I awoke at 3 this morning, tired eyes resolved towards the ceiling, amber-tinted from the Manhattan night light, and lucid mind fixed on its dream.
I dreamt of being again annually at a loss for worthwhile words — a now-perennial tradition—because the corporate chastity I gladly chose had nevertheless drained me of whatever creative juice I once produced.
I dreamt of another annum house-arrested, with its blessings and curses therein. I dreamt of a year harder than its predecessor, a year wherein the pomp and circumstance of seeing history live-streamed gave way to the banal reality of broken government, of wealth disparity, of not just a country but an entire species divided, a species missing its united other, its bigger purpose, as its richest seek out sovereignty and solace in the immortality projects, as mirages, that lay beyond the infinite darkness surrounding our pale dot.
I dreamt of a see-saw. Down, the vaccines are taking forever. Up, the vaccines are in sight! Down, the appointments are impossible to get because there isn’t enough supply. Up, we have an appointment! Down, people aren’t getting vaxed? Up, fuck ’em, NYC is back, baby! Down, wait, people are still vexed about getting vaxed? Up, fuck ’em, deaths are going down anyway! Down, wait, Canada is months behind us? Up, fuck yea, Broadway shows! Down, my instagram feed is still full of anti-vax rhetoric. Up, our family is coming to visit! Down, Delta. Up, Boosters! Down, Propagandagram. Up, Christmas! Down, Omicronope. I always preferred monkey bars on the playground, anyhow.
I dreamt of failed trips home and abroad, of families separated and of an introvert in love with an extrovert losing her mind and of an extrovert in love with an introvert drawing ever further into himself as his father before him. I dreamt of many a wedding postponed and one legal one snuck in, friends’ and sisters’ and one Mother’s happy tears raining down as hard as sad distant Other’s.
Within the dream, another: careening my career to where it was once headed. I’d followed through on my original intention from years prior. But that dream turn quickly dark. The feeling that I’d gone from awarded actor to unsatisfied scriptwriter was stark, and any work satisfaction I once drew, like the Starks, was dead and gone. Gone was the awe of the audience and the rewards of Tableau’d revenue. In their stead, horrific flashbacks, to lonely dorm nights writing about nothing being right for no one to read.
A misstep in my path, I pondered, but with the step came a stumble and incepted jolt that sent the deeper dream to its anti-climactic aloha in the backdrop of Hawaii. Never again, I resolved. The next product I build and market will be my own.
Alas, the dream back into which I awoke had only grown weirder in my absence. I dreamt that I spent hundreds of dollars minting my first NFTs and creating my first AR filter, years after working with a venture firm to ascertain that, in fact, while decentralization has its benefits, its business value remains questionable.
I dreamt that the same people claiming that centralization is problematic are those who don’t trust the government to regulate things like vaccines. “The web is always Darkest before the dawn,” the prophet slash profiteer Gary could almost be heard proclaiming.
Yet, through the haze in which I was trapped, I knew that supporting a decentralized framework at global scale in complex industries with no environmental consequence will be impossible without uniform, global government support if not outright regulation. There will be no other impetus for individual actors of centralization to change; the free market continues to favor the less costly and riches-generating reality of centralized computing.
Even in my dream, I remembered the lessons learned from that fateful venture firm: decentralization isn’t the solve for the most fundamental human dilemma. HDMI 2.1a and DIF solve the same problem the same way to the same (in)effect. XKCD’s “Standards” is as sacrosanct as Einstein’s Great Theory.
That said, I invested carefully, because rarely are naysayers, myself included, right. And Fortune favored me, saving me from falling fully into metaverse’s moneyed maw, its virtual insanity. I stayed the course in the sales force.
And in turn She further favored my fairer half, the vivid joy of watching her return to her rightful place as Mama V firmly in mind. A born people leader, my love found herself flourishing as she faced her chosen few with the same fervor and fearlessness and fierce loyalty she did the very first restaurant customers upon which that brand was built a lifetime ago. In truth, she is Lady Fortune for her chosen fellowship, as foretold by her Chinese founding father.
Yet it was she in all her gratitude who incepted the most dangerous dream of all, a dream that became ever so clear in our mind’s shared eye this year — an X-marked spot yet unmapped but known so innately as to be home.
Our future lies in our past, we said to each other in agreement. The how and the when remained elusive, but the why sparkled like summer Como. The motherland called, and she’d made la bella pasto per il resto della nostra vita.
Our young emissaries of Switzerland and Greece did their duty: the former, promises of bountiful fortunes; the latter, of boundless feasts. And between them both stood marvelous mountains of snow, dotted with cheese-laden chalets. So formed a plan, years in the making and with yet years to come.
And that’s when I awoke.
I picked up my phone and thumbed through the notifications, most of which were achievements unlocked in enjoyment of the only art to move me lately, but the dream lingered, and as a siren wailed in the distance, its song foretold of a future forward, by the foothills near our final home.
“What a year,” I muttered to Vanessa a few hours of attempted sleep later as we clothed ourselves and set off, south down Second Avenue towards the black and whites and the marble ryes that will serve as sustenance for us to live the year ahead, headed forward through reality back towards the dream — if only to have something to do as we reflect on, or perhaps await, the world’s end.