I think you’re right: my dream and Maria’s do seem like analogues. Forest spaces have merged with rooms in my imagination ever since we moved here when I was five, if not earlier. My brothers and I all had dreams, prompted by train whistles in the night, in which we were chased by trains up the hollow (we had to cross the train tracks every day on our way home from school), and the hollow frequently turned into the narrow, L-shaped staircase to our bedrooms.

I’ll bet just about everyone who grew up during the Cold War had desolation dreams like that. Maybe the post-1989 generation does too, though, I don’t know. We certainly don’t lack for terrors today. In fact, we seem to thrive on them.