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Here is the thing about dreaming: sometimes you are in bed, watching yourself do dream things, and other times you are not in bed at all, and the dream you is the only thing left. It goes just nearly without saying that for the second kind it is best to be alone, and not in a dorm room—doors and windows locked, no place to be the next day.

She was in the second kind and she could tell immediately that the only version of her left had loose teeth and melting hands and couldn't read clocks or billboards because the letters and numbers kept changing. She was in a room filled with stars that was floor everywhere or else had no floor at all. And however far she walked, or ran, or willed herself into that flying dream hop and glided through the dark world, the same galaxies and nebulae showed themselves to her. If she had been lucid enough she could have forced herself toward home, but here is the thing about dreaming when you know your real body is gone—the will to alter, permanently, the world around you disappears when it is the only world you have.

There's a voice booming inside her head. It says: You can live here forever and make things up however you like. That's allowed. You didn't wish for it, but you wanted it, and it's here. You're here. Play God.

Here's the thing about dreams, and daydreams, and people who claim to only be telling the truth when they're drunk: Dreams show you what you want, your actual desires, but your actual desire might be a terrible thing. If she is what she desires than she has broken up relationships her friends were happy in, told vulnerable people they're ugly, shredded the calcified and pleasant life that compromise and altruism has given her so many times that there is nobody left with which to form a new one. In dreams she has done things that she would not dream of doing in real life for pleasures so evanescent that they disappear when she wakes up.

I watched her gliding around until she got close enough that I could see the goofy dog pattern on her pajama top and the way her little body looked in yoga pants a size too big. And I saw her press her glasses to her face, close her eyes, and fall out of dreams and through the stars and galaxies toward her bed.

Once a voice told me I could live here forever and make things up however I liked, and all at once I saw my hangups and suppressed urges as the last and worst hindrances on the path to the real, true, important me. Of course I agreed, feeling the door to the dream world blow open with a chill gust, a tall rectangular hole in the galaxy in front of me. And I walked toward it and I was gone. 

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