I had a dream. That’s weird because I don’t always remember my dreams. Maybe I dreamed to be dreaming.
I dreamed that the world could be trusted and there were many paths ahead of me, and I could take every single one of them. I was free and in control of my destiny.
Many people appeared before my eyes, and I tried to hold them back, but to no avail. Then I saw a child, and felt a peculiar connection to him. I tried to exchange some words, but realized he was forced to play a role. I wanted to give him a perfect life where he could always be himself and his soul was untarnished and happy and naive in a good way. A child is best placed to appreciate that kind of life, and he was no more than a child. But there was not much that I could do, despite my will.
And then other people turned up. Among them I could recognize another guy, and I remembered having slept beside him and kissed his lips many times.
I wished him well, and in that moment a heap of books materialized itself. I wanted to read and study them all, but the words were scrambled and I could not retain enough information. One of these books was still in the process of being written, so I got nearer to its author and stopped to ask him a few questions, suddenly recalling that a new year was about to start.
“Do you think this year will be a happy one?”
“Of course, sir.”
“As happy as the year just gone by?”
“As happy as the year before last?”
“Very much happier, sir.”
“As happy as what other year? Wouldn’t you like the new year to be like one of the past few years?”
“No, sir. I don’t think I would.”
“Can’t you remember any year in the past that you think was really happy?”
“To tell the truth, I can’t, sir.”
“But life is beautiful, isn’t it?”
“Everyone knows that.”
“But would you like to live exactly the same kind of life you have led — nothing more than that — with the same joys and the same sorrows?”
“I wouldn’t like that.”
“Oh…whose life would you like to live, then? my life? or a prince’s? or who else’s? Don’t you think that I, and the prince, and anyone else, would answer just as you have. Don’t you think that no one would go back if he had to live the same kind of life again?
“I don’t think so.”
“And would you, if you had no other choice?”
“No, sir. I’d never go back.”
“So, what kind of life would you like to have?”
“I’d like to have a life just as God sends it to me, without any other agreement.”
“A life of chance? A life you know nothing about, just as you don’t know anything about the new year?”
“That’s right. That’s what I’d like myself if I were to live again. And that’s what everyone would like. But this means that fate has ill-treated everyone so far. If no one would like to be born again if his life was given back to him with the same amount of good and evil, it is plain that everyone thinks that his sorrows have either outnumbered or outweighed his joys. That life, which everybody believes to be a beautiful thing, is not the life we know, but the life we don’t know; not the past life, but the life yet to come. And then a vast and horrible abyss awaits us, where plunging headlong we forget our suffering and our strife. And perhaps in every state beneath the sun, or high, or low, in cradle or in stall, the day of birth is fatal to us all”.
And so, after having uttered those words, he took my hand and we just vanished into thin air.
This post is partially written by me but contains an adaptation of some excerpts from Giacomo Leopardi’s works.