The dream had been real
The dream had been real or what had been real had been a dream.
It was all the same.
In this dream he had been fully himself without diffusion. It had been marked by normal linear time and had lasted 39 years. Some years had passed more quickly than others, but he hadn’t noticed. It was still fairly steady. In the dream, he had slept and in that sleep he had dreamt. But he hadn’t known that the dream was itself a dream, and that there was an infinite series of dreams from which he would perpetually awake.
Everything had appeared as real as reality would allow and he had been as conscious as you or I. He took the body he inhabited to be his. It was his. No one else had that sort of power over it. When he saw his reflection in a mirror, he saw the image to be him. He saw himself in his beaky nose and overfleshed cheeks, in his flat feet and loopy walk, in the weft of his hair which swirled and rushed forward from his bare crown as if the hair were drawn towards his nose by some magnetic force. He saw himself in the way his abdomen fell in at each side exhibiting a lack of strength, some frailty. He saw himself in the junction of his nose and lips, which to him conjured up his essence.
He had felt things with the certainty of touch. He had grasped things, physical things. He had moved them from one place to the other. He had moved himself. He had walked and he had run across heathland, free and unencumbered.
He had not felt much pain, only emotional pain. Physical pain seemed somehow secondary, not particularly serious or paralysing. It seemed to be subject to a delay.
He had encountered people; those living objects; those obstructions. They had done things, wronged him, but only moderately. He sidestepped them on the pavements but still they came like automatons. They forced him aside, overwhelming him. They wanted their thing and nothing else, and what they wanted didn’t involve him. Though they hadn’t made allowances they seemed to know he was there. To make himself known he’d had to speak and they had not been able to read his thoughts. Now and then something would happen which suggested they could. Someone had told him what he was thinking, or he came across the person he’d just had in his mind.