Dream of Sleeping
Owen Eric Wood (Canada)
video projection on sculpture (with audio), 2013
 

It starts in a baseball field,
Behind the first school I went to.
My brother is batting balls out for me and his son to catch.
In the dream, my nephew is 7 or 8 years old.
When I wake up, he will still be a baby.
I pick up a ball.
I lift my head
I see the field is scattered with baseballs.
The grass is full of them.
I am standing in one of the sand pits,
The ones made for kids to play in. There is a boy with me.
He is five, maybe.
I know he is my son.
We are in an apartment.
It is a place I know.
I will remember the layout when I wake up.
The boy tells me this is his dream, not mine.
I ask him, if this is true, where is he now?
In Britain, he say, with his parents.
Something will happen to them, it is understood.
The boy will find his way to me.
There are two other people in the room.
One is my partner.
He is a bit shorter than me and has dark hair.
I can’t see his face.
He is not someone I’ve met. Not yet.
You are there, too.
You still love me and you are sad.
You don’t say why, but I know.
Nothing in the apartment has colour.
A grayness covers everything.
Something has happened to change the way we live.
Not an economic depression; a systemic collapse.
I am in another apartment.
My mother lives here with two other women.
My father has died.
Another thing known and not spoken.
My mother says I encouraged them to sell their house, and I shouldn’t have.
When I go to speak, my mother says that this is her dream, not mine,
and I ask, where is she now?
She describes the house where we lived just after I was born.
If this is true, I say, if this is not my dream, tell me something I will remember.
She sings a jingle…
Da da da da da da da
Da da da da da da da
“…a little dab will do ya.”
…and I wake up.
There was more, but this is all I remember.
I tell my mother about the dream and she says the song was from a commercial from the ‘50s and ‘60s.
Brylcreem.
It is something that would have been in her head around the time she had this dream.