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imaginary bookstore

In last night's dream, my father and I traveled to another town to visit a shopping mall. This dream---like most of my dreams--was cast in this blue-grey half-light. My father browsed in some shop. I wandered away to visit a bookstore. I entered the bookstore and was struck with the realization that I had visited it years earlier. I was overwhelmed with melancholy nostalgia. That's the weird thing: my dream self was clearly affected by a memory my real-life self does not recognize. I--in this moment--don't recognize the town or the bookstore. The rest of the dream involved me panicking, trying to figure out how I would regroup with my father. Neither of us had cell phones in the dream. The shopping mall was a vast, ever-shifting dreamscape.

But that's pretty much how I grew up--or grew on. My favorite haunts were bookstores and video arcades. My father would take care of his business and come find me in one of those places. We had wristwatches and would agree to meet at such-and-such place at such-and-such time. I think that was a gnawing fear in the back of my mind: what if he didn't show up? What if I searched for him and could not find him in an ever-shifting reality?

And, man, reality is an ever-shifting motherfucker. The last time I saw him, I was trying to reach him through a deepening blue-grey half-light without a phone or wristwatch, no predesignated time or location to meet.

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