At night when the deepest blue crosses the sky I lay asleep in my bed. I lay with my head dipped into the circular shape I’ve indented on my pillow as dreams drift through my night. I dream of things I need to do, of places I’ve been. I dream of lost babies and bills that worry me, of how I’ve wasted time in my life. I call these the lost dreams.
When I was a child, a scraped-knees girl, dreams ran through my head of how I wanted life to be, of magic and butterflies. No fairy-tale prince for me, no I was the one with the sword rescuing other princesses, saving the world, one fairy-tale at a time. I had dreams of strange tales that my imagination wrought, when the creatures of my daytime imaginings scaled over the walls and into my sleep-time dreams to drift around my head in a swirl of adventures. I loved these dreams, longed for them, when adventures stole me away and I travelled willingly with them. I was a child of dreams, a child of stories. I wrote them down in little notebooks, gave them names and looked for the nights when I could re-join in the adventures. Those dreams were my innocence.
As I grew I read horror stories, loved the vampire tales weaving through my head and when they crept into my dreams I was never scared. I never hid from the monsters, never ran as the lurched into my night time worlds. It seemed they appealed to the darkness inside me. The space I kept hidden in the corner. Where I would store the bad things, the sad memories and the hurts, the name-calling that would stab me with each syllable, it was where I would put the things I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone. I was a child of secrets. I was a child of dark and light and my dreams reflected both shades of colour.
Then there came the worry of adulthood, with the bills and the jobs and the dross of everyday life. How could my dreams not reflect the life I lived? But how I longed for the sweet dreams of my imagining, wanting to let the fantasy worlds of my childhood take away the fear of modern day life, remove the smudge of worries and the splotched darkness of pain.
But no, my dreams are lost dreams because instead of slipping away into dreams of wild imaginings and crazed adventures I have to suffer the tossed-turning dreams filled with images of the modern world.
How innocent those childhood dreams seem compared to these modern day fairy tales of the bill that can’t be paid, the job that worries me, the pain of the lost chances. I mourn for my lost dreams and my sleep remains filled with broken regrets of the dreams I can no longer have.