing that I am a part of. It’s not your fault, really. I’m unrealistic and petty. I expect a lot from you, yet haven’t given much back. I’ll try harder in the future, maybe.

Even though I’m mostly disappointed all the time, my attitude is still decent, I think. I mean, yeah sometimes it’s very shitty, but if you were to meet me in person, I’d be very very pleasant, perhaps even showing off teeth in the commonly accepted practice of “smiling.” But that’s part of the dreamer’s code. It’s part The Secret, part blind optimism, and even though I’ve been disappointed a billion times, I think it’s impossible for me to stop smiling, impossible for me to stop expecting more from the future. I am that dumb. Or maybe it’s more a matter of how I feel when things go my way. For a moment I am powerful, like I’ve willed something to happen, and it happened because that’s how I wanted it. Sometimes I am magic. Now I’m blushing—my megalomania is showing.

There are some other good things about being a dreamer, but most of them exist only in the space of a caffeine high or sugar boom. That’s when I feel motivated and fantastic and READY TO BREAK DOWN SOME OPPRESSIVE WALLS, MAN! That’ when I’m like, Jesus, I really have a vision for how X should be and I think I know how to get X to be that way. Sometimes I begin working on making X just so, but then something unfortunate happens, like my car begins to smoke and fire begins jumping from its engine while I’m on my way to fix X, and I’m just like, “What the fuck is this? This is ain’t no dream. My car is on fire. Fuck X!” That’s when alcohol or coffee or a chat with a catty friend really helps. Sometimes I will just hug my cat. Cats fucking get it. Cats, at heart, are dreamers. They stare out the living room window thinking, what if? What if I was out there? There are birds and bugs and other cats. I could hump something. But the hours of staring out the window wear on them, and eventually they fall asleep, instead settling for just a sunbath rather than creating a new life for themselves amongst all that nature, amongst all those things they could be humping. And I guess they have an OK consolation prize: Fancy Feast, heavy petting of the non-sexual variety, the occasional tongue bath from a friend. But it’s not the dream.

Jason Zabel