Point of View: In Your Dreams

“I would like to have a dream like that. . . .”

“I dreamt I’d won a Peace prize. . . .” “No, no, that was my Peace prize,” corrected Mary, who recently had spent hours straightening out one of my bill-paying gaffes with State Farm, had painstakingly laid the groundwork for a tax grievance, and had raked leaves and edged until she was a physical wreck.

“Ah, mind and body,” I said. “Actually, you were the one who gave it to me, though you’re right, I should have been the one to give it to you. Dreamlife’s unfair. It was a photograph of my mother with me as an infant . . . blissful.”

“I would like to have a dream like that. . . .”

“And then I dreamt I was flying the night before. On my back, borne up by a breeze, dipping and soaring above everyone. The sun was shining. I’d been with a group of people. I began doing jumping jacks, and then I began to fly, out into the outdoors.”

“I love dreams of flying. . . . You were joyful.”

“Yes, joyful. . . . Maybe some of it has to do with the fact that there are things to write about now, now that it’s ostensibly spring. It’s a relief, I no longer have to dream things up as I did all winter, just hang on for the ride.”

“Or maybe it was about ducking out on hours of phone calls to State Farm to get the insurance snafu ironed out, or checking the internet for comps. . . .”

“Yes, it could have been about escape. . . . I mean, there are so many reasons now not to neaten up so much around the house. We want to win our tax grievance, don’t we? Shouldn’t we cultivate more of a down-in-the-mouth look? Where’s that old baby puke-green Ford Falcon when I need it? The night it died I pushed it back onto the front lawn, where it stood for years by the mailbox. . . .”

“When we had that town party everyone covered it with graffiti. Georgie and Johnna used to wait for the school bus in it. You began calling it ‘a home for wayward dolls.’ There were four or five of them propped up against the rear window.”

“Then a neighbor left that note: ‘Usually, after the viewing the dead are interred, Mr. Graves.’ The Reids towed it away. Geoff Gehman thinks I was inspired by the Beales’ Buick that I saw that wintry day in the bracken as I was biking down West End Road long ago. Perhaps I was, subconsciously. There’s not so much living down the Joneses anymore. The houses are obese, the lawns just so. Bonac yards — folk art really — are rarities now. I saw one the other day and was smitten. I thought of writing it up and photographing it, but then reined myself in. ‘In your dreams,’ I said. ‘It won’t fly.’ ”