My roommate wrote a children’s book for her nephew’s birthday, and I did the illustrations!  We proudly present Detective Cole Dog and the Case of the Missing Jewels.  Perfect for all those four-year-olds in your life.  Or for those times when you feel like a four-year-old and really just want to read about anthropomorphic black labs.  Don’t argue, I know you go through that phase.

The weather has been acceptable for car-napping lately.  Car-napping does not consist of absconding with vehicles and holding them for ransom, thought that would probably be fun too; rather, it is a term for the delightful cat-nap one steals during one’s lunch break.  The problem, or rather the wonderful thing, about car naps is that I usually eat my lunch first while reading a book, then fall asleep for 20 minutes or so.  This leads to lovely time-condensed dreams in which hours of my dream-life pass, and I wake up unsure of what day or month it is, or why I’m sitting in this parking lot with the Fedex guy giving me weird looks.

This week, my subconscious mixed it up a bit.  For two days in a row, I dreamed that I was still reading the book I had been perusing while I ate my lunch.  The thing with dreams is that usually when we say we read a book or saw a movie in a dream, we mean that our dream self held a book, flipped the pages, and remembers the general storyline in a vague, dreamlike way.  Real dream-reading is different.  I mean I dreamed reading every single word, one at a time, on a specific page, in what felt like real time, exactly the way one does in real life.  True dream-reading is an unearthly experience; even in the dream, I feel like I’m doing something very difficult or dangerous, and I always tentatively test it out in the dream by seeing if I really am reading.  Are my dream-eyes going back and forth?  Check.  Can I skip ahead or behind to other paragraphs?  Check.  Turning pages is the really tricky business.  The dream usually falls apart soon after.  I’ve only managed to turn a page and successfully stay asleep on maybe two occasions.  Whenever I dream-read, I desperately try to memorize a sentence or two well enough to prove to my awake self that I really managed it.  It makes even boring reading pretty exciting.

Right now I’m reading The Mill on the Floss, and that’s the same book I’ve been dream-reading.  The passages I remember dreaming are in Eliot’s style, but they’re usually filler stuff with not too much going on.  Then again, some would argue that this is exactly Eliot’s style…lot of stuff without much going on…but I wouldn’t be quite so cruel.  I can’t say her works are my favorite, but there is something satisfying about the long, leisurely story meandering to an inevitable resolution.  And it’s pretty interesting trying to keep straight which parts I dreamed and which are actually real, lending further entertainment.

Contemporaneous:

Past:

“Not all the times that are outside the present are therefore past or future“–CS Lewis:

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