YET ANOTHER INSTANCE OF THE POROUSNESS OF CERTAIN BORDERS (XXI)
AS IN THOSE OTHER DREAMS, I’m with somebody I know but don’t know how I know them, and this person suddenly points out to me that I’m blind. Or else it’s in the presence of this person that I suddenly realize I’m blind. What happens when I realize this is I get sad. It makes me incredibly sad that I’m blind. The person somehow knows how sad I am and warns me that crying will hurt my eyes somehow and make them even worse, but I can’t help it—I sit down and start crying really hard. I wake up crying, and crying so hard in bed that I can’t really see anything or make anything out or anything. This makes me cry even harder. My girlfriend is concerned and wakes up and asks what’s the matter and it’s a minute or more before I can even get it together enough to realize that I’m awake and not blind and that I’m crying for no reason and to tell my girlfriend about the dream and get her input on it. All day at work then I’m super conscious of my eyesight and my eyes and how good it is to be able to see colors and people’s faces and know just where I am, and of how fragile it all is, the human eye mechanism and the ability to see, how easily it could be lost, how I’m always seeing blind people with their canes and weird-looking faces and always thinking of them as just interesting to spend a couple of seconds looking at and never thinking they had anything to do with me or my eyes, and how it’s really just an incredibly lucky coincidence that I can see instead of being one of those blind people I see on the subway. And all day whenever this stuff strikes me I start tearing up again, getting ready to start crying, and only keeping myself from crying because of the cubicles’ low partitions and how everybody can see me and would be concerned, and the whole day after the dream is like this, and it’s tiring as hell, my girlfriend would say emotionally draining, and I sign out early and go home and I’m so sleepy I can barely keep my eyes open, and when I get home I go right in and crawl into bed at like 4:00 in the afternoon and more or less pass out.
- David Foster Wallace