J. gave me a sleeping pill last night. No idea why I took it, but I did. And I had the strangest dream. I was in Toronto, doing something or other, and I looked out the window and saw that one row, lengthwise, of balconies had just fallen off one of the apartment buildings in St. James town. Now, you have to understand taht St. James town is an urban experiment that failed; there are fourteen or fifteen apartment buildings in there, which spans only one square block, and each of these is about twenty-five to thirty storeys high. It used to be the hip place to live if you were young and hip, but now it’s just the first stop off for people who just got off th boat from wherever. The landlords are rude and don’t bother being helpful, either. It’s really just an exercise in immigrant abuse if you ask me, not that anyone actually does.
So. In the dream, the rickety metal balconies careen to the ground. For a second I wonder if I should get out of my building. I am, after all, just across the street. I decide not to. I’m in the middle of something (a conversation? I don’t remember). The next time I look, the entire building has been demolished, just like that. There’s dust everywhere. Now I’m still wondering. Should I go downstairs now? (Keep in mind that I live on the 26th floor.) I still don’t.
And then, while I’m watching, the building directly in front of me leans toward me, the corner touches the building and I feel it rumble. Now I’m running into the hallway but I can still see that building leaning over and collapsing. Soon, all of St. James Town is just a mess of rubble and dust. I’m appalled, and scared about what’s going to happen when I get downstairs.
I’m home and I’m almost famous. I survived this bombing, or whatever it was. I drive with my dad down Wellseley, which leads up to St. James Town, and he doesn’t really believe me. “It’s gone, I’m telling you,” I say, pointing at the sky line, where there is this tremendous break. “Yes, yes, so it is!” he says.
When I did finally leave my apartment, I took only two things; my favourite blanket (which my grandmother brought back from West Germany, when there was such a thing), and my plush Snoopy. I didn’t bring my computer, or anything else. I felt good about this. Why, I would get a beautiful new computer, I am insured, after all. I would get new furniture, new clothes, new everything. I am strangely pleased.
I have this excuse now, and people feel sorry for me. “Oh, my. You survived that?”
I try to get a job based on that. I feel confident that it will work.