Am I in a dream?
As America's crisis worsens-- moral and financial bankruptcy-- is there any reason to dream about a revived American society, revived culture, revived land?
Hell yes! In crisis comes opportunity-- a chance to give this madhouse of a country a good knock to get it back on track.
HOW DID I STEP INTO THIS DREAM?
A journal sent to my old Philly address by one of the ULA's two major rivals finally caught up to me. I took it from my building mailbox after walking home through darkness, snow, and cold from my current job.
Night, strong northern wind assaulting the window of my room, I flipped through the journal's pages. How depressing! Nearly the entire volume written in word-clotted academia-speak. "N + 1," the thing's title. It stands for "Negativity Plus." Though the editors are the darlings of high literary society-- this culture's alleged best and brightest-- the picture they painted in their pages was one of unrelenting bleakness. No prospects, no hope-- according to them-- for any of us. They represented not the future of literature, but its end. The editors had retreated within a cocoon-like blockhouse surrounded by a moat; put up a white surrender flag and raised the drawbridge.
I was living in rather desperate circumstances in a desperate city, yet I didn't feel nearly as depressed as these fellows. In fact, the toughness I'd faced the last few months-- the last two years, really-- had strengthened my optimism. I was surviving everything thrown at me.
With the wind raging against the shaky window; with conflicting thoughts running through my head, I fell asleep.
I dropped into a happy, sunny day: an optimistic America kind of sunny. We as a nation were starting over at the beginning; given a fresh opportunity.
I saw to the side four young women; four colorfully dressed nerdy quirky girls with glasses. (I may have already seen them on Detroit's streets.)
-A pale white girl with short black bangs.
-A black chick with jheri curls.
-A blonde, straight hair to shoulders.
-A kinky-haired redhead.
All were skinny and wore short skirts of stripes or polka dots or paisley; aqua and pink; yellow and black; orange and pale blue; purple and green. Their eyeglasses were of equally vibrant colors. A few young men joined them, wearing loud sportjackets, crazy ties, and porkpie hats, colors clashing every which way. Around this group expanded a cool bright glowing city, an eternally clean rushing blue river at the end of a plaza; as dream city's focal point: as life force. Birds, trees, calling voices, freshness-- no, the game wasn't over; not yet! It was beginning.
Since then I've been living inside the dream.