Dialogues Vol. 1: The Stuff of Dreams

“Do dogs dream?”

“Sure they do. See how their legs twitch when they sleep?”

“That doesn’t really tell us anything.”

“I’ve seen a sleeping dog run into a wall. You know what?”

“Hmm?”

“Why do you think it is that animals dream?”

“Assuming they do dream. Probably for the same reasons people do, which isn’t really saying very much.”

“True enough, but think about it. The habits of people are learned. They are passed on via channels of social constructs. Family, peers, self preseverance.”

“So?”

“Animals are different! Pure instinct propels them from the womb, yolk, and what not. What is the stuff of instinct? What incorporates it into the animal’s brain?”

“Beats me. It’s one of these things we’ll never figure out.”

“Well, I propose that dreams are encoders in which DNA programs the organism with aggregate behaviors learned in the species’ lineage, triggered by the various hormones that occur within each development phase…”

“Sounds a bit far-fetched, man.”

“It’s not something that should be easily dismissed. You see—”

CRASH!

“—oh, shit, did you see that?”

“That dang dog just up and ran into the wall! Well, I’ll grant you that; maybe dogs do dream.”

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Bits and Pieces of Death

They found him keeled over and clutching a white gilded mushroom. He stirred and said, “I just wanted to taste a destroying angel…”

Before the deployment, his father gave him an engraved silver lighter for luck. It was his grandfather’s. He kept it in a chest pocket and pulled it out occasionally to smoke a spliff. During an exchange of gunfire a bullet caught him right in the lighter. His father received from the military a package containing a mangled silver lighter and soot covered dog tags.

The barrel was cold in his mouth. When he pulled the trigger it clicked. He was curious what it felt like to have a gun in his mouth. He pulled the trigger again. Then again. And for the last time, an overlooked bullet punched through the roof of his mouth and severed his spinal cord. His friends and family were astonished and said things like ‘He was so happy’ and ‘I don’t understand how this could have happened…’

It hung belly up in its bowl of water. It lay stiff and cold in the cage, its eyes and mouth grimaced open, its long ears a-lop. Its purr dwindled off to silence. After a series of small barks its rise of breath shuddered into non-motion. He sat in his deathbed and removed the tubing that crowded his arm and died happily.