As I sit in my room, I think about what has surfaced in my mind in the passing hours of wakefulness. When I awoke from the slumbers of the night, I lay there in the field of semi-consciousness, the radio transporting indistinct tonal sounds to my ear, as I am reluctantly pulled from the screen of what some might call reverie, some the screen of total night, which is sometimes pitch-black, sometimes filled with characters and faces that resemble the ones we see in day-to-day life, or see enough such that they are admitted into the private world of my consciousness, where personages—as we may call them—can mingle among other, more established personages, and where the configurations of the past, whether the street a certain personage might walk down, a classroom another might attend, a pulpit yet another might assume, are no longer fixed as a stone or a fossil; all these personages can freely roam, can be recombined, with settings and landscapes they have never known to visit; they may speak with other personages they have never met nor could ever meet; yet the impossible—from the viewpoint of the unchangeable past—is accomplished every night or most nights, when the boundaries of the world come down and the dreamer, as another of these personages, can come in and out, as it were, of these scenes, viewing them as if he were an observer, perhaps a cameraman or a director or a simple onlooker, or stepping into the purview of the lens, as if he had been directed by another to appear onscreen. But the dreamer, who seems both in control and completely driven by the whims of an unknown force or author, hardly remembers what occurred upon waking from the episodes that had occupied him and his personages for much of the night. The memory of the night’s proceedings, of the events (if they can be so called) that ensued in at least one possible world or dreamscape, might have been part of a whole, but because its residue is invariably episodic, it is understood as episodic as such, a series of image sequences that lack narrative or logical coherence, and in that state of semi-consciousness the dreamer tries to grasp the remaining fragments from his sleepiness before it dissipates upon wakefulness. This morning, for instance, having woken up and reluctantly risen from my bed, washed my face and shaven off what little hair sprouts around my mouth, and then made a mug of coffee and peanut-buttered a slice of toast, nothing came in my mind that would remind me of what had passed that night. I presume I slept soundly enough, because I was awoken by the radio clock at my bedside and not by the sun that creeps through the gap in the window blind in the early morning. Maybe because I slept so soundly I cannot recall the events that have passed in the preceding seven or eight hours; no matter how hard I try to touch the surface of that silent and imageless world, hoping a ripple would mirror back to me a distorted glimpse of the goings-on during what we call sleep. It is of course a mystery why we sleep, why we sleep away a great deal of our lives. The current trend in science and even in some business circles is to give some honour back to sleep, to acknowledge the benefits that accrue to this seemingly wasteful pastime, which requires the human subject to lie, in most circumstances, supine and inert. When in earlier decades sleep was considered wasteful, a defect in human functioning that had to be controlled or at least minimised, it is admitted now perhaps in the way that vacations and leisure, so called, are admitted: as recuperation for the weary body at the grindstone. But this way of reconciling sleep to life is to deny what has been long known about sleep: that it is a preparation for death. Is it possible that there is more life in sleep than life itself, or that—I am already feeling muddled—if we are beings oriented toward death, we are, in our daily lives, beings oriented toward sleep? Is not tiredness, which we try to avoid and forsake as much as possible, using any substance or manipulation of the body to forestall or stave off or ideally eliminate, the natural telos of the day, of our so-called waking lives, the end to which, if we accept it and do not resist its charms, sends us to that quiet and peaceful sleep, which is an imitation and harbinger of death? Sleep, then, is a rehearsal for death, our daily lives a miming and mimicking of that condition which lies beyond us, what has sometimes been called the afterlife. And what is the afterlife but the dream of death? As if conscious life so called were the materials for these ceaseless dreams, when the human subject was no longer enslaved to moving and breathing in this world but could lie down without interval, enjoying this uninterrupted space of dream and reverie—for no such distinction truly exists—for what we call eternity. The human has evolved from a quadruped to a biped, and in its final gasps has even gone beyond its bipedalism, content and indeed happy to rest without the support of any limbs, to achieve its final form supine.
But as I think these admittedly morbid thoughts, I wonder if the dreams I have already had—or should I say the dreams I can recall—augur the true state of nonbeing toward which I am headed. Perhaps I should resist speculation of those moments of dying, or the moment of death itself, and recall that in recent years the dreamscape of the night has been fairly and disappointingly banal. I remember from this week that an acquaintance had donated some money to the magazine I had recently put up on the internet. I was surprised that he was the first to donate since I had not even invited him, and my memory of him included an image of his wife, who was always kind to me but, for some inexplicable reason, could not prepare herself to go out unless there was no one, husband included, in the apartment. It was something that a psychologist might have deemed a neurosis or some or another maladaptive behaviour; her husband, no doubt baffled, had accepted it and even apologised to me when I overslept at their place, thus delaying his wife’s plans to leave the apartment. But as I ponder it now, I wonder why this intense privacy or momentary seclusion was necessary for her. Was it that, in the transition from home to whatever lay beyond its borders, she had to prepare herself for a transformation that allowed her to step beyond her domestic boundaries? But why did it have to be done in private, or rather, without the presence of others, no matter how close or intimately known? Was it that, outside of the home, we are different people—somewhat related to the ones of the interior but with, one might say, an exteriority that was matched by her now-transformed self? But what puzzled me was that we could enter the apartment together after a night out in town; we—I mean the husband and I—did not have to wait outside while she underwent some ritual to cleanse her of her exteriority; we simply went into the apartment together, as if the division of exterior and interior was not to be brooked. So perhaps I was wrong to conclude that the private morning ritual of the wife was preparation for crossing the boundary of the apartment door; it was rather a private ceremony that aided or completed her transition from the domain of sleep. Perhaps she was one of those rare individuals who could recall her dreams, or whose dreams held such intensity in so-called daily life that she had adapted the modern imperative of preparing and painting the female face to mark a threshold, a liminal state she had to confront each and every day—for each and every night she slept. In the early years of marriage, this ritual—or rather its disruption—had caused some tension between the couple. The wife had found that the ritual she conducted as a single person had lost its power when she started dwelling with her husband. In the first year or even the second, she did not notice much difference, but her husband found (so he says) that she was becoming more and more withdrawn, turning down invitations from other couples and generally excusing herself from going out. The wife was already shy in demeanour and more withdrawn than her peers, so this did not strike the husband as particularly alarming. But it was only when his older brother and his older brother’s wife came to visit that he realised that something had gone awry. She first welcomed the visiting couple, chatting with them past midnight, offering suggestions of what food they could sample (tacos, wood-fired pizza) and which museums and cinemas they could visit. However, the next morning, she refused to leave her room, and the husband was forced to take the visiting couple around the sprawling metropolis alone. After several days of being left alone to prepare herself in the morning, the wife agreed to have a parting dinner with the visiting couple, who offered to pay for their dinner of chicken and biscuits and collard greens. But once the visitors left, the irritation between husband and wife again flared, and the husband decided, after several weeks of professional counselling and encouragement from his men’s group, to move back with his parents in order to give his wife some space. It was then that the wife discovered that all the space she needed was the space of the morning ritual. The more she could, as she put it, “cleanse” herself of the night’s proceedings, the better she could function in waking life as a social worker. She could listen to other people’s concerns and anxieties without getting mixed up in her own dream-intensities, which the morning ritual, if it could not dispel, could at least tamp down to an acceptable level.
While the husband was temporarily separated, so to speak, from his wife, he continued to attend classes at a well-known institute for film. During his breaks from lectures and screenings and technical workshops, he would sit down with a group of ambitious males to discuss their next project. These men—for they were not teenagers but had already passed through one round of college—had grown up in the eighties and had therefore grown up watching Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese and George Lucas. Indeed, one of them had taken a minor role in the latest Star Wars franchise, the first of three prequels that lead up to the trilogy of famous films they all had seen while young. If I am not mistaken, this minor role was none other than Jar Jar Binks, a character so ridiculed and detested by viewers of the first prequel that he (if that is what this alien figure was) did not appear in the second prequel, let alone the third. I have only one image of this much-decried character, having seen him flail about what I took to be some evolution of a ram’s horns on the grainy screen of my parent’s Panasonic TV. Since I turned off the TV shortly after this appearance, I only knew about the fortunes of this alien from the hearsay that occurred among friends or fellow parishioners at church. Perhaps I too had found this character annoying or out of place, but it is more likely that I did not wish to disturb the memory of first seeing the Star Wars series. The image I am speaking about is an orange-red glow out of the darkness: sitting in a pitch-black cinema, which I was later told was not really a movie theatre but a large room in a local RSL club, this radiating globe of light seemed to represent some passage into another world. It was an image I saw over twenty years later at the beginning of Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life, an image whose effect was snuffed out by a long sequence in the film when a handgun among children is cocked and it is not revealed until the end of the sequence whether the handgun is loaded.
The fact that one of these men in the previous paragraph had played Jar Jar Binks in a risible movie, thereby tampering with or ruining an entire generation of image-memories, seemed to be of little concern to him. On the contrary, the fact that he had played an infamous part in the ill-judged franchise was a point of pride: it allowed him greater access, and paradoxically esteem, in the Hollywood community. He was introduced to me as the one who played Jar Jar Binks, as if this would immediately warm me to him or raise my estimation of him, since none of his student peers had achieved any such fame or notoriety. The destiny of the character of Jar Jar Binks was to be an opening line of a conversation, a stepping stone, as it is said today, in the advancement of an individual’s career, whose brief experience in the movie as a risible figure in a caustically-received instalment of a director’s franchise had not turned him off from the enterprise completely. Far from dissuading him, it set his sights higher—to be a director of a feature film or indeed a director with a long list of films to his credit, each distinguished by redefining the genre or genres to which they purportedly belonged. Although his ambition was to make such generation-defining movies such as Star Wars or E.T. or Forrest Gump, he found that his thoughts and the images in his mind were preoccupied with the earliest feature film of Christopher Nolan, called Following. Unlike many film crews in Hollywood, Nolan did not have at his behest the kinds of cameras and equipment and technology that were taken for granted in big productions; he was only able to use studio-quality recording for what would become the opening and closing scenes, which were filmed in an actual recording studio; and yet, by framing his otherwise amateurish and garbled sound with the sound of the highest fidelity at the time, he was able to trick audiences in believing the sounds and noises that accompanied his monochrome scenes on the street and in the apartment and at the bar were entirely deliberate, an auteur’s choice. The man who had once played Jar Jar Binks was astonished by this sleight of hand, a magician’s trick which Nolan, once he could command larger budgets, would make the subject of the narrative itself. This first feature film of Nolan’s, the man thought, was far more impressive than another film recently screened at the institute, the work of a Danish alumnus whose idea of horror was putting a man in a deep pit and pouring wet concrete in the same pit. The conceit of the short film was accomplished in part from the centre positioning of the man in the pit, whose increasingly desperate pleas and cries of help were addressed, it seemed, to a torturer who was located offscreen and who never spoke. The conceit, which was also accomplished by the way the set was brightly lit, as if it were an everyday sitcom, was to implicate the viewer in this perverse horror–comedy. It was to say, perhaps too insistently, that you the viewer are the torturer of this seemingly innocent man. It was this insistence, this passionate earnestness, that bothered the man formerly known as Jar Jar Binks. He was not sure if it was only an American tendency, or should he say a Hollywood tendency; there was something about the studio system that made too much of some aspect or mood or style that had been picked up, more often than not, from a foreign source; to Americanise it was to coarsen it for the masses, to make it larger than life, and in its audaciousness to disturb the balance of elements that would have made for a quieter, more subdued film; even if a Hollywood film was reflective, it forced its reflectiveness on you, usually by some combination of slow-motion scenes and an unapologetically sentimental track. Even for all its beauty and subtlety, Terrence Malick could not resist, in the film mentioned above, indulging in the nationalistic orchestrations of Bedrich Smetana, which could unfailingly produce a welling-up of emotion for practically any montage. This was perhaps the reason that Robert Bresson had renounced his use of music—even the music of Bach and Schubert—opting for the “music” that had come organically from the process of filming and recording itself, the sounds of the open and of his “models,” as he instructed them to act out the same scene again and again, wearing down any of their defenses so that a miracle might appear on camera.
I am not certain that the man who had once played Jar Jar Binks had thought some or any of the thoughts of the previous paragraph. Perhaps he had thought none of them. When I think back to the time of meeting this man who would become a director of several atmospheric short films, if not of a feature film or two, he betrayed none of the misgivings I might have liked to have attributed to him. Most of his conversations, or what I could make out as he bounced ideas around with the husband of the previous paragraphs at a corner table in Starbucks, or outside one of the several screening rooms at the institute, seemed to take place within that aura that surrounds Hollywood and its neighbouring districts, the aura which drives everyone to toil day and night on the next big screenplay. Sitting in a café all day, I noticed that whatever conversation was had would inevitably touch on the latest film of a famous director or the casting for a newly completed screenplay or, most frequently, an idea for a feature film or a television series. Indeed, one could not go to a café without encountering someone conceiving or writing a screenplay on spec (as it is said), in the grand hopes that it would be picked up by a large production studio or at least bought out by an enterprising producer or director. This was true not only in those neighbourhoods which were in the vicinity of a film institute or film school, of which there were several in Los Angeles, but even those which seemed removed from the clutches of the Hollywood industry. Everyone, or a sizeable group of the population in Los Angeles, seemed to be caught in this frenzy of filmmaking, which promised fame and riches to be sure, but also the privilege to write the dream-sequences of humans all over the globe. It was this potential to command the dreams of the entire world that drove the entire city to making films; yet for this select group of people the dreams that they would script and compose and actualise for the global public could be reduced, no matter how complex or seemingly diverse, to a handful of so-called masterplots. The actual number of masterplots was debated, but it usually settled on or around the number seven, which seemed to accord with mythological and biblical principles as well as scientific findings regarding the human mind.
The history of film had been an extended experiment to discover, largely by trial and error, these seven or so masterplots, and by the late seventies and early eighties directors had hit upon what they called the archetypal forms of myth and legend. These could serve as the basis and blueprint for their movies, which were not just money-making products, so-called blockbusters that could bring a windfall many times over the budget, but were the contemporary form of what had always resonated with the human soul, for such narratives disclosed the origins of the soul and our orientation toward death. Yet it was also discovered that the pitch-black movie theatre, which brought into sharpest relief the moving images projected onto the far wall, had an even greater effect than a symphony concert or the private reading of a novel. The director’s intentions could be directly impressed on the viewer’s screen of consciousness: the viewer experienced the screen as the private screen of her consciousness—or, as a psychoanalyst might put it, the screen of her unconscious. In other words, the filmmaker could populate the mind of the viewer with images, sounds, and feelings that could be mistaken for a dream; but these images, sounds, and feelings would have a precision and narrative logic that dreams typically lacked; further, these images, sounds, and feelings would be shared by millions, perhaps billions, of people, as if they had all dreamed the same dream. For the bulk of directors in Hollywood, dreams always came in a limited number of genres, and it was their craft and responsibility to codify the dreams of a rapidly globalising world into these genres, refining them to the subtlest of beats and, for the more adventurous, mixing two or at most three to surprising effect. Eventually directors forgot the untrammelled access they had to their audience’s image-memories, perhaps because it became so commonplace to speak about characters or scenes in their movies as if one had actually met those characters or visited the places projected on the screen. The world of movies was contiguous with what is known today as the real world, and although some people took precaution to distinguish such characters from their waking life, just as they would speak of dreams as separate from reality, in the consciousness of these sometime viewers no firm distinction could be held; one could as easily daydream about an attractive work colleague as imagine oneself falling down a chute in order to save a princess from another galaxy.
The narrator of this story came under the influence of images contrived in Hollywood studios at the age of five or six, or certainly before he had reached the so-called age of reason. This narrator, who is identified with the “I” of this fictional story, recalls the moment of terror as a giant, white-furred animal he could not classify floated across the cinema screen. I suppose the scene of this fantastical but benevolent beast provoked in other children a sense of wonderment and awe, but the boy the narrator once was had cowered in fear and sought refuge in his father, who was surprised by the boy’s reaction. For the majority of children in the cinema, this film was an invitation to many more such waking dreams, and as the children grew up and aged, the cinema would supply any of the requisite images, sounds, and feelings that accompanied each stage of maturation till their dying years. Of course, these children would go on to have dreams that had nothing to do with the waking dreams they consumed regularly. But just as often their dreams, as they experienced them and were faintly aware of them, would take on the character of those waking dreams, giving their sleeping consciousness the psychic materials with which they could shape and enjoy these nightly escapades. The boy, however, experienced the cinema image as a direct assault on his imaginative world, and as I write this I cannot recall anything else about the film with the large white beast except the terrifying darkness of the cinema. A few years later the father, thinking that the boy’s oversensitivity had been cured by school and a moderate amount of television, brought him to see a film while the family were holidaying at The Entrance, a small town around a hundred kilometres north of Sydney. Seated somewhere in the front-left area of the cinema, the screen etched out a series of parallel lines and angles that formed a golden letter V before the film proper got under way. For several years after this movie screening, the very appearance of this V, which was highlighted by a snaking illumination, could briefly send the boy into the state of dread that had accompanied his seeing the movie at The Entrance. Even when the movie was over and the boy was strolling with his parents in the bright sunlight or resting at a lamppost on the side of an open picnic area near the water, he could not get out of his mind the witch’s purple irises, the leather white gloves she wore with a ring, the continual threat of her grotesque face and body being revealed. Although the boy had read and enjoyed the book on which the movie was based, the movie, which was not exactly horror but, as the boy would read in a newspaper review, merely good and scary fun for the kids, had the effect of the turning the cinema into a site of trauma. The boy felt, though he might not have put it this way, that to enter the cinema and encounter this symbol, this V, was to give up one’s imaginative life to some murky and unknown force; to the boy it felt like an attack, a violation even, and he could not understand those who would so easily go along with it and even enjoy themselves.
When I reflect on the previous paragraph, I realise that the boy probably did not see the film in question at The Entrance. What the boy saw at The Entrance instead was a poster almost as large as him and which featured the witch of this film: the witch in her elegant, some would say beautiful, fleshly disguise, whereas the boy knew precisely what lay under that smooth sheen of skin. It was this intrusion of the film—the image of the woman or witch—that brought the same fear back as if the boy was once again in the cinema—except now he was being assaulted in broad daylight. For that very reason the boy had no fond memories of The Entrance, and indeed wished that the family had not gone there to holiday. But the boy realised, too, that this image of the witch could appear almost in any place where there was a cinema, that she could surface in posters and newspapers and, worse of all, cardboard cut-outs that peered down on his frightened self. For months after the boy was grateful for the life of school and music lessons and homework and church, almost relishing the boredom that arose from these activities. He felt this life of strict routine shielded him from the extravagances of imagination this Hollywood film had provoked in him; if he had to endure the appearance of this witch in his dreams, in which the most frightful moment was the tugging of the white gloves and the unveiling of the deformed and permanently singed head, he could return with comfort to his waking life as the son of middle-class migrants.
As long as the boy could shield himself from these images in his waking life and take care not to introduce new ones through images that were produced under the classification of horror, he found after a few months they would lose their phantasmagoric power, at most sparking a distant feeling of fear which could easily be suppressed or short-circuited. Not until the boy was a teenager would he have to confront a series of images that would haunt him in the dark spaces of his mind, images which would be reflected in the outward environment; walking across a dimly lit bridge on the way home—a bridge nicknamed the rifle range—he might imagine himself being impaled several times on a pike from without. For several months after he saw the Hollywood horror movie that had brought on these attacks, he avoided this bridge, taking the circuitous but more well-lit route home. Not until quite recently, when the teenager had grown up and returned from a lengthy overseas stay, did he dare to walk the rifle range at night; but now the overgrowth of trees (from which attacks had emerged) had been cleared up, and now when the narrator looked out as he walked across he would imagine himself peering at the English countryside, or perhaps the backyard of an old English countryside house, the newly installed lights of the bridge casting an evergreen shadow on a colour of grass rarely seen in Australia.
Since the boy was not allowed to watch television except on weekends, he would often peruse the wood-veneer bookshelves at home, which contained books by American authors who were ministers or evangelists or well-known Christian writers. One of these books had a blue cover and featured the picture of a knight who could have belonged on a fantasy novel; the knight, with his face uncovered, was peering into a sort of lake that reflected back a sinister, reptilian-looking face; the title of the book was, I believe, Mystery Marks of the New Age. From the book the boy discovered many things: that the peace sign was an inverted cross; the eye and the pyramid on the US dollar signalled obeisance to an Egyptian cult; that in the near future, the sign of the devil would be stamped on wrists and foreheads as barcodes. The New Age—in which the Antichrist would slowly assert his dominance for a thousand years—was upon us; all anyone had to do was look and interpret the signs and symbols around us, which together disclosed that the end of the Old Order was nigh. The boy looked all around to discern signs of the New World Order, but he was disappointed to find that even the Australian notes he studied did not have any alien eyes or pyramids, just eyes that belonged to white men who perhaps had something to do with the Old Sydney Town he had visited for a class excursion. There was no sign of the devil in that town, nor in the soft bread powdered with white flour and spread with butter and golden syrup—a real colonial treat, he thought, which he pestered his mother to recreate at home.
Not long after, the boy began to have what would become a recurring dream or nightmare, depending on your point of view. He would see himself being possessed by a demon, not showing any physical manifestations but nevertheless crouched down, on his knees, in the music room, near the family’s grand piano and beside a stack music books, praying to Jesus to protect him. In this dream, the boy’s father would tell him to keep praying to Jesus, to keep calling on his name, which was powerful enough to cast out any demon, even the devil himself. The father would instruct him in a calm but firm voice, but the rest was up to the boy and the strength of his prayers; the dream always ended with the boy in the middle of such an incantation, casting the name of Jesus to exorcise whatever ailed him; he would wake up in a sweat, take some time to recover, and later ponder why he kept having this dream.
Even pondering this today, I can only think back to those times when the boy’s father had told him never to dabble in the occult. This was always the moral lesson when the father mentioned his aunt, who was not, as he put it, a good person. She was up to funny things, dabbling in seances and Ouija boards and hanging around temples. When I was only a boy, the father said, this aunt would take me to the temple and get me to burn incense and sometimes hold a basket. One day, while I was holding this basket in the palms of my hands, the basket moved by itself! I was of course quite shaken and nearly dropped the basket, but all my aunt did was laugh, she laughed that evil laugh which I would never forget—it was the same laugh she laughed when she tricked your mother, on our wedding day, to drink the wrong cup of tea. Instead of being blessed by her younger siblings, your mother was tricked into offering blessings to them; and this little joke of my aunt, a mere trifle in her mind, has cast a shadow on our marriage ever since; I am surprised even that we are still married and have healthy children… But the boy’s father would always stop himself short and say, not that any of that matters. She was from a side of my family that, when I consider it now, have fallen upon great misfortune. When I look at that side—my father’s side—I see a group of gamblers and pimps and layabouts, unsavoury characters who have not done very well. I see failed marriages, affairs, and dysfunctional families, dishonest schemers and indulgent slackers – or in the case of your uncle the pimp, a desire to trod on other people. Compare that with my mother’s side—your Poh Poh’s side—and you’ll see which side has been blessed. All of my siblings have done relatively well: when the last of them arrived in Sydney to study, I already had a house. I no longer had to live with my older brother and his wife, nor did I have to worry about my younger brother, who had gotten married and settled in Melbourne. We were all doing well, with steady jobs and marriages and kids on the way. And I cannot help but think that this state of affairs has to do with us being Christian. Being Christian is a blessing enough, of course, but the fact that the whole family on my mother’s side has been materially blessed as well is no coincidence. Whereas my father’s side of the family have fallen into ruin, squandering whatever wealth they had on gambling chips and fast women and crackpot schemes, ending up in squalid government housing when they could have lived in Singapore’s best suburbs, my mother’s side, or should I say my mother (for, as you know, my father died at a young age, leaving five young children to be cared for), has always been frugal and responsible and wise with money, and God has blessed us with comfortable lives and with our Christian faiths intact.
As I think back to the boy and his recurring dream, I wonder if what he was trying to do, at least unconsciously, was to confront his father’s father’s side of the family. With the name of Jesus, he was to exorcise, as it were, this side of the family, which would well up in him on occasion and make him think strange things, would flourish during those moments in the music room when something other than a pious hymn was played. Music was not necessarily demonic, but it could open up the unsuspecting victim to negative spiritual influences, just as incense burning, spells, Ouija boards, astral projections, and film screenings could. Perhaps the scene in the music room had occurred after a particularly intense experience, courtesy of the grand piano, as if it had exceeded the bounds of what was appropriate for the son of middle-class migrants. His soul had become a site of battle between the forces of Good and Evil, his father’s mother’s side and his father’s father’s side, his soul riven by the life of wanton deeds and destitution and the life of bourgeois Christian respectability.
This, of course, is merely the narrator’s interpretation. It is not clear whether the boy successfully chased out the last demon or capitulated to its demands, but by the time the boy graduated from high school and became a student at a university in Sydney, the dream did not return.
Kenneth doesn’t mind if you see the new version of The Witches without him. In fact, he insists upon it. Please comment below or message him, if you are so led, and consider supporting him for this effort.