Designer: David C. Miller

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I know a daydreamer, who sits right on a leather chair with brown wooden shell framing; this daydreamer places his legs on his ottoman, right in front of his leather chair and sits there in his living room when the sun is still out but not as bright. The day dreamer sits still on his leather chair as the day goes by with not a worry in the world, the household walks by him, and each person careful not to touch or go near him. Little children run by him but not into him, he sits there with no movement and just gazes. At times I have wondered if he remembers to breathe. I watch the daydreamer sit still for hours, sometimes his head moves to the side as if to view his day dreams better. I do not understand why the day dreamer sits still for hours. Does he have nothing to do? The day dreamer sits like he has no worries, he watches life go by. Curiosity makes me ask the lady walking up and down feeding the little children running up and down.

“Ms. Dandridge, is he okay?” I ask, looking up at the elderly lady while pointing at the daydreamer. She looked down at me with her hands full of trays that had plates stacked on them. “Oh! You mean Peter?” I wasn’t sure if that was the day dreamer’s name, so I pointed at the daydreamer again. She turned her face away from the day dreamer back to me and said with her back turned and walking away from me “Follow me”. There was a tone of finality to her voice and I knew better than to argue; even though the day dreamer never said a word to him, I felt like leaving his presence might be offensive. I wondered why she had asked me to follow her when all I asked was a simple question out of concern. I followed her and we walked into an open space kitchen. There was no noise, no running around of small feet, just myself and Ms. Dandridge. She sat on the high stool at the extreme end of the white colored kitchen. She then asked me to move towards her, I did so reluctantly, and then she placed her hands on my shoulders and said, “Child, have you tried sleeping with your eyes opened?” I starred at her wondering if I hadn’t missed a word she said. “That’s not possible Ms. Dandridge! No one can sleep with their eyes open” I was convinced it was a trick question. At the age of ten, I didn’t know any better. She chuckled and as she moved, her apron chuckled along with her. “Well when you grow older, you can. Now close your eyes” She instructed.

I closed my eyes and then she said, “Think of something that makes you happy; one thing only”, she cautioned. A lot of things made me happy then but not as much as butterflies, I loved butterflies, especially the purple butterflies that circled round me at Montgomery Park. “Butterflies” I whispered.   “What are they doing?” She asked, I was suddenly happy, just thinking about them. “They are dancing around, three of them, in a beautiful forest” Then she was quiet for a minute, “What else do you see in the forest?” she asked me. “Nothing” I replied “Look closely, there should be sunlight, shining brightly, do you see it?” As soon as she said this, I suddenly saw the rays of sun shining through the trees. “Yes!” I blurted out, I see it shinning!” Then I heard her smile, I could hear it through her voice, when she spoke afterwards; I could also see the curves at the edges of her mouth when I opened my eyes shortly after. “Keep that picture in your mind and open your eyes” I did as she asked me to, slowly, while trying hard not to lose the picture in my mind as I looked at her. My eyes felt a bit sore, as I opened them, like the sun in my imagination had been shinning too brightly and was starting to hurt my eyes. I lifted my right hand to rub my eyes, to relieve the strain. “Do you still see the picture? She asked. I could, but very faintly. It was difficult to keep the picture and look at her with my hurting eyes. I answered her, explaining exactly how I felt and how the butterflies started to look like they were fading. “Well child, you just day dreamed, just like Peter, when next you are by yourself, leave your eyes open and try to view your butterflies.

At that point, it seemed like a lot of work. Now, I know a day dreamer, a day dreamer that gazes and sees more than butterflies. I know a daydreamer that can keep a daydream image for days, weeks, months and even years. I know a day dreamer, I know me.

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