My Epic Dream

Last night I had a prolonged erotic dream about the Secretary of State. Before bed I was reading Bernadette Mayer’s “Midwinter Day,” about her epic dream of December 22, 1978, and vaguely wondering why I never had such epic dreams (realizing I might well have, but I don’t usually remember them) and then I went to sleep and dreamed about having sex with the Secretary of State (well, almost, it didn’t quite come off, as it so often doesn’t seem to). How epic is that?! She was dressed in a black pantsuit and sitting on a black leather couch, and looked a bit tired, which is understandable given the fact she had spent the previous week gallivanting around the Middle East trying to get the Israelis and Hamas to stop shooting at one another. I sat next to her, and she put her hand on my thigh. She grasped the large muscle there and I put my hand on her thigh and squeezed its firm warmth. I turned to kiss her and she started to turn to receive it but made a face and said “You must have had something Italian for lunch!” And we conversed generally about how when a person has garlic-breath they themselves don’t notice it but of course everyone else does. I knew I had to get up and brush my teeth before this could go any further, though I was doubtful that toothpaste alone would do the job. Also I had to be stealthy because my wife was sleeping in the next room and my daughter in the nursery (even though she’s now 28 and a lawyer and a mother herself) and I remembered how Mayer’s dream was guilt-inducing and I wondered if all dreams are guilt-inducing by nature. On my way to the bathroom I walked past a bedroom full of toddlers. They were not my children, or even my grandchildren, but just a random collection of semi-disgruntled toddlers milling about among toys. I never made it to the bathroom. Suddenly we were all in the kitchen, the Secretary of State, my wife, my daughter and several other faceless people. All had been disclosed and forgiven (forgotten?) and as we were talking about the Secretary of State’s hobby of growing Mexican poppies in pots, I noticed for the first time that four fingers were missing from her right hand. There was some discussion of a small jar of a mayonnaise-like substance that had been spilled in the refrigerator and the news stories about the Secretary of State’s brief affair with an old entertainer who closed his lewd act by mooning the audience. There was more, but I have forgotten the details it was all happening so fast. The last I saw, the Secretary of State, now dressed in an elegant black evening gown with silvery highlights, was walking across the grand parlor, on the arm of a tall, upright man in tails, with a big smoking black cigar in her hand, to which the four missing fingers had magically been restored. I told my wife “I just caught sight of Mrs. President flicking cigar ashes on our oriental carpet.” I took a long drag on the same black cigar. As Mayer said, “That was my dream/Now it is done.”

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