Blogging The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes, Part 8
Preludes & Nocturnes is coming to an end today, and we’re so sad. Dream is sad too. He’s so sad that he’s sitting all by his lonesome, pouty-faced and too cool to cry, with voluminous raven locks falling across his downcast eyes. He holds a crust of very sad bread, feeding very sad crumbs to some very sad pigeons while a skinny man with a tragically awful haircut punts a sad soccer ball into the sorrow-soaked air.
Maybe he’s brooding because Preludes & Nocturnes is ending today, or perhaps he’s just upset that he has to feed pigeons so close to a soccer player in dangerously short shorts. Luckily, a woman bearing a strong resemblance to Dream approaches and something tells me she’s going to get him to talk.
This is Dream’s sister, the (in)famous Miss Death. She’s cute in that dated 90s Goth kind of way, and I think I’m going to turn her into a Geeky Girl Glam inspiration. (I’ve always had a shameless soft spot for those Goth-y types!) They chit-chat about goofy things—fat pigeons and Mary Poppins—and then she notices that Dream isn’t really in the mood for goofy. “What’s the matter?” she says. “I know something’s wrong. I mean, look at you! Sitting here moping. It isn’t like you.”
Wait, it isn’t like Dream to mope? Really, Death? I’m not sure you really know your brother that well.
Dream feigns some of that “oh, there’s like totally nothing wrong” kind of attitude, but we all know that any minute now he’s going to jump into one of his monologues. Come on, who does he think he’s fooling?
Dream proceeds to tell us all about the giant emptiness in his soul. He’s been through a lot, what with the getting stuck in a crystal ball for the better part of a century, escaping the crystal ball, then hunting down his precious artifacts. He has literally been to hell and back. Now that it’s all over, it’s a bit anticlimactic.
Once he’s done whining, his sister grabs his crust of bread, bops him on the head, and tells him rather harshly that he is being the “stupidest, most self-centered, appallingest excuse for an anthropomorphic personification on this or any other planet,” and that she has been worried sick about him.
I like this girl.
It’s time for the siblings to catch up, so Dream accompanies his sister while she works. Her name is Death, so you can guess what she does for a living. She’s the Reaper, and she helps people cross over to the other side. Over the next few pages, we witness the deaths of an old violin player, a comedian, and sadly, an infant. She is rather gentle with all of them. Dream takes this time to reflect on why people fear his sister’s “gift” so much. She has a function, just like he does, and dying is simply a natural part of life. It starts to eat at Death after while, when she knows that people aren’t happy to see her. In contrast, they willingly wander into her brother’s dream world every night.
Back at the place they met, Dream says that the time they spent together was therapeutic. His sister has given him plenty to think about, and he is thankful. But before they part, she has one last appointment. The soccer player runs into the street after the ball without looking. Now I feel bad for making fun of his outfit.
Feeling so much better now, Dream sets out to rebuild his dream world. He is so happy, in fact, the last page shows him frolicking among the not-so-sad-anymore pigeons—yes, FROLICKING. Happy dancing in the happy park to the happy sound of fat pigeon wings.
Oh Dream, you so crazy.