He was taken to a small private hospital. A famous brain surgeon came up from Boston and operated on him for three hours. Billy was unconscious for two days after that, and he dreamed millions of things, some of them true. The true things were time travel.
Billy is dreaming and not dreaming after the plane crash. Sometimes the things he dreams are dreams. Sometimes, they are true. These dreams--real and imagined--keep Billy alive.
I have dreams. Lots of them. Everyone does, unless you're clinically depressed or near death. My sister who died of brain lymphoma dreamed of getting better, going home. My father, who's currently in a hospital downstate, probably has the same dreams.
My dreams are small and large. I dream of finishing this post, of having ice cream after dinner. I also dream of some literary agent discovering this blog and offering me a book contract. I've dreamed of a full time job at the university. A house with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. A vacation to Hawaii or Costa Rica. Winning the Pulitzer Prize or Nobel Prize in Literature.
Dreams keep me moving. They push me out of bed in the morning. They make me go to work. They bring me home at night. It's not that I'm miserable in my life. I'm not Walter Mitty, constantly dreaming and imagining myself into fantasies of war or fame or fortune.
No, I equate dreams with hope, and hope is what helps people survive hurricanes and floods. Bad elections and bad presidents. Bad jobs and bad health. Hope is what all the major religions of the world are about. Hope is what motivates scientists to search for cures to cancer and diabetes and Alzheimer's.
Tonight, Saint Marty is hoping to work on a new poem.
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