…in praise of dreamers

Photo by Soubhagya Maharana on Pexels.com

Sometimes, when the rain comes, you take it as a sign to let the days arrange themselves.  You and your lover wake up late, drink coffee in bed, listen to the pigeons skittering against the window.  You eat breakfast after noon, tear olive bread and pour red wine, you read poetry and watch old films.  You watch the impossibly glamorous Grace Kelly in High Society and a frilled Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis, and when night finally falls you begin The Dreamers, a film you’ve never seen or even heard of.

The director is Bernardo Bertolucci, who also made Last Tango in Paris, and the film is set amongst the student riots in Paris in 1968.  The dreamers are twins, a brother and sister, who bring a young and beautiful American into their lair, gifting him a coming-of-age of sex and wine, long high baths, and intense discussions about old films, politics and dubious morals.  The twins seem to have no morals, except the imperative to never leave each other and to pursue pleasure wherever they can find it. 

Your own pleasure seeps into exhaustion and you turn the film off half way through to slip into a deep and dreamful sleep, waking in the morning to drink coffee in bed and return to the film.  The twins and their American continue to drink wine and smoke, eating fried eggs and barely leaving their shabby Parisian apartment.  You and your lover have barely left his house, eating laced cake, taking long baths, kissing whenever the urge takes you.  You feel you have not watched the film but instead lived it, only drawn out to hazy reality when the sun briefly presses itself through a window and you find yourself outside and barefoot on the lawn, or wandering to the end of the road and around the slanting park where you sit on a slatted bench and feel your blood shift in your slow veins. 

You feel the languorous enjoyment of time’s drift, a nowhere-to-be and nothing-to-do stretch of days that dreams only of itself.  And even when the clock begins its normal movement and you remember the other people and places and duties you’ve tied yourself to, these days will remain as a blurred and exquisite memory, to be slipped into with the shameless will of a dreamer. 

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