Decipher the Dreamers

Back when I was in junior high school, I can still remember the breaks were always the hardest. Those were the time for birds of the same feather to flock together: cliques gathered up and talked in their own languages, mocking the dorks and making fun of the class weirdos. I hardly ever found such a clique to sweep myself in, because I’d always been the dork slash the class weirdo. The break time soon became a battle of my own, that whether I would be able to break in one of those cliques to feel somehow a sense of belonging, or I would end up sitting alone drawing or talking to some other class outcast. In the end I sort of gave up. “Screw them” – I thought – “They just don’t know me.” Now thinking back, I realize it was kind of a pathetic fallacy, but it was so true to some extent. They would never understand me, as much as I would never understand them; as I was retreating into my own world, how could I possibly expect anyone that age to join me in that little mind palace of mine? I could have been defined as a dreamer, and no one simply just reads a dreamer.

But what is a dreamer?

It’s not a question easy to answer for there’s just no definition to the term. You can just feel it; you can never know. You find a door that leads you into that world, and beware of the potential hurt; otherwise, just stay in the awaken zone. The Dreamers is that kind of door. The movie is the most bizarre, and may I say, most disgusting movie I’ve ever seen. Don’t get me wrong, the word “disgusting” here is in no way a criticism, but I just cannot find any better word that precisely describes the raw and intensity of the movie in portraying the world of dreamers. It tells the story of Matthew, a twenty-year-old American guy, who found himself in a fix when getting to know his first two friends in Paris. The twins, a boy and a girl, are children of a famous author and an English woman. That bizarre family has “Dreamers” as some sort of genetic trait that runs among the four of them. Both Matthew and the twins are film bugs, which brought them together, but as Matt was invited to reside in their house for a while as the parents are away, he soon found out something was so wrong between the brother and sister. They love each other, with the purest and strongest kind of love between two minds and souls that are naturally and genetically connected. They share one bed every night, naked. They bathe together, touch each other’s peepee as if it were a normal thing to do, and even shave each other’s public hair. Now you may want to throw up in your mouth reading this kind of relationship. The parents know nothing about this. They just know that their two twin kids get along really well and hang out together all the time. Theo and Isabella, the twins, find virtually nothing wrong with it. While they are aware of their incestual feeling, they just feel the inability to live without the other.

Then came Matthew.

Matthew was accepted by the twins as “One of us” after he passed their test on his movie knowledge and passion. Then he was forced to make love to Isabella in front of Theo, as a forfeit act in a game the twins were playing. Matt was too shy at first, but was then persuaded. Most of the time living in the house, Matthew posed as a perfect fit to the group. But as Theo put it, it was never “the three of us” – he would never let anyone to go between him and Isabella. Matt tried to talk the twins out of their abnormal relationship, to take Isa on a date as any other girl her age would experience, and to convince Theo that Maoism, which he adored, was nothing other than violence. But Matthew failed. Isa went insane when she heard Theo fooling around with some girl in the next room, and Theo rushed onto the street to join a riot on the street. He held Isa’s hand, and she came with him. In the end, the twins never separated.

Throughout the story I could not once feel repelled by Isa and Theo. Weird as it sounds, I did not judge them and their overco-dependence as I genuinely wanted to. It was a mixed feeling. Are they wrong or are they right? Are they the culprits, or just victims? Theo and Isa never watch TV, so they know nothing about the world going on out of their door. They drink wine and talk movies and bathed naked in the home, when outside on the street, people were marching across their door to object against war. As Matt said, they have not grown up, and never will. They stay the six-year-old boy and girl, playing games and watching each other’s body as if it were the most natural thing in the world. They love each other, because they were one person drifted in halves. They are never complete. So they are in constant need of completing each other. At least that’s how they feel.

I know I would never live that way, because my own world is not secure enough. In every imagination I encountered, there would always be a logical thinking sent from my left brain, reminding me that the real world is still spinning. Thus I don’t believe some Isa and Theo even exist, either. If they do, well then, good luck growing up; this world requires a great deal of courage to survive its cruety, especially for dreamers. The point is, at times logical thinking is just alien to imagination, as much as imagination is out of logical comprehension; what’s wrong with this world is, interestingly, sometimes it’s just too right. And yet, I want so bad to reserve the world I created for myself, as it is a precious part of me that I cannot live without, as much as I want to rush into the real world. It’s always been a hard act to keep the balance.  

Dạ Ly


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