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Discounted Dream

I used to dream of voyages. Not the voyage itself, usually, but that instant just before it begins: standing on a precipice, looking at a bay spread out below; the foothills of the mountain, its peak lost in the sun; the glimpse of beaches and forests that were created from my fragmentary memories. Such moments are usually the heart of the experience, much more so than the boredom that sets in during even the most compelling journeys, including those that transpire within a dream.

What changed in me, then? My imagined excursions to remote or hypothetical locations have given way to something far less. In fact I dreamed of being told, "You absolutely must see that mall in Pennsylvania." Worse yet, I readily concurred. A surprisingly long drive ensued, on a highway whose lanes weren't quite wide enough for the cars. It was a dangerous and even terrifying trip. I then found myself not at the reputedly magnificent mall, but in the waiting room of some dreary office, unsure as to why I was even there, and having a prolonged conversation (on indifferent topics) with a farmer (a nice fellow, but after all he is nothing but fiction). Looking out the window, I noticed that the mall was nearby, but I wasn't allowed to leave the office, and the farmer kept talking, but finally there was an alarm followed by the pleasure of waking up and proceeding directly to work.

Story by:

John Dutterer

submitted at 5:18pm

7 January 2012