Children may dream, but they don’t dream as we do. They live in the angled brightness we only escape to in sleep. When they say: I had a dream, they might mean: Mommie told me. When we say: I’ve been dreaming about you, it’s because we’re too timid to say: My fantasy self penetrates and partially devours your fantasy self. Try it. You’ll see why we hesitate. So I wonder: which is this? The nonsense narrative of a toddler on a water slide, or my dream last night. I was at the office. Right? But not the office? More like a museum? And my boss was a painting? Not the whole painting? Just one of the background figures that—if you didn’t have time to see because you were listening to those headphones and they told you to move to the next painting—you might not even notice? But I had to listen? Because his voice came over the headphones? And then I realized it was your voice? And you were my boss? And that’s when I tried to quit, but you said I hadn’t begun to do the job you had hired me to do and I couldn’t quit, because quitting implied that the job had failed me but it was me who had failed? So I cut you out of the painting and devoured you? And the guard had me arrested because you can’t eat the paintings, but the judge didn’t want to convict me because his son hadn’t done his job either, but the jury was background people from paintings and they were not sympathetic because a lot of people had failed to notice them? So now I’m in a painting but you’ll never find me? But all I want is for you to find me?

Copyright © November 16, 2006 David Hodges

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