My dream about being robbed

I’ve lost my bus ticket home along with my billfold, which I suspect a pickpocket of having lifted. Nevertheless, I try to retrace my steps — a daunting task. How long have I been here? There’s hardly a house or shop that doesn’t seem familiar inside. I remember even the houses that are no longer there, their contents removed for resale in a junk shop that occupies several floors of a crumbling old hotel. We wander from room to room. Chairs hang high on the wall; a group of antique gramophones are gathered in a corner like musicians practicing their silence.

Back out on the street, I find an old roommate leaning against a car. I had heard he over-dosed in his bathtub after three tours of duty in Iraq. Can I get a ride, I ask. Of course, he says. We’re leaving in half an hour. I notice my wallet on the roof of his car, where I suddenly recall having set it down that morning. It’s been flipped open by the wind or some other thief. All my money and the ticket are still there. But it has other pockets I’ve never known about, like a book with pages omitted from an initial printing. It opens and opens. The thief has been thorough, but what exactly he took, I cannot say. I have a lucid moment and think: this dream is not about me. Mine is only a supporting role. Soon the stars will arrive, flashing their immaculate teeth.

5 Comments



  1. Wow! Brilliant, and if it really was a dream, even better.


    • Thanks. It really was a dream, but — and I think this is unavoidable, however we recount dreams — the process of making (semi-)coherent sense of it does irrevocably change it into a literary product.

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