Sunday, October 16, 2011

A dream about a guy I knew in college and never much cared for. He struck me as prudish, aesthetically staid, and prematurely old. When we shared a hotel room in Toronto, his intellectual hubris irritated me. I don’t remember his name, but he was shaped like a Coke bottle, so I’ll call him Mr. Coke.

I was lying on my back on tall columns of jeans and t-shirts against a wall. I could touch the ceiling. Far below, Mr. Coke was pulling out t-shirts—quickly and gingerly, so as not to crumble the columns. He reminded me of someone trying to yank a tablecloth out from under plates and silverware. Nevertheless, every time he pulled out a shirt, the columns wobbled as though about to topple over. It was a long way to the floor, and nothing would have broken my fall.

Mr. Coke chose the same t-shirts I would’ve chosen: ironic or emblazoned with band logos.

On the ceiling the white paint looked like a sheet stretched taut over a dinosaur spine. I grasped the spine with my hands and feet and shinnied across the ceiling to the adjacent wall, where there was a small door like that of a dumbwaiter. Maybe it was an escape route! I opened the door with my foot and found...another wall! There was a phone, too, and below the phone a number written in pencil, almost illegible on the lumpy, whitewashed cement. But even if I’d been able to pick up the phone, the number would have been useless. I knew it was a cruel practical joke.

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