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4. Theaeterus Theorem

Descartes believed that unlike perceptions, dreams are associated with beliefs, and these beliefs in our dreams exist without a reality check. I don’t think he’s right.  I had a dream after meeting Antonio.  In the dream, he swept me away from the cold of the East, and I flew with him across the continent, over oceans, back to Argentina. Much like Daedulus, he fashioned wings made of wax from the candle that sits near his bed.  I could smell vanilla as we flew together.  While I could feel the temperature changing from the icy cold into a pressing heat, unlike the wings of Icarus, mine never melted.  I think it was because Antonio escaped with me, each of us flying, together, side by side.  Perhaps it was the wind chill caused by the other’s wings that kept the wax from melting.  Anyway, while our wax-made wings might lay conceptually unchecked, I’ve planned to run away with Antonio now at the end of this semester.  The decision came months after my dream.  It’s not so much that I want to leave Nathan behind, it’s just that I’d rather stay with Antonio.  We’re going to Madrid in January, then to his family’s ranch outside of Buenos Aieres, flying all the way on Iberia.  The plane has large white wings, and we’re traveling through the clouds, escaping the cold, and the emptiness that’s developed in this place.  Descartes maybe felt different about these things when he was my age.  He was an old guy, probably just disappointed by life, when he thought up the Theaeterus Theorem.  I mean, Descartes died of pneumonia shortly after writing it, because he’d been spending his nights thinking up new ideas and his days tutoring a Sweedish heiress.  I’d probably be a pessimist too if I was Descartes, an old man, making my living tutoring some rich guy’s daughter.  By that point, I’m sure most of his dreams seemed unattainable, too.

Catherine’s Pillow Book