"Why do we dream?" He asked. I remembered the way his hands caressed a Wedgwood teacup as if it was the lover from whom he need to feel the warmth in one cold morning in Cambridge. Back then, I was anything but a fool and he a mystery. I guessed this explained a slight bittersweet taste of Assam in my mouth and a faint smell of Marlboro that still lingered every time in the memory of him. So did his question that day, which I took too seriously with my youthful infatuation and now it refused to go easily.
"Because reality sucks," I answered. Like I said, I was merely an idiot, and he talked to me because I was pale with dark hair and had an air of romance and melancholy like Virginia Woolf's character. "We have no choice. And we can't help it."
His smile radiated like a sun, shining on the ice cap rather than the summer meadow. "Charming, but not quite. To me, it's much more simple," he said, and I was ready to believe everything he said despite my feeling that suggested nothing could be simpler than my own answer. He lighted a cigarette, which made a couple of old professors frown and a group of girls look longingly at him. "I don't care much about the reality. We dream because we are here — here, regardless of time and space, of the truth out there and the fantasy in our mind — and we need somewhere else."
I pondered upon his words, but ended up staring blankly into the smoke. I knew I was somehow in trance and let it be. He continued, "You know, someone said the only way to deal with dreams is to make them come true. Fancy, isn't it? But I 'd like to object. The beauty of dreams is that they remained untouchable. We don't want them to transform into reality, to take shape before us, because first — the most beautiful dreams can't, and second — we're not rational but insatiable being. Dream, my dear, is absolute in itself. The only way to deal with it is to go deeper."
I opened my mouth. No word came out, though. He looked at me fondly, because, to my knowledge, an idiot in love was always endearingly adorable. By the time the grandfather clock stopped chiming, he unceremoniously put the cigarette down and I found my voice again.
"You can do that when sleeping. To dream such a dream with the eyes open will lead us nowhere."
"But could you tell those dreams apart?" He tilted the cup in his hand before let it slipping from his fingers. Falling so slowly. Too slowly. "I'm not a dreamer; I'm a sleepwalker who builds his own dreams. That's why we're here. Don't be too certain until you try it, sweetheart."
A porcelain hit the floor. Since there was no carpet where it should have been, it shattered into pieces like the glacier collapsed into deep, dark sea.
There is something sweet and nostalgic that always burns our eyes and chest when talking about unattainable dreams. When time passes, I begin to understand. He never talked about dreams in terms of the sweetest ones or nightmares. Anything except beauty. Later I learn that the best and worse kinds of dreams never depend on places or situations. It is a person. And the fact that we cannot have them. He is not totally right. I never want somewhere else. I want someone. The fall never means to wake us up. I fall, and I go deeper like he said. The teacup breaks a thousand times just for me to notice some slight changes when it reaches the floor. He is here. He is not here. He teaches me how to stay awake in my dream; I do not know how to dream with my eyes closed anymore.
The truth is, one day you will know. Dreaming alone in your own dream, everyone is a fragment of your memory, every creation your imagination. A kiss used to be a kiss and would never be again. And yes, I realise — I can't have you even in my dream.