I dreamt last night that I was offered work on a small, old-fashioned farm, and it was exactly what I wanted. I could ask for a decent salary — which was odd, all things considered — but I wasn’t happy because of the money, I was happy because the kind of job was exactly what I wanted and because I wanted to get away. I felt desperately that I wanted to get away. Not that I’m opposed to using my brain; I just didn’t want to waste the energy that I have for intellectual tasks on something pointless. I wanted to work with the land — and with words in my spare time.
This was always the case. Not just in my dreams. I didn’t want a job that would drain my mind, but at the same time leave me restless. In reality , unfortunately, everything and all my wishes were even more unrealistic. I wanted to herd sheep. Nobody herds sheep anymore; you’ve got to get a university degree, do something real that makes sense in the modern world. I even used to say it: I want to herd sheep. No, you don’t, I heard, you want to go to the university, and become ‘something’. That’s the only hope. One that turned out pretty hopeless in the end — but who was to know that.
So there you are, with a useless degree. You keep excusing yourself for the utter pointlessness of your existance. You know these theoretical things nobody ever wants to know about, at least not from someone — well, me, I am talking about me — who won’t cope with the competition and who doesn’t care about a career. Who doesn’t have a family to feed, and never will.
And you wouldn’t be able to herd sheep, not even if your life depended on it. Agriculture and space travel and understanding DNA all seem equally unattainable. They’re all incomprehensible, they’re all enigmas.
And in reality, nobody would ever offer you a job on a farm, not even if you asked for a very humble salary and wished for no job security at all — because, truth is, you grew up in the city and went to the university and wasted your life on advanced nonsense. You’re incompetent in everything that matters. And even if you weren’t, these jobs barely exist anymore. The machines do them better than humans.
In a dream, everything is different. You have potential to learn practical skills, even if you have barely set your foot in the countryside before. The world you think you want to live in is possible, in the dream. Then you wake up. Quite literally in my case. And begin anew to covet a fantasy that you have had to forget many times over.
It’s a romantic dream; a longing for a life that can’t exist, and perhaps never could.