What do old men dream about? I used to wonder that when I was younger, because when I was young, I’d dream about the future. I’d dream about how I’d like to start my own company, or how I’d like to write novels, or paint great works of art, or compose beautiful music. I’d dream about being a biochemist or genetic engineer. They were different dreams every night, but they were always exciting. And I’d dream about how I was going to do it too. What road I would take to get there. Where I could go to college, or how I was going to dedicate my time to writing or painting or playing music more. I’d think about the operations of cells, or I’d imagine the chemical evolution of the body, or I’d try and think of ways to hijack nature and bend it to fit my will.
It was all in the hope of helping others, of course, that was the goal. But in order to do that you have to gather power. That’s how I saw it. The powerless cannot help others. The powerless require help themselves – for the most part. Oh, sure, when you’re poor and barely getting by you can still offer someone else something, but you can’t help a lot of people, and that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to help a lot of people make their lives better – but I wanted to be the one who determined what it was that was going to make them better. That’s what power is for, right? You get to decide what is best, and how to distribute your philanthropy. That’s why someone wanting to change the world needs power. That’s why someone wanting to change the world craves power. Some people are born with power. Some people have it forced upon them. I would have neither, and I knew that. I would have to earn power. And so that was the dream.
Now, as I grow older, I find my dreams have changed. Maybe I’m an old man now. I saw myself on video yesterday, and I was looking balding and not so young – certainly somebody I would have considered an old man at some point in my life. So, maybe now it is within my power to answer the question of what old men dream about? If so, then I must say that lately I’ve been dreaming that I’ll wake up and discover that everything that’s happened to me in the last twenty years is actually the result of a prolonged hallucination.
If so, then I must wake up soon. There are paintings to be painted, and stories to be written, and great things to be learned. I cannot go on like this sleeping my life away. –Undisturbing Domain