Mini Novel: A Dream - Story of Stone

It’s 7:30am, San Francisco.  I must have experienced the worst jet lag in my life - slept only three hours and woke up from a dream.

The dream was quite long and I knew you were there throughout.  I might have to connect the dots a bit but I vividly remembered the last part of the story - the part that woke me up and the profound feeling it brought me...

It might be in our last life.  You were a young traveler, reading books and checking out new places.  You asked me road as a foreigner in a teahouse.  Apparently, you came to China because you read this book - Dream of the Red Chamber.  It’s regarded as one of the most prestigious classic literature masterpiece in the Chinese history, written by Cao Xueqing in the Qing Dynasty.  For some reason I was sitting in a restaurant (or a teahouse) all the time - maybe I was paralyzed.  You asked me where you were - I said you were in Nanjing .  You were extremely surprised and told me you were looking for the Stone.   I said I was the Stone.  You looked stunned and speechless, and insisted we meet again the next day at the same teahouse.  When you left, I sniffed with a sigh thinking how weird you were - for some reason, I thought I had met you before and told you who I was (maybe in the last life before what happened in the dream).  How come I was sitting right there, you could not see?  I was the Stone, and you did not know?

The second day, I was sitting in the teahouse.  There was a bigger crowd.  You came - quite anxiously separating the crowd, and asked where I was.  I was right there in front of you, and you were still asking.  Then at that moment, I realized you were blind.  All of sudden, a knot tied up in my stomach.  It dawned on me that you came all the way to meet me without any excuse (even you were blind).  You came for me...  I sat there (I couldn’t move because I was not able to), looking at you from afar, feeling this huge complexity in my stomach - which might be called "Love"?  Then I woke up...  and tears kept rolling down.

I took a few deep breaths calming myself, and came to the computer.  I searched the internet and surprisingly found that the “the Story of Stone” WAS the original name of the famous “Dream of the Red Chamber”, and the author Cao Xueqing used to live in Nanjing in the 1700s.  I read the novel many years ago in high school and did not really remember these facts.  The fact is: I was born in Nanjing and my last name is Stone.  What a coincidence!

I felt compelled to write this down not because of the logic link or coincidence, but because of the strong feeling I vividly remember - both in the dream and after.  I was in love - you were there for me and I was there for you.  I did not know if we did eventually find each other in the teahouse (since you couldn’t see and I couldn’t walk), but maybe that was the reason we met again in this life, continuing what we haven’t accomplished in the past.

Maybe, life is ultimately a dream.  Are we dreaming while awake or are we awake while dreaming?

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