When I was but a little boy, I used to love to dream and dream and thought that dreams were so much more important than dreary, dull, ugly and disappointing reality.
While teachers tried to pour my head full of rigid, frigid facts about the equator of the earth or the theorem of Pythagoras, my head would sprout a sail and go sailing off to that secret and majestic world where the moon wore large round rimmed spectacles and gaily laughing flocks of winged hippopotami flapped eastward over surly oceans of butterscotch.
But then one day, as I was sitting, slumped over my school desk like the Angel Of Grief in some dreary, deserted graveyard, waiting for it to be three o’clock and for the home-time bell to set me free, my eyes rolled loose from their sockets again and, bouncing and clattering like ping-pong balls over the edge of my school desk, fell into the fathomless, mist-shrouded well of dreams.
How long I lived in that land of dreams, I cannot say for sure because measurable time did not exist there but, for some time, I sat upon a golden coloured throne in the throne room of some medieval or fairy tale castle built from bricks of polished, sparkling gemstone and a hundred, thousand men, women and all kinds of animals knelt at my feet and called me their king.
“Hail, King of all dreamland! Now and forever, you shall live with us in this limitless land of the imagination”, they said in voices like trembling harp-strings, throbbing bassoons and a thousand other instruments.
And, at first, I believe that I was quite happy in that marvellous dream kingdom. If I imagined that I was thirsty then I could just imagine up a crystal bath-tub of cooling, multi-coloured milk shake to quench my imagined thirst and, if I imagined that I was hungry then I could just imagine that I was
chomping my way round the hole in a hexagonal donut or through an enormous tapestry woven from noodles to quell that imagined hunger.
It was never cold in dreamland although it often snowed; large, unmelting snowflakes that glittered like crystal as each one was touched by the fingers of a broadly smiling sun, and I was never tired in dreamland for how can a person be tired when they are fast asleep.
But then I noticed there was something odd growing or opening up on the periphery of my dream realm; a strange, dark and deep, heart-shaped chasm and, try as I might, my dreams could not seal
it up, plug it up, fold it up or tear its darkness in two.
“What are you?”, I asked; my voice becoming a flock of questing white doves that were quickly slurped up by the black chasms fathomless gullet.
“You are alone”, said the chasm, its echo like voice reverberating through my dream world like a catastrophic dream quake, shattering all the fragile stuff that my dream land was built of until the voice of the void started to clang like a home-time bell.
“I hate school”, said the girl next to me in class, sliding her chair under her table and putting on her jacket, ready for going home.
“So do I”, I agreed happily, only realizing then that I loved school and reality very much because, as I had discovered, dreamland is a lonely place to live while dull, dreary, ugly, disappointing reality is at least a thing that we all can share.