Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Dream of Language

I’m waking through a lingering dream. This often happens when the garbage trucks are breaking rules and bang-bang-gungh-ghungh-bang-bang-crash, doing their holy work before 7:00 AM.

My husband had just slammed the door on his way out. He had been stressed out a lot lately because he was publishing a paper in Science that maintained that all the world’s languages could be tracked back to a single mother tongue in Africa. Spoken by Eve. No doubt, I wanted to say over coffee and oranges, but he was gone.

Even his smell in the bed was different. Not the rich pungency I loved, but rather a thin, acrid one. He’d been smoking again. Not that it mattered too much. We hadn’t been having much sex lately, and I hardly ever saw him. When he was at home, he would sit in the dining room and curse at the peers who reviewed him

Yet I knew this was important. This publication would ensure his tenure at the University. He’d have a steady job, benefits… His reputation and future, our future rested on it

You may be wondering why I put up with him, well, I knew that I loved him. That’s what marriage is about: the worse and the better. Lately it had been worse. He had spoken of nothing but phonemes, counting them across the world, comparing them because it was all for Science.


I am totally awake and glad I’m single. I know what seeded the dream. A PRI article began with “Scientists say.” This is how most scripture begins where I live. I look at the ceiling and think about this phrase and what it means.

It means I am an apostate. No, not because I adhere to a religion. I abandoned Catholicism a long time ago and with it the rest of Christianity. I find it hard to trust God or Induction. The ceiling seems certain enough, and it is enough. I can see it. I am sheltered beneath it. No, I don’t say it shelters me because that is an active verb, perilously close to ascribing living motive to an inanimate concept arranged by my often faulty sensory-conceptual framework—a world where certainty is something I have to learn.

I wonder if Eve thought about that when she was speaking the first words. Was it simply a game of phonemes she uttered to her children and it sort of took off from there in ways she didn’t really intend? Even though I am not a mother, I know that can happen with children. But why am I burdening her?

Why does there always have to be an Eve or a single origin for anything? What good does it really do. I guess it keeps my dream husband employed and a dream roof—with concomitant ceiling—over our dream heads. I could further question that, since we didn’t see much of each other. I couldn’t even have dream sex with him. 

I consider getting a dream divorce.

No comments:

Post a Comment