Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fantasy City


There's a city that recurs with some frequency in my dreams. It's much like Tim Burton's imagined visage of Gotham City, with many high rising and interlaced highways, winding in and out of each other going in every which direction. It's a fascinating place to me for several reasons, let alone the intricacy of the architecture. Frankly, it seems odd to me that I would ever have a locale that repopulates in a dream state, ever. That said, I've dreamed this city's landscape maybe 5 times, at most.

I've only ever seen it at night, and every time the perspective from which it is perceived is aloft 13 stories or so up on the highway, with enough tall buildings to look up toward whilst knowing there is substantial level below to which I pay no attention. I'm simply above, not quite atop the edifices towering to my flanks but enough to know I want to rise higher, to rise above them. The highway street lights are all a dull and vapid yellow, while every building bellows forth with a striking blue, letting me know I'm aware of the muck and mire of a pedestrian perspective despite seeing the brilliance and the difference of an echelon above my own.

Remembering this dream, this imagined city, takes me back to nights spent driving back home in the back of my parents' car, when we would visit Catholic Charities in the process of adopting my sister. I was maybe 12 or 13 at the time, and each venture involved a drive into Baltimore, a city which I did not know nor understand at the time. But I was always fascinated by the play of shadows on my legs and the back seat during the trip, usually listening to some ambient movie soundtrack on compact disc while dumbly being carried along. I understood nothing, not about what was going on, not about where I was. Absolutely nothing made any cohesive sort of sense, but I didn't care. I was content to watch the shadows crawling up my legs in the dark, although in hindsight it was more realistically light doing the crawling.

That fascination bred something in me, something long lasting and pervasive. I can hardly spend any trip in the car not keenly aware of how the shadows play against the interior. Even super subtleties like how the scratches in my glasses carry bloom and undefined flares of light in a variety of forms. I am aware of all these things, and they are somehow pertinent to me, to how I define my experience of life, yet I don't think I will ever be able to express them properly. They will never be subtleties embraced as pervasively influential experiences. And that makes me sad, to a degree, as the impact of such nonsensical minutae strikes me as something that could deliver a greater appreciation of the smallest of things to a great audience. But that audience is not me, it is not a body which has endured the same experiential transformations I have, and though that is not a bad thing, it precludes the presumption that it will ever appreciate such subtleties in at all the same way.

I desire that audience, though. That unicorn of a thing, a body of open eyes that might get what I'm trying to express in exactly the way I intend to express it. I suspect it's not a thing that ever genuinely exists, as we're all different people, shaped by different experiences and biased by different perceptions. But I will always hope for just one body to even silently get it. Someone who also happens to find the same fascination with how the shadows creep up their legs in the car in the dead of night. Someone who also dreams of that fantasy Urbana, the city of highways and unattainable goals. I'm hoping for my though twin.

Yet at the same time I hope he doesn't even exist.