I have this recurring dream that I live in an enormous house and I’m walking through room after room to get something from one particular room that seems to be somewhere on the other side of the county line. Sometimes the house is almost completely empty of people and sometimes there isn’t so much as a stick of furniture in any of the rooms, but sometimes, like last night, the rooms were sumptuously furnished with post-modern sofas, wingback chairs, pianos and so on, and the many people gathered in every room said hi to me or just waved so as not to interrupt the conversation that was going on as I passed by.
When I finally got to the room I was looking for, it was filled shoulder-to-shoulder with the kind of badly-painted plaster mannequins you’d find in a forgotten five-and-ten store, and one whole wall was a plate-glass window that faced on to a busy downtown street. The book I wanted was on the arm of a recliner by the window. Nobody walking by along the sidewalk seemed to notice me as I picked up the book, sat down and began to read.