a dream within a dream

It’s as though the morale is so down in our current office that they decided to fly out one of our team managers to host a happy hour for us tonight at a fancy cocktail bar half a block away from our office in the Flatiron. We already had a happy hour to increase team camaraderie last Thursday, but we had to have yet another one today. It’s not that I am complaining about it; it’s more that although I do like nice, well made cocktails that I don’t have to pay for, I think the problems are deeper than what can be solved by getting tipsy with my colleagues.

I originally thought I’d only stay for a drink or two, but I ended up staying out until nearly midnight, which I definitely did not plan at all on doing. Two venues, four drinks, six hours later, it was as though everything just felt like a big blur. But I was extremely cognizant of everything around me. I could feel myself enunciating every syllable clearly to detract from the fact that the alcohol was seeping into my blood and affecting my head. Is this period just a phase, a big haze that will eventually end and morph into something else? I kind of feel like I am floating and things aren’t quite real right now, and I’m not sure why. That then reminded me of this poem I enjoyed by Edgar Allan Poe when I was 13, studying his poetry and short stories. It’s when we ask ourselves what is real vs. what is not, yet we think everything we are experiencing is real. The poem goes something like this:

A Dream Within a Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

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