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A Life In Percentages

Dreamed 2013/5/19 by Chris Wayan

sketch of a dream titled 'A Life in Percentages' by Wayan: the New York Dog Ballet. Click to enlarge.

I meet a dreamer whose experience in dreams flows several times faster than clock time. His dreams seem long to him--so much longer that he spends 90% of his subjective life in dreams! And they're coherent, lifelike dreams.

That has a peculiar consequence: he spends only 10% of his subjective life here in his body in San Francisco... and 20-30% in consecutive dreams of a life in New York, where he's a dog trainer--well, teaching dog ballet, actually, but in that particular dreamworld, a few dogs do dance professionally. So his career's uncommon but not absurd--there. And since he spends more time there than anywhere else, he naturally assumes his New York life is real and San Francisco is a vivid recurring dream!

After all, he spends a tenth of his time in half a dozen other recurring dreams, bodies, lives, countries, alternate worlds--what makes San Francisco special?

Yet the doctors examining him here in San Francisco just dismiss his conviction as delusional. His sleeping body here proves he's "really" here and just dreaming these other crazy lives.

I'm not so sure. Maybe the doctor on call at the New York Dog Ballet would find him asleep and twitching there when he wakes up here... who knows? It's worse than Zhuangzi's dream of being a butterfly (or a butterfly in 400 BC dreaming it was Zhuangzi)--this guy's split between half a dozen lives, any one of which could plausibly be called real--by the people in it!


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