The man who walks through my dreams is back.
Elizabeth Moon co-wrote the first and last of a trilogy, the first being Sassinak, the third being Generation Warriors. The second book was titled The Death of Sleep, with her co-author of the first and third co-writing the second with another writer. The trilogy followed the heroine Sassinak from her earliest years to becoming an admiral. The second book was about her grandmother who ended up sleeping many years in between adventures, and ended with her being around the same age as the elderly Sassinak, who called her her great great grand. I never knew the story behind why the split, but I am certain there was a conflict between Elizabeth and her co-writer in the first book, which was resolved by the time they got to the third book. Anyway, about the man who walks through my dreams. He plays a lot of different parts. Sometimes he is a relative, sometimes he represents someone I have known in my dark past – a man I married, a man I didn’t marry, a man who helped me out money-wise, a man who was an employer. He is tall, straight, blond, dark-haired, but the face is never quite clear to me. I think he might represent the dad I was never allowed to grow up with, my natural dad. The dad I blamed for all the bad until one bright day when I was in my 40s, who explained what had happened in my early life to cause him to be absent. It was a classic psychological occurrence, and it was all my mother’s doings.
Lately, I spend the bulk of my days sleeping. I will wake up, look at the clock, think I really need to get up, and then two hours later the same thing. Until the day is almost gone. When I get up, finally on those days, it is usually late afternoon, and I stay up almost all night, most of it reading after I turn the TV off once I have seen what has happened in this country during the day.
I am firmly committed to the idea that my generation, and maybe the first one behind me, needs to die off to allow America to become what it was intended to be from the beginning. I am a great liberal, a person who believes that every religion, every race, every choice of sexual loves, every gender, deserves to be equal to every other. I thought we were coming close to that in the 60s and 70s, but it seems to have been run over by bigots of all kinds who have just been lying in wait for someone to come along and allow them to ruin it
I am not ready to die – I can’t say that has always been my intent – but it certainly is now. But if my generation has to die off, I cannot think that would spare me. So here is my theory.
It isn’t going to happen yet, but my sleeping throughout a day, with the mysterious man who walks through my dreams, represents the death of sleep. It does not happen in the dark times of night in my life. I feel safer and more alive during the night time. But I cannot seem to face the day time very often. I get up when I have something I need to do, a place I should be. At my age, I don’t have that many obligations. I have done my bit for god and country and life. But I hang on hoping to see things change.
And then that man appears in my dreams, during the daytime hours when I am still asleep, not wanting to get up and face the day, and makes everything clearer to me. Probably better, but at least truth as seen through my subconscious’ mind.
This man does not scare me. He makes me feel safe.
So I can only think he is a benevolent sort of god, the half of the god/dess I believe in who represents all the men who have been in my life, because it was almost always a man who helped me when I most needed it, and is around again to let me know that things are not all bad, and it will get better. I just have to work through it all, but I am not alone.
Carol Stepp, Austin, TX