Dreams by Sheldon Johnson (AKA “Superb”)

In this poetic essay, “Superb” delves into the contradictory nature of his dreams and hopes that swirl around in amind that is at once brilliant yet fettered by imprisonment.

I have dreams that are frighteningly real, dreams that are unrealistically surreal, dreams of being free from the bars that encase and restrain me, dreams of being at liberty from the fears that dissuade and disable me from striving to be great. Dreams I wonder will ever become a reality, dreams that have a way of discouraging me because they are grandiose and I am afraid to fail. I have dreams of being in love absent the pain, love without abandonment, love that is unconditional . . . is this a dream that could be? Or just a dream a delusional state of reality.

I have dreams of traveling abroad, experiencing the greenest of green oceans, the cleanest and crispiest air that my lungs have ever inhaled . . . I have dreams that many would say are unattainable, dreams of rewinding time to a place where there is no responsibility. Dreams of being a child without the pre-conceived and re-textual states of being a minority, a mulatto, a half-breed. Dreams of my mother being able to hear my voice, dreams of my father assisting in my most complicated life choices. Dreams where my fear to share is calloused over by an inability to care.

Dreams of a world where racism didn’t exist, dreams of justice and constitutional rights, dreams of equality and civil rights, dreams of not being judged and accepted in my skin . . . dreams, ideologies, passions, thoughts, desires . . . But what differentiates my dreams from nightmares? Two dreams that straddle the fence of an abysmal distant place . . . I dream what it would have been like without the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, what would America have been without the murder of Native Americans, without Christopher Columbus and his band of hooligans.

But what are these dreams but the mind’s way of rationalizing and justifying what could be, what would be . . . what shouldn’t be. It’s a sick twisted way of defining and reminding one of the far-fetched wishes that we wish to be . . . the distortions of REM . . . elusive, intangible . . . my dreams are a glimpse, a glimmer, a sliver of hoping against hope . . . a fragment of times past, loves lost, desires unfulfilled, dreams of terrorism, suicide bombers, drone strikes and a daughter’s tears . . . balanced against dreams of truth absent any concrete proof that they exist! Like the rainy mist that persists to soak despite the appearance of not being rain . . . yet, we are wet nonetheless . . . are just my dreams of meeting Martin, Malcolm, Marcus, Ghandi and Nelson fallacies that outline the casualties of a hope to understand why and how things came to be?

My dreams of PPTG, one day being an adolescent who escapes from a dysfunctional, unheard, unfelt malady? My dreams of gracing the stage on Broadway, where my spoken word will be heard for centuries? Are my dreams of world peace a foolish picture concocted by a heat oppressed brain? Maybe my dreams are what I choose them to be, a temporary reprieve from the madness that has encompassed me? An inspirational vision of strength and purpose, a vivid pixel of one’s triumph instead of tragedy. For once, I need my dreams to represent a moment of clarity, a paved path of positive polarity . . . not a garden of weeds that suck life from me. My dreams are what I make them, my dreams are my own creation, a manifestation of destiny on a trajectory minus travesty. My dreams are what I need them to be. Because they are my dreams and I refuse to let anyone or anything steal them from me!