|Chloe Grace Moretz|
Chloe Grace Moretz swaggers by me on the sidewalk. Her leather jacket and torn jeans make her look tough. I'm offended she doesn't say hi. I mean, what the F??? man, we're friends.
She catches the same bus I'm riding and sits across the aisle. I look at her and she still pretends she doesn't know me. Well, if she's going to be rude, I guess there's nothing I can do.
While the bus is in motion, Chloe Grace, as she likes to be called - notices me, leans out of her seat and hugs me across the aisle. I feel better.
I drift out of sleep. Wait. Chloe Grace Moretz is my friend? I've never met her. She's an actress in movies. I'm wide awake. Between dream and this world, I was confused. Which reality did I live in?
The night before, I finished reading I Am The Cheese by Robert Cormier - most famous for The Chocolate War - and found the story chilling. A young boy, Adam Farmer, takes a harrowing bike ride across Massachusetts to visit his hospitalized father. The chapters alternate with interviews by an anonymous man of the same boy desperately attempting to remember his past. Adam Farmer - not his real name - survived an assassination attempt while in a witness protection program. He was traumatized by the murder of his parents.The cross-state bike ride is a trip around hospital grounds and all the characters Adam Farmer met are residents of a psychiatric ward.
Real. Not real. The plasticity of memory. I suspect the book's theme created the confusion in my dream.
Like Adam, I was convinced my memories were accurate. Chloe Grace Moretz was my friend. Except, she wasn't.
While I am awake, I write about people who don't exist, but I treat as if they walk, talk, eat, love. I want the reader to believe they exist, even if the story plainly labeled fiction. We collaborate, collude, conspire to take a trip across a landscape of smells, sounds and sights, populated by fragments of parents, friends and strangers.
I'm not the only one. Thousands of others knowingly create alternate experiences on a regular basis. In cyber tech, it's called virtual reality.
In my sleep, it's called a dream.
I wonder, are dreams the original virtual reality technology? Organic. Portable. Not owned by a major trading partner. Not yet, anyway.
Now, you know who I'd really like to meet on the bus?