You’re going to fall asleep, and you know that there is a dream waiting for you. What it is about you cannot know until you’ve dreamt, but you may not remember your journey by the morrow.
This is the story of such a dreamer.
We will meet him when he lingers between the conscious thought and the drift of dreams, unaware of what is to come but knowing that he will dive into the dream. The dream is conceived and our dreamer is at the reins, treading through the current. He leaves us as he begins to wake, and we observe only when his eyes are closed and nothing beyond the moment he is awake.
He is sleeping but his dream has not begun.
Know him as East for now. Beneath a crop of raven hair are playful brown eyes. During mid-summer he is often seen about the neighborhood in an airplane print shirt and sandals. He does not know where he is going for he is still a child.
On the shelf
There is a shelf closet in the room where mother and father sleep; it is behind a white paper door framed by dark wood. The space on the shelf is rectangular, and when empty, fits East flat on his back. He could climb up to the shelf into the cool quiet slice, with the thin door drawn over his sleeping form. East could drift off for an afternoon, and not father, mother, nor his elder sister and brother would have realized he was there at all.
The neighbors popsicle
East knew a girl his age whose family bought her a popsicle a month during the hot summer. It was mostly water, one could tell, with sweetener and blue coloring. But to any child like East from humbler homes, who was without a popsicle nearly always: it was the only popsicle he would need. She wasn't unaware of her own treasure, this girl with her slow licks, savoring on the playground whilst East stared wide eyed as any child. He asked her for just a lick, the neighbor girl held it out to him, and without much more thought he bit off as much as would fit in his mouth.
She cried, and cried and East was sure to have spent the rest of that summer apologetically avoiding her path.
A day for parades and festivities was the tenth of October. Families would visit the temples, there would be dancers on the stage, firecrackers, and vendors of all sweets and treats, simmer curd, egg, and winter melon drinks would be on the streets.
To prepare for the event, father would make kites from newspaper. He knew how to slice bamboo into wiry strips with a keen knife, and coax it to bend slowly, he tied each wire with fishing thread and set with wax. He cut newspaper into the leaves of a butterfly wings as large as East was able to reach with both arms spread. The wings, tied with ribbons for streamers, are adhered to the bamboo frame with drops of red wax.
When it was complete, Father’s kite was a creature that would soar high from the ocean breeze. Elder brother and sister would argue over who could hold its leash.
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