He Dreamt Lightly
excerpts from the novel and upcoming motion picture
For one season, Bobby Neale rented a room with some friends in Ann Arbor.
He had grown bored of Vanderbilt in the summer and, at the invitation of friend, packed a bag of clothes, tapes, and art supplies and took a Greyhound up to Detroit from Nashville.
The overnight ride took about 12 hours. He had preloaded with pot and had a pocketful of cocaine and ecstasy for the trip.
The bus cruised along like a slow boat, rising and falling like the ocean waves. Bobby dozed off and briefly woke up to catch the twinkling lights of Louisville and Fort Wayne.
While gently falling asleep on the ride, he composes a journal entry.
HE DREAMT LIGHTLY
Written by The Star Plane Watcher
Eventually you’ll forget me but I don’t have the time to let you go without your eyes. I’m blind.
Praise the messenger.
I’m the messenger
Representing the sender.
One more time
I invade your dreams one more time.
Without my eyes you must see with your hands.
Or see with your mind to expand and withstand the old plan to crush the creative process
Then a snap jerks him awake.
He thinks it was all so real.
How could this parallel world exist in only a vision?
The tastes, the smells are all there, designed by an astral hand
Then taken away so quickly. Surely this is a prank of sorts.
When he was there, the roads, the houses were all familiar.
Only slightly kiltered in the strange way that an author pens a tale.
The dreaming boy’s creative mind dredges up a world of thought that only further confirms this whole idea of a parallel plane actually existing.
There he was, a writer flowing with emotion.
There, in the clouds of creativity, the words just came without interruption.
Now under the shade of a real tree, the actual breeze fans the blades of a churning engine whose limits are defined only by four walls, a roof, and an insatiable appetite for coffee.
He feels the difference writing there in the astral realm and
Writing here on earth.
Seems so strangely similar
Only separated by a slight tweak of reality.
There in the clouds, he calls it sleep writing.
Here on earth, he calls it dirt sculpture.
Wherever it happens, it feels magically therapeutic.
Time stands still waiting for the energy to stop traveling.
Only Time knows how long it will last, but he and Time have a deal.
Bobby took the train to Nashville from rural Georgia. He had made plans to attend a party there with a friend.
He had a girlfriend drive him to the station and drop him off.
The long ride was relaxing and slow.
He saw the backs of railroad towns as they crept through the nearly deserted burgs without stopping.
They rolled through a crossroads with only a gas station and a liquor store.
The sign read CLIMAX, GEORGIA: Population 456
“Feels good coming and going”.
An old friend at college had told him that he had grown up there and it was horrible.
Bobby saw this as a sign to never stay anywhere that you are unhappy.
The train continued to creep along.
Bobby imagined he was on a sailing ship to Africa.
Onboard the imaginary trip were only a few crewmen and a few other civilians who had paid very little money to ride for 3 1/2 weeks from Miami to Africa aboard a shipping vessel not intended for passengers.
Bobby imagined that he had left all of his troubles behind and was starting a new life on the other side of the world. Slowly coming back to reality, he continued to daydream while riding the slow train.
He imagined that, in a bag, he would carry his drawing supplies on the ship.
And he would draw images of his old neighborhood.
He often saw roosters in the backyard of his neighbor’s home and would draw them occasionally.
The biggest rooster would stay still the longest and he would study its feather pattern and replicate it perfectly with a hint of a shadow from sunlight.
Bobby’s mind was taken back to the ship sailing through the rough waters for weeks.
He seemed to discover a new way of thinking about his perspective: To live outside of your current perspective and to see the world through the eyes of everyone else.
And to not let all of the outside forces affect you personally.
This positivity the Bobby felt seemed unlike him at times.
He would swing back and forth between understanding his chemical imbalance and getting lost in a river of emotional doubt.
Sometimes coming up for air to see his mother and sister reaching for him to save him and holding on for a moment but gently losing grip and getting swept away in an uncontrollable whirlpool of despair.
Bobby’s end of life isn’t gruesome.
He simply wants to go swimming.
Pushes his arms and develops gills.
His arms turn to wings and his eyes glaze over.
His focus becomes sharp.
He rises out of the water now a bird whose wings are on fire.
The salt water boils, he is shed from his astral feathers.
With no delay, he swirls around the earth and moon; he jets off towards the sun and explodes into a million little stars and each one of those stars forms its own galaxy.
Born in Tennessee in 1972, Michael Rogers has lived separate lives between youth and old wisdom.
Writing has been an outlet to create a world that has been a sort of semi-autobiography and a way to preach activism and understanding. Self therapy in revealing dark secrets has helped Michael cope with the ridiculousness of life.
In his own words.