“I dream in floating cities that I’ll never visit and it bums the hell out of me.” Her breath fogged the window as she looked out at the rainy cityscape on the other side. “These dreams, they’re so vivid, so lifelike, I could swear they are memories of places I’ve been. Honestly they almost feel realer than the places I’ve actually been. I’ve been to Italy three times and I swear that I could describe any of the floating cities better than Rome or Milan or Venice.”
“That’s pretty far out, but I guess not too crazy. You just had the dreams recently. You haven’t been to Italy for what, couple years?”
“True, I guess, on a certain level.” She sighed. “It’s not like that though. Maybe Italy is formed in my mind as something whose appearance and reality I just had to accept prima facie. No way I could really manipulate it and make it my own, it’s Italy, it’s a real place, real people live there.”
“Not that you’d know from all the fucking tourists.”
“Agreed. Why the fuck I went there in August I’ll never know. But take this, we were on an airplane what two weeks ago, right?”
“Before we took off, while we were waiting in the terminal. I watched the plants depart, taxi and take off. Here’s the thing: before we went I had this dream. There was a giant silver space station orbiting what I presume to be Earth. It was a giant space station, I was sitting at a huge window watching the whole agglomeration silently orbit. One part of the station looked like a hollowed out cylinder with thick sides covered in long rectangular windows. At one point a spaceship emerged from inside, the cylinder must have been some sort of spaceport or something. I watched the ship guide from the window lit shade into brilliant sunlight. It was incredible to see it gather speed and head out into the silent void. I watched it depart, inspecting everything about it, its white hull, the red stripes that decorated the livery in a beautiful way.”
“That sounds like a fucking awesome dream.”
“It was. Incredible stuff. Here’s the kicker, I remember it better than sitting in the airport. I couldn’t tell you what the planes looked like other than ‘generic jet,’ and I know what the airline’s paint jobs look like, but I couldn’t tell you how many of each company was represented at the gates. That spaceship, though, I could describe in minute detail. It’s freeky. It’s freaky and weird that my dreams are more real than what should be reality.”
I was the one that sighed this time. “I mean, I guess it’s not too out there. It’s not everyday you watch the departure of a spaceship from a station in orbit. I would call that even more memorable, real or imagined. I wouldn’t think too much about it, but if they are half as realistic feeling as you say I’d enjoy it, it sounds like quite the fucking experience.”
“I guess,” she said, still facing the window. She blew on the cool glass forming a cloud of condensation. She took her pointer finger and drew a simple butterfly. It looked happy with eyes on the end of its antennae and a smile at the top of the thorax.
“Am I the butterfly dreaming the person or the person dreaming the butterfly?” she muttered to herself as the rain continued unabated.