My Inception

This is not travel related, rather a true story I’d like to share.

it’s 4:22am.

I walk outside as I’m with my father, we’re just passing through on our travels via car. He drops me off to visit my maternal grandfather. He opens the door and next to me is beautiful girl appearing to be of Hispanic origin. I am exited to see my grandfather. He rushes out to greet her, his familiar sad but caring eyes outlined with some years of regret. His home echos that of a homeless man’s abode. I recognize the roof, bedroom, bathroom, and lacking kitchen and think he still has everything one needs to live. Suddenly I like this humble, lacking home. I look over to the girl of Hispanic origin, she is his granddaughter. I think she must be my cousin, and wonder if it means I have Hsipanic blood. I remember that my maternal grandfather and I are not blood related, and yet still I wonder why this beautiful girl who appears to have some Hispanic in her, looks so much like myself. And then I realize as the scenery changes perspective; I am her, and she is me. I walk into the house of my Grandfather, my other self walking ahead of me, yet I still see her perspective as if we are one person. We sit down and begin to chat with Grandfather, she is hungry, she asks to invite a friend. Grandfather says he will cook something. I remember the mash potatoes, the taste as real as anything, the butter perfectly trickling, slightly salty. The dish is surrounded by other cheap ingredient. Beans, a little fruit. I make conversation with the other me. Grandfather seems proud to have made, at least, some kind of meal. I am happy and proud to eat this meal. I look over to remember he doesn’t have a stove, so he cooked the potatoes and beans over fire and some odd kitchen utensil I do not recognize. Father arrives to pick me up to continue our journey, I get in the car. Suddenly I remember, grandfather died years ago. His voice echoing “i miss that one time I cooked such a simple meal for you. Not fancy like you like, I’m sure, but I was happy to have provided something”. I wake up in my bed, I can’t recall when Grandpa ever cooked for me. Perhaps a memory of an old dream penetrating this dream? Or perhaps simply a sign representing a greater meaning.

Finally awake, someone who is my boyfriend enters my room. Confused, he takes my hand and says “come! come outside!!” we open my bedroom window, and jump to the roof. Below are hundreds of people dancing, the smell of hot dogs grilling fill the air. I open my phone. It’s 4:22am. A bit early for a party? I asked them three times what this party is, as they explain their voices are muffled. They’re celebrating the return of someone or something thing. Their eyes gazed toward the sky. A boy tries to enter my home, seeking a skate board. Suspicious, I tell him to hold on, as I’ll check in the garage if I have one for him. He angrily says never mind, and skates away. An air bus comes by, it’s floating in the sky. It picks me up, roofless and I feel the breeze on my face as we tour what is my hometown. The scenery reminds me of Vegas, but cleaner and happier. Stores and people, enclosed in a safe area. Arcades at every corner. I feel as if we’re a gem hidden among stone. I return to my apartment, which is spacious and beautiful. I don’t understand where I am. I begin to question if I’ve jumped through time. I wonder if I am living some other life. I have my memories of my old, dirty apartment which stinks of old meat and trash, and yet I have no memory of how or why I got to this blissful state. My kitchen glows with colors of blue, my living room crackles as the fireplace calmly burns. My bedroom is neat, video games and artbooks at every corner. I open my artbook, I have drawings and paintings of anime characters and my own short stories. I am blissfully proud. I’ve never been able to draw a perfect circle, let alone design beautiful characters. I begin to take pictures of my apartment, proud and ready to live whatever life this is.

I awake in my bed. My phone says 4:22am. I am disappointed it was nothing but a dream. I am back in my smelly, awful apartment. I open my phone again, I go to my photos. The photos are those I’d taken of that other life! My kitchen painted with colors of blue, my bed and my art. I play a movie, it’s the children and families eating hotdogs on the street before sun break. I begin to watch an anime, but one I had created myself with my knowledge of design and animation. The main character has long, golden blonde hair. The same boyfriend whom took me outside to see the festivities from that past reality sits next to me, his hand on my shoulder. I show him the photos with great excitement, and wonder if I had visited another time, but my phone has carried over to reality. He says to me, in words so sad yet sweet, “Danni, I do not recall you ever waking up”

Suddenly I awake in my bed, 4:22am shining on my phone. The same apartment, but with a cleaner tone. I rush to the corner room back room, I knock and enter the room. My boyfriend lies there alone in a huge bed consisting of white sheets. I ask him “Why do we sleep in separate beds?” he rolls over, welcoming me with warm arms. We sleep, until sunrise, we order Burger King for delivery. I ask “Since when does Burger King deliver?” and He looks at me with very sad eyes.

It’s quiet. My mind rushing with memories of confusing, vivid and dangerously realistic dreams. I tell myself to move my arm, I cannot move. I tell myself to blink, I cannot blink. It’s dark. I keep trying to move my arm, over and over again, until finally I jerk my arm and my eyes fly open. That familiar pain of heavy eyes, that constant, daily dull pain in my abdomen. My cat meows, my space heater blows my face. A familiar longing filling my chest, worry, hate, and sadness dance with my unstable emotions. I am spaciest. There are no lights, festivities or boyfriend. “Am I awake this time?”. I take my phone, the shine of the light painfully penetrates my heavy, drooling eyes.

It’s 4:22am

And I am very hungry for a hotdog and mash potatoes.


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