There was a dream I used to have quite often many years ago. It was about shadows and it always took place there where I was sleeping. It was very similar to hallucinations. The shadows were not just silhouettes, they were pretty much bodies, shaped and touchable, just black. A friend of mine used to call them “the little black men”, but they weren’t little at all and there were also women sometimes. I clearly remember the one that I dreamt when I was sleepin’ on a couch, the one that arrived together with two men and came very close to my face to slowly take the skin out of my cheeck while I couldn’t neither move nor scream. Even though their actions were different everytime, it always was like that: an unsurmountable sense of terror leading to a total paralysis of my body and no voice to scream in spite of the will to do it. Besides that one, I’ve never forgotten other two very similar one another: they were strong and heavy shadows kneeling on my chest and putting pressure on me, once on my belly and once on my breastbone, so much that I couldn’t breath. It always was so real that getting out of those dreams wasn’t immediate as it is when emotions become tangible in dreams. Waking up from that painful fear was like going inthrough parallel invisible walls inside the same room where I was and take all the anguish back with me in the reality of being awake.
It was a very long time since I didn’t have this kind of dreams.
Some days ago I had one of them once again, with no shadows this time though, just the sense of pressure on my body there where I was sleeping and the same tangible sensation of constriction and fear. Some force equal to the strength of some big hands was pressing my back as to keep me laying on my bed while, voiceless, I was trying to stand up. It took me all my strength to get up and, walking backwards, lift my arm and use my hand such as in a karate move to hit whatever was behind me. I suddenly felt free from any pressure but totally strengthless, so much that I fell on the floor and then leant on the bedside for a while, until I woke up and realised I actually never moved from where I was sleeping.
Having had this dream made me think not only of those shadows of a time that’s gone, not only of my past and present anguishes, but also about the picture I used to have next to my bed that time and that’s been up on my fridge for some years now, this picture up here that I took in Venice and printed in the camera obscura of a dear friend of mine that year, 2001 if I’m not wrong, but it could be 2002… which does not make much difference to me though… I simply remember that it was in between the summer I moved back from California and the spring I left Padova to move to New York City.
Lookin’ at the light of this smile is something to me…