Where does a dream end, and the act of remembering it begin? That’s like asking the storyteller if he knows he’s a ghost. The observer is observed, observing the observer, in a succession of night-blue mirrors. And the eyes in them are stars. Some are moving away, others drawing near. And here is the imagined space between them.
Lost in San Francisco, I met a preacher who couldn’t speak, a tall man concerned with giants, a homeless man who wanted what I didn’t have, a trio of young thugs who threatened to beat me but didn’t follow through, a little boy searching for his mom — I followed him down a side street and saw him safely home, then crossed beneath a dripping stairwell where a young man was playing a marble game and betting against himself … reaching in my pocket I found what I thought might be a phone, part TV remote, part bright-red plastic toy, and was about to call my son when I came to a flight of metal stairs leading down, turned at the landing, took a narrow ladder the rest of the way, and there I met another boy who said “Don’t renounce me” three times as if I already had, and I fished in my pocket and found a sodden book of matches, only one of which seemed sound, and I tried to strike it to shed some light upon our shoes, to prove to him that mine were not mine, and his were his.
December 26, 2009