Dream, a sequence of images, emotions, sensations, and ideas that appear involuntarily when one is asleep. But while we may have yet determined when they occur, we have yet to identify why they happen. What purpose could an imaginary world mixed with fictional and non-fictional characters, true and false characters possibly serve to our mind? I have a theory. Perhaps, they are there to serve as sanctuary. A safe-house from the nightmare known to us as the 'real world'; a dream is a pleasant lie locked away in our heads. This dream is used to properly fill the gaps in our 'real world' life, to hold onto until our old wounds heal. After all, we are nothing more than human, how can we possibly expect each other to be perfect? So we escape to the captivating warmth of our dreams. There, our dream reassures us that we indeed have value, causes us to momentarily forget the nightmare we live in, or just manage to give us that little piece of happiness that eluded us in the real world. Best part, it doesn't matter what you do in or to a dream, because when you wake up, it's done and over like it never existed. Yes, the concept of a dream finally makes sense to me; and so does being the 'dream guy'.
I wake to the scent of week old laundry and soiled milk, plaguing the entirety of my apartment building. I look around at the poor excuse for a room I call home. I rub my bare chest yawning, while using my free hand to search for my glasses. I feel around the bed, unsuccessfully for about five minutes.
"Check your nightstand dickweed." William says in my head impatiently.
I reach in the direction of my nightstand, where sure enough I could feel the frame of my glasses. I put them on and jump off of my sheet-less mattress and onto the rough carpet floor.
"I would have found them of my own accord soon enough you know." I say defiantly.
"Go put a shirt on us prick. No one wants to see your boney ass in sweats walking around."
I head towards my closet door, ignoring the peeling wallpaper. I open the closet door and attempt to turn on the swinging light bulb, only for it to flicker and switch off.
"You should fix that. And the walls could use a new coat of paint as well. Just saying."
Slowly I drag myself over to the stereo on my nightstand, and press the play button. The Real Folk Blues begins to play, and I pull a flashlight out of the nightstand.
"What kind of black person listens to Japanese rock?" William pesters me some more.
"Since when does your personality decide whether or not you're black? Besides, it would be more accurate to call it jazz or blues then rock."
I arrive back at the wide open closet door, flashlight shining, where I gaze upon three pairs of jeans, a light-blue chrome dress shirt, a royal blue and grey sweater-vest, dress shoes and two pairs of dress pants.
"What a collection."William snorts. "I bet the guys are just begging to switch it up with you."
"Go make yourself useful for once." I say, grabbing the sweater-vest and dress shirt.
"How do you suppose I do that?" William asks politely.
"Disappear." I say calmly as I throw the articles of clothing onto the bed.
I head over to a pile of dirty laundry. I pick up different undershirts, sniff for the ones that smell best, and then choosing the whitest one, before throwing it on. I head over to the kitchen. Dishes piled high in the sink while the scent of expired milk was merged with the floor tiles. I progress to the fridge on the far end of the kitchen, taking a hot pocket out of the freezer compartment. I open the package and throw the hot pocket into the microwave just to the right of the fridge.
"So healthy…" says a voice.
"Will you shut up!" I shout, before realizing that it there was someone else in the room.
I look to the entry way of the kitchen, where my floormate Aiden stands. I broke off my gaze and motion to apologize, but stop myself.
"Sumimasen Aiden-san." I said bowing in apology.
"No need to apologize. Is that The Real Folk Blues I hear?" Aiden says, sitting at the table.
"Hai." I replied.
"Ohhhh, you're better then I thought. Nihongo wakarimasu ka."
"Seems a lot better then 'so-so' sweetie." Aiden said motioning me to sit down with her.
"I guess it's a matter of perspective. What brings you here today?"
"Lili is back with her ex." She says quietly.
"So?" I say indifferently.
"So I thought you'd care a little more than that. Didn't she tell you just three days ago that she didn't want a boyfriend?" Aiden asks me.
"Didn't she tell me just three months ago that I was the sweetest, nicest guy alive? I have learned not to believe everything women I date tell me. It's all in code." I break eye contact.
"Nice guys come in last of course." William chuckles to himself.
"I can go beat her up for you if you'd like." Aiden says with a sly grin.
"No thanks," I laugh under my breath, "I honestly have no beef with her."
"Push-over."William says harshly.
I flinch in response to William, and Aiden knows something is up. She looks at me with concern.
"Telephone?" she asks.
"I hate speaking for him…" I say.
"It's okay I won't hold him against you. Just switch up your voice so I can tell the difference."
"He said pushover."
"Well you could not let her shove you around like this."
"I know I know, but that's easier said then done." I say.
"Not if you're like me." I said relaying William's message.
"If he's like you, he'll be another womanizer, the last thing women want."
"You guys have no clue what you want." I say, speaking for William again.
"Of course we do. In the end, all women are romantics; we want romance." Aiden says with her hands locked together.
"As long as it is with the right guy… like strong, handsome, etc…" I say, still speaking for William.
"High school girls don't know what they want; they are too immature, they haven't either seen or gone through enough hurt to realize what they want."
"Please," I say, "You act like girls grow out of it. They chase after the 'bad boys', only to get hurt and abused. Then slowly develop the notion that all men, or at least most, are the same. Then a good guy walks into their life. He does everything right; he tells her she's beautiful everyday, there when she needs a hand, goes the extra mile. Yet, she tells him that he is the sweetest, nicest, most fabulous guy ever and any girl would be lucky to have him. But what she really means is any other girl can have you but her…"
"Who was that speaking?" Aiden asks inquisitively.
"All of us." I say, confusing Aiden.
"Look Rey," Aiden says gently, "I know that this seems hopeless, but just like there are bad guys out there, there are bad girls. Both are small sample sizes of each pool… You are any girl's dream guy Rey."
"Yet none of them want me, because that's all I am to them, a dream."
"Rey… Lyle… I know that's you." Aiden says with a frown.
"…Rey is still asleep." I say, knowing big bro would be mad later.
"William can speak to you?" Aiden asks me.
"Sometimes, when I let him."
"Why do you let him?"
"Why does it matter if I do?
I walk over to the microwave and take out the hot pocket that was waiting for me. I leaned against the counter, dropping my façade to a personally more comfortable to me.
"You know Lyle… the world isn't black and white like you think it is."
"Of course not, it's a strange mixture of grey. Because of all the small black and white decisions made to create it… Where is she?"
"23 Crosswalks Blvd, Blue Building." Aiden says to me.
"What?" I say in shock.
"What is it?" Aiden inquires.
"By ex you mean…"
"Mr. Jeremy himself."
I burst down the stairway, dashing down the street, as Big Bro's influence begins to awaken to the world, and I have a new mask on in a matter of moments.