Last night’s dream was a doozy:
I was working in a large pet store that also sold potted plants. Oddly, there were no animals in the store. Shelves and shelves of dog and cat food, rubber toys, leashes and such, but nary a puppy, kitten, canary or hamster. In the windows where you’d expect to see animals there were only clusters of plants in plastic pots.
A customer – a small-framed, dark-haired fellow in his twenties – came in and asked for a particular plant in one of the windows. I went around to the back room but couldn’t find the window with that plant in it. The area was a labyrinth of walls and storerooms and it took me ten minutes to locate the correct window and retrieve the plant the guy wanted.
I carried it to the front desk and hand-wrote a sales ticket. The plant was $7.99; the total with tax was $8.39.* The customer wrote a check and I asked for ID. He didn’t have a wallet – just a stack of cards that he pulled from his pocket. Before he could produce his driver’s license, though, he became distracted and walked over to look at something on a nearby shelf.
Wanting to write down his license number on his check, I gently thumbed through the cards he’d left in front of me. His license was there, but I was startled to see something else: a library card, maybe, with a hand-printed address on it. The address was 324 Skyforest, San Antonio, Texas, which is where I lived growing up. As I picked this card up to examine it, another card flipped over, and on its back was a photo of me at about age 25. My eyes bugged out but I quickly put the customer’s cards back into a neat stack.
He returned, I put his potted plant in a sack and I handed it to him. We thanked each other and he turned to leave.
“Just one more thing,” I said. He stopped.
“Why do you have a picture of me in your pocket?”
He looked at me blankly, and then I woke up.
*Two nights ago, after writing about another dream and the inexplicable appearance in it of a writer named Brad Listi, I bought an e-copy of Mr. Listi’s novel Attention. Deficit. Disorder. on Amazon. The price? $8.39.