In my dream, I slept soundly through a raging fire, on my buri mat on my darkwood floor, unseeing the red glare of sirens, unhearing their wails piercing the summer night as my room filled with unsuffocating smoke. But I woke before daybreak in a dress of soot, and I walked down a staircase of charcoal and ashes that did not break or fall or hurt my bare feet, which was how I knew it was only a dream. Downstairs was a razed world. No wall or door or beam or table stood, all was flat, black rubble and black smoke. Then the dawn rolled over the horizon and the landscape was a desert, orange-red, and there was nothing to see but the sun.
In my dream, I slept through a raging fire. And the house burned, I was inside, but I was not burned alive.
Last night, I revisited my Cafe Astrology numerology report and read, “A 4 Balance Number denotes a real need for self-control during stressful times. Regardless of how devastating your losses may be, this is not time for you to unleash your anger or vent emotionally. Seek compromise. Do not over-inflate the severity of the situation. Do not allow yourself to get mired in details which may not be all that important. What you need to see clearly is how things are overall. Seek fairness and be fair yourself.”
I’ve resuscitated my Tinyletter account and downloaded Slowly, an app that lets you send letters in virtual-postcard format to other Slowly users around the world. My first letter, sent to users in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States, touched on White’s 1992 essay on “‘The American Century’ in World History,” the postwar project of modernization as westernization, the self-image of the United States as benevolent hegemon, and the hubris of imperial powers. I wonder if anyone would reply to that — not that I really desire any replies. I think I just want to get my thoughts out of my head and still keep the solitude I find necessary for percolating ideas. It’s funny — I deactivated my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts, but here I am irrepressibly expressing, albeit to strangers, mumbling into tiny holes carved into tree trunks.