spiraling towards contentless content
the stuff dreams are made of
Posted: 2003-10-07 21:02
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Author: Phil Gengler
Section: Journal

Earlier today, Jay recanted a strange dream of his which he had while taking a nap. As he explained the dream, it occurred to me that I haven't had any dreams that I can remember (or even remember having) in a long time. And as I was strolling down Washington St. not 15 minutes ago, it hit me that while I hadn't had any dreams in the sense of sensory hallucinations while sleeping, I also don't have any dreams. Not as in hallucinations, but dreams as in aspirations for life.

It's a very sobering experience to realize that you don't have the slightest idea what the future will bring, or even what you want the future to bring. I have goals, sure; graduating Stevens, getting a job. One of the most vague things one could bring to mind when contemplating the future. A job. Where? Doing what? I thought about it, and realized I didn't have an answer. Not because I told myself the future is uncertain, and it's best not to hope for something, because it rarely happens, but because I don't even have anything to hope for.

I've always considered myself a man without a past; it's something behind me that I rarely think about, because there's hardly anything worth remembering. This never bothered me, because what's happened has happened, and there's no way to change any of that; I always tried to focus on the now and the future. To realize that you have no plan for the future, no ideas of what you want to do, no hopes, no dreams, no aspirations can make you feel very empty and alone. I imagine that a more normal person would think back to their past, and see something there that would reassure them, remind them that the future can be bright, that good things can happen. I don't have that. I look back to my past and I see failure, I see pain; it's not the sort of thing that bodes well for the future.

So, without a past to turn to, the next logical thing is to look at the present. As having overcome the past, having turned things around. Sure, some things have changed, but plenty haven't. And some never will. The things that have changed are superficial at best, and it's not like the 'now' is any better for me than my past has been. The only things missing are the failures, and they've mostly been replaced by the fact that I never work on anything long enough to fail at it, I just give up instead.

No past, no present, no future. What a way to live.


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