Sometimes I can't tell if the things I remember happening actually did or if they're remnants of dreams. I got a jolt this afternoon because I realised I hadn't replied to a rather sharp email but when I searched my inbox, I found no trace of it. It wasn't deleted (I am a consummate email hoarder), it had simply never existed in the first place, a virtual virtual letter. I was relieved but also unsettled because I hadn't been able to distinguish between what was an actual occurrence and one that was ephemeral, unexperienced, transient.
I often don't remember whole dreams but rather very specific fragments: the colour of a red Duplo block or the length and texture of my boyfriend-in-my-dream's hair (just below shoulder; ombre; strawlike) or how I leaned back and said your name as we sat in the back seat of the car, the girl in the middle seat leaning forward so her dark hair drenched the back of her floral dress, but it was you-not-you. You had the scrubbed-cheeks and uncomplicated suburban daydreams of an unfamiliar girl so far from your cigarettes and high cheek-boned sophistication, and you didn't hear me anyway, your expression was uncharacteristically blank.
Too confusing, this muted blur of sleep and reality, this collapse of future and present and past and imaginary. I dream days to come and they are as unfixed in my mind as days long past- I can't remember my kindergarten teacher's face; I remember better playing with my leaping old dog in a garden that never existed. How unreliable my memory, how sly and misleading and tricksy and shy. And how, too, it is imbued with colour and tastes and wild longings, familiarities, remembrances of events that were spun into being as I muttered in my sleep.