People of Santa Cruz: Perry Hernandez

My name is Perry Hernandez.

Do you remember your dreams?

My dreams? Heh-heh-heh… I think the easiest one to start with is the ones I’m having while I’m sleeping. I’d say it’s more like colors and shapes. Sometimes, it’s the I’m falling dreams, sometimes I have a little more control, more lucid dreams.

I find after I wake there’s still some regret—regret that I didn’t take more advantage and there were some arbitrary parameters. I can only fly so high, or I can only fly as far as I can exert myself. It’s a thing I’ve been able to do on and off for many years. It kind of happens when I’m very tired, and I’m drifting in and out, and I’m trying to sleep. I’m kind of aware, so there’s like this meta-awareness already that sleep just happened or I was just dreaming. I think of it as like feathering myself into sleep, and I say I have control over this domain at this point.

You know, after Covid, my goals in life are a little more short-term. I’ve put things more into perspective. My goals are to keep my eyes on the road and not the horizon, to steer into the turns a little bit better, and maybe not to feel that I have control over what’s over the horizon, and just kind of go for the ride.

What’s the most important work you are doing?

My work is to harvest more joy out of each month. I deal with a lot of chronic pain. The best part of the work I’m doing is engaging with others. I get a lot of vicarious joy. I use humor.

The biggest challenge is perspective, is to not take hardships of the day and project them into the future. Doom and gloom. And this is as we are pulling out of Covid. To not think that this is going to last forever. Keep perspective in mind. Time moves forward and with that there is opportunity for change.

What is your current opinion of Santa Cruz?

That we are at the precipice of big change. Especially downtown—I’ve been a downtown resident since ’97. I see a lot of housing developments going on down the street, and I’m really excited about that. Cautiously optimistic. I’m hoping that we get ore small businesses that can support the needs of folks that maybe don’t have cars and therefore it become even more functional than it is already.

Maybe that’s naïve, but I’m probably a minority in that I’m optimistic and that things are going to get better. We’ll have more options, more variety. Stores may stay open later, who knows?

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