ANTHOLOGY COMPLEX


DREAMLESS IDENTITY (1:1:1:6)


The phone is ringing. I hate that sound. I pick it up to make it stop and I say hello. The hospital is calling me telling me that Joe has been injured. I wonder why they are calling me and not someone who actually knows Joe, in the literal sense of course. Why not someone like his parents or his siblings.

Later, when I get to the hospital I find out that I am listed on his emergency contact information. I've maybe talked to Joe a total of four times, but I guess he finds that enough for me to be concerned for him when his health isn't at one hundred percent. They also tell me that they tried calling the first two names on the emergency contact information, but no one picked up.

They take me to his room, thinking I am some sort of close friend to Joe. When I get there he is sleeping, they tell me that he is in a coma. I ask them how he got hurt and they tell me that he was in a car accident. I ask about the other people who were in the accident, and they tell me they are fine. I tell you they could have chosen to send me to Joe or to the other person involved in the accident and it wouldn't have mattered which one I got, because I don't know any of these people.

I sit on the chair next to Joe and I take a deep look at his face, his still, lifeless face. Then I take a deep look at his entire body. I know this man's name, I know the color of his skin, I know his gender, I know which part of town he lives in and I know where he grew up. I know his favorite baseball team and which celebrity he would love to spend a night with. I know all of these things but the true character behind this man remains a mystery.

Knowing the physical attributes and the environment in which Joe resides in is almost helpless when trying to figure out who he is. This probably applies to anyone. Everyone.

You may feel as if you know me, or at least know a part of me, but you don't even know my name. You don't know what race I am. You don't even know if I am a male or a female. Throughout my one sided discourse with you, I have not stated the answers to any of these things, but still, you may feel as if you know me. That would mean you don't know that close friend of yours so well because you know their skin color or their gender, but because of something else.

I look at Joe and then I look at his monitor. All those numbers that represent how alive he is. Or if you are that type of person, how dead he is. I start to wonder, if Joe died right now, how would he leave the world. Unsatisfied? Dissatisfied? Satisfied? I look at this man and I try to guess what he is dreaming about. If he's even dreaming at all.

Regardless of what he is dreaming about, I know that when he wakes up, if he wakes up, he won't remember the dream for too long. He won't write it down and look for some meaning to it. I know that if Joe doesn't die a satisfied man, he will at least die an unsatisfied man. Not a dissatisfied man. And for that, I envy him.