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Monday, Jan. 17, 2005 - 2:14 a.m.

The clouds pass by outside the window like oxen, and he drifts off to sleep, an unconscious body hurtling through the jet-stream at 500mph.

In the dream, he sees the girl. She looks at him and then he sees her walk away. Then an unusual thing happens and he sees himself, though it does not feel strange at all. The boy in the dream is un-startled, and slowly raises a hand to his eye; he then brings the hand back down, and looks at his fingertips, almost surprised at its wetness. The boy in the dream is crying. There is no sobbing, noise or movement, except for the tears that inch precipitously down his cheek.

When he wakes, he is not crying. The dream-crying did not carry over to the conscious world, like how dream-laughing some times can. He is not sure if he is grateful for the dream of himself crying.

His tenacity, his tenacious rationality had not allowed him to cry about the girl. But he has tried to force himself to cry for some vague notion of catharsis, once as he sat at the edge of his bed, and another time as he took the lift alone to the twenty-ninth floor, though he did not succeed on either try. So perhaps the dream of crying was a compromise, executed in the no-man's land of the subconscious, away from the flatness of the earth.

He thinks back to the other dream he had a week ago at sea level, before she had told him no. In that dream, he was seated next to her on a park bench, looking for the words. He had a rehearsed speech but the words had abandoned him, leaving the two of them alone. He could not go further than frantic utterances of I...I......I..... Then she leaned over, said nothing, and kissed him.

He wonders how dreams are different at different altitudes, some further away from the reach of gravity, and thus lighter. Longitude, latitude. The coordinates of dream-crying, 40 000 feet over the South China Sea. Passengers on the next flight through these coordinates will ask for chicken or beef, they will fall asleep and maybe they will even have their dreams interrupted by the glimpse of a crying boy. But they will never know of the other boy, the one who could not cry, but who spent the rest of the flight examining his own vulnerability.


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