I had a good dream today. It put me in a good mood. I smiled and chuckled all day. In fact, there’s still some leftover glint in my eyes even though it’s been hours since I first open them to the waking world. It’s funny ’cause I woke up doubting, not sure that I had actually been asleep. But the dream was there as proof. Surely, I couldn’t have dreamt without having slept? Naturally, I went about my daily routine: washing my body, sipping tea, reading, taking notes, wolfing down sandwiches, drinking coffee, reading some more, waving the librarian goodnight, and walking home in the dark. Through all these, I kept thinking about the dream not because I could remember the smallest bit but because, strangely enough, thoughts of the dream brought up  images of my childhood days.

A band of fruit thieves standing around a cashew tree and looking intently at a lonely cashew at the very top. The fruit is too high to reach by climbing. So they are poised to pluck the one fruit using their shoes as projectiles. I am the one waiting at the foot of the tree, hands stretched out to catch the fruit when it fell. 

Little dark girls, bony and naked, bathing at the public tap. I can’t hear them laughing because they are frozen. These images, by the way, were merely flashing photo-like in my head. Or maybe it’s because I am the girl who is not laughing, whose eyes are shut tightly from soap sting. 

A boy’s face. His name is Sunday.

I was seven at the time and believed I had fallen in love with Sunday, or rather, with his face. I had little trouble getting used to seeing and conversing with the face only. A cute sad face. The challenge was keeping the rest out of view. The rest of him was scaly and fell all over in tiny flakes. The rest of him was also gangly. And then there were knee caps as big as oranges.  When he stretched out his hand, it made a V shape. Something to do with his elbow never quite healing properly after a dislocation. I was convinced that these elbows that flicked V-wise were the most unattractive thing in the world. I was often rattled to the point of tearful disgust whenever he paraded the deformity in front of the other children, encouraged by the cries of surprise, insults, and admiration.

Oh well, it’s not like I miss home or like these images are meant to substitute the real thing.  After all, is home not merely the traces of an unremembered dream?