Aberham Berhanu
and Quentin Paquette

Aberham Berhanu
“The Drifting Current”

Quentin Paquette
Inspiration piece

I can tell you exactly how it is that I know: no overlays, no blurriness. In a regular dream, the people and objects are never quite fixed. They occupy a space and they have effects, but the edges are indistinct, as they are really multiplicities and stand-ins. None of the layers of meaning or metaphor can fully crowd out the others, and as a result they shift and flicker, or blur, smudge. When there’s none of that, I know a short time into the dream that it is the initial experience of a déjà vu, and it’s only a matter of time before this dream will come to me waking.

During the dream, once I recognize that everything is only what it is, I’ll take note and try to decide whether it seems likely to actually happen. Would those two people actually be in the same room? Have I ever been on the grass of that lawn, dew seeping in through my canvas shoes? I try to find myself and I can’t, in the same way that you cannot in the waking world, so I settle for trying to place myself.

I don’t want to believe in them, so I’m looking for an inconsistency, the key to the trick

I’m playing on myself. Those two don’t work together, and I don’t work with either of them. I wouldn’t be there at that time of day. I don’t know how to do what I seem to be doing. I can’t imagine why I would go back to that town, or else I have no idea what buildings these are, never seen them before.

When they come to pass, the experience is stunning. Midsentence sometimes, I stop short, shut down, restarting. I cannot speak, I cannot move. A numbness tingles across the surface of my skin, the replacement of absence with presence. All I can do is watch, and compare to what I saw in dream, and waver in the vertigo of falling from the past into my present. The prior contrarieties resolve: we do all work together, I’ve learned how to do that, this is that place.

The primary complaint I have is that the happenings appear so banal. Stepping out of the car in a new town in front of the coffee shop. Walking across the quad on a mid-summer day. Standing in the corner of the room as the crowd comes in. Others equally ordinary.

I’m left with two possibilities. Either my prophesy is about events with no deeper meaning, or else I am being let in on a deeper meaning that I am too dull to understand.

Either way, I feel like the butt of the joke. I decline to consider that as the deeper meaning escaping me.

I had another one last week. I’m driving my current car, or one much like it. I am in the right exit lane. The car next to me in the traffic lane shifts lanes with no drastic move, but because I am caught in a moment of inattention, they run into the front fender and crumple it as we both continue to drift toward the guard rail.
Perhaps this is the one that answers my wish for consequences.



Aberham B. Photography-14

The drifting current



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