Someone drew this picture on one of my life's many chalkboards last week, and I think it's possible that you might have to love it, even if you haven't read Dracula, or even if the idea of a love plot between Mina Harker and Dracula makes you shed a quiet, internal tear every time you encounter it in an adaptation of Stoker's novel. (I might just be talking about myself there.)
In my dream (by the way) my poet colleague had just bought the upstairs flat of his parents' house, moved his stuff in, disappeared for awhile. I had tickets to a concert. My brother floated around in the background. Another colleague showed up as I sat in a chair in a road, as if at a street festival. A thing of great beauty appeared on the sunny, wetted road. I did not have my camera. I said, "I'm going to get my camera!" and ran away, knowing that the light would not be the same when I returned. I ran and ran, on the balls of my feet, keeping my heels off the ground, until I reached the place where I thought I'd left the camera; it was near the place to which my poet colleague had moved (and from which he had disappeared for awhile). In his absence was a notebook, on a child's desk on a porch, and I felt no compulsion to read it. The grassy parking lot behind the house had gone terribly crowded, what with the new presence of returning students. Three men with full beards arrived for prayer at the Italianate house across the street. By the time I had the camera in hand, I knew that the light had failed me, and vice versa--that I had lost the image that had set me running lightly and silent through the wet roads. And yet I did not worry: in my dream perturbation was as quiet as my sleep itself.
And, oh, the strawberry continues, even to the end of the night: it is Halloween, but I have hidden in my office all this rainy night, straightening and photocopying and filing reimbursement forms and downsizing files for a friend and grading (at last). And now, without even thinking about what I'm doing, I've started mawing my Frankenberry cereal--in recognition of the day, you see, and in (shuddering) recognition of the fact that I actually adore this synthetic mess of a fake food. It is "strawberry flavor cereal." The lack of connection among those words is crucial: it's decidedly not strawberry-flavored. It is flavor cereal; it is strawberry flavor. It is the end of my Halloween. Trick or treat. In fact, trick and treat. It's a one-woman show up here at the officehouse.