A Dreamless Sleep



“At Kaune’s” Color pencil on paper, 2018.

For years and years I used to write down my dreams. I had a diary where about half of the entries were long, vivid descriptions of whatever adventures I had experienced during the night. Writing the dreams down was a great way to start the day and reading them afterwards, I could clearly remember every detail.

I miss those days.

These days I sleep a dreamless sleep. I can’t remember the last time I had a dream. I’m sure I have them all the time, but my brain isn’t able to remember and process them. I know that stress has moved into my head, my heart and every part of my mind and body. I try not to let it, but I can’t help it. Dreams are pushed out and replaced with worry about all the usual; bills, rent, medications etc etc.

This morning I woke up and I remembered a picture that might have been a part of a dream that has disappeared from my memory;

I’m looking out the window of my car as I’m standing at a red light, a specific red light at the intersection of Cerillos and St. Francis here in Santa Fe. As I’m waiting for the light to change, I look over to my left. There’s a man standing on the median, holding a sign. At first I don’t pay attention, but there’s something about him that makes me look twice, and when I do, I realize that the man standing there is me and that other version of me is holding a sign that says:

“My wife is chronically ill

and though I have an iron will,

I can’t pay all my bills…”


How’s that for an image?

That’s how my brain works these days, all consumed by the constant struggle to make ends meet.

And then I wake up and go to work and I work hard five days a week but no matter how hard I work, the money just isn’t enough. No matter how hard I try to get my art “out there”, I can’t seem to get any feedback…

And so the days go by and as the month approaches it’s ending, my stress builds up, as I know I will not be able to pay my rent. Or my bills. Or my wife’s medications and supplements that she needs so badly to be able to function. And I wonder when we will get out of this darkness we are in?

I suppose I am still to find my right place in the world, a place where all my abilities can be used. I don’t know what they are, but I know I am more than this. I know I am more than a figure holding a sign at some intersection.

I’m just not sure what.


About David Fridlund

Born in Sweden 1974. Moved to Austin TX in 2009 w my wife.
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