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Had Any Good Dreams Lately?
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"Had any good dreams lately?"

That was the way my buddies and I greeted each other on lazy summer mornings. Television was in reruns during that season. The Flintstones hadn't been up to anything new. Our dreams were original programming.

We sat on the cool, bare earth under a pine tree, while the heat of the day slowly gathered and out in the sunlight insects flashed amid the phlox and distant lawnmowers buzzed. We recounted the chilling terrors that had enthralled us during the night.

My dreams were worth telling in those days. The door to my bedroom closet would open onto illimitable plains littered with skulls. I climbed swaying staircases, high as a skyscrapers, with broken railings, rotting wooden landings, and missing stairs. Giant alien robots on stilt-like legs stalked the street where I lived and peered over the roofs of familiar houses. As often as not, I flew. I was always amazed to be soaring, exhilarated at how I had learned to remain elevated. It was easy enough, once you had the knack. Every time I'd think to myself how like a dream it all was, except, luckily, I was flying with my eyes wide open.

These days I seldom remember dreams and the ones I do recall are gray and jumbled, neither terrifying nor exhilarating, merely disturbing and disconcerting. My nights are no longer populated by monsters but by people who are dead or gone. Whatever terrors cause me to wake with choked screams, slip away into my subconscious and refuse to be pulled out into the day light. It has been a very long time since I've flown.

Where are all the good dreams when you really need them?

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