dream like me

Cam Wade
4 min readDec 15, 2022
an image of a plane’s right wing drapped in shadows against a city lights at night

i remember sitting with him

at the edge of California

hearing him reminiscence about this white girl

he used to love.

it felt like a disruption

in space and time

when he reenacted

their violent ties.

she was toxic

and he was obsessed

with her brilliant blonde curls

and glossy white skin.

that day,

when the world seemed like

it was going to end,

he kissed her,

embraced her.

and i watched,

passerby,

as she took my spot.

i filled in the void

to imagine where i would be

“i need you in my life,”

i said.

“i don’t remember this part of the story,”

he said.

two wayward boys,

simmering along

the peak of the colony.

lovers trapped in three acts,

this is how i want to dream us now.

photo taken by yours truly

this is how i want to dream us now? dream us then? dream us tomorrow?

call it my overactive imagination and neurodivergence, but i’ve always been a dreamer.

dreaming of goals being middle class

dreaming of being a writer

dreaming of existing in that zone of non-being

dreams and stories are what encouraged me. this shouldn’t come as a shocker to anyone, but i was an easy target for bullying pretty much throughout my whole life. so when the pain got to be too much, i escaped.

sometimes, literally, mostly metaphorically. the looming drone of Lorde’s vocals on Pure Heroine was the soundtrack of my life during freshman and sophomore year of high school.

The New Zealand singer Lorde on stage singing in a long black dress
image of New Zealand singer Lorde

let, em talk, cause we’re dancing in this world alone

and talk they did. everyone used to talk. they would create these narratives about what i could and couldn’t do.

they dreamed for me.

dreams of being straight

dreams of being a proud black man

dreams of the word faggot etched into my mind

dreams of always and forever being the Slave

those were the stories that were made for me. those were the worlds i was allowed to be in

black author Ebony Elizabeth Thomas says it best in her book The Dark Fantastic.

“I have been told throughout my lifetime that stories like the ones I preferred were for ‘White People.’”

a close-up photo of author Ebony Elizabeth Thomas
image of author Ebony Elizabeth Thomas

dreams of being a black creative?

–stupid

dreams of teaming up to work with Quinta and Zendaya on a legendary dream team project?

–delusional

dreams of being married by the end of college?

–thankfully, this didn’t happen because oh boy, life would look a hell of a lot different if it did

for the longest time, i did believe these stories. after all, that’s the true cultural and ideological power of narratives. regardless of whether they’re true or not they teach us both about what the world does look like, but also what it could look like. they teach us how to make our fantasies into reality. black history is in fact erased under this same premise because all history is literally plurality of multiple different narratives running together.

i think that’s also why i found both my escape and power in the different stories i consumed. i found catharsis and a home in the wasteland, even if it’s temporary.

screenshot of Will and Mike

like watching Will Buyers low-key signal his romantic crush on his best friend Mike Wheeler.

you could almost say the poem at the top was written from Will’s perspective, even though it wasn’t. it’s just a common trope and longing feeling that any queer kid can relate to.

that longing desire to be with the one who you feel like you’re in love with. that desire to hold their hand until the very end, even as the world breaks at its seams. because when you’re a teenager or even a young adult, everything seems like it’s the end of the world.

screenshot of Max and Vecna
screenshot of max and vecna

every rejection feels like a nightmare

closing in on your own version

of

the

upside

down

i’ve known darkness so deep Vecna could gather me and swallow me whole,

but like Max, i fight

because the only way out of the dark

is the way you create for yourself

screenshot of max running away from vecna
max “running up that hill”

--

--