Mar. 7th, 2017

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I dreamed about a magic groundcover plant! It came in three varieties: a kind of silver green, a bruised purple, and a sky blue, and each variety had one good agricultural property and one bad agricultural property. I was at some kind of serf town hall meeting where we peasants were furiously debating which one we should plant.

As is my wont in dreams, at the same time that I was a character in the dream, I was also the omniscient narrator, furiously writing it up as a kind of economic parable with much attention to semicolons and virtuoso style.


It’s good that I’m writing fiction in dreams because in real life (ha, ha, ha), I spent yesterday writing a white paper on – eek – online lead generation and its legal pitfalls (FTC, CPFB), which was every bit as ghastly and tedious as it sounds, and which, furthermore, the client fuckin’ loved, which means there will be more white papers on online lead generation in my future because who can say, No! to ready cash? Not me!

Max is doing an internship in Alaska this summer and is proposing to drive Annie’s ancient Volvo all the way from Berkeley to Anchorage – a prospect that fills me with sheer terror. I want desperately to give him a couple of grand and say, Take the fuckin’ ferry from Bainbridge.

Robin turns out to have strep throat, but he got a referral to an ENT because there’s definitely an anatomical irregularity in his sinuses that is causing him to contract multiple sinus infections. I am assuming he will need to have that surgically corrected. If the referral is through a regular doctor, it wouldn’t count as cosmetic surgery, which means – theoretically at least – it would be covered by his insurance. But I don’t know how high his deductible is.

So! Many, many incentives to turn myself into a cash-burping machine.


I finished the white paper just in time to scurry off and tutor Imane.

Who greeted me looking as though a bomb had just fallen on her.

Her Sara Crewe living situation has gotten a whole lot worse. Indeed, I don’t see how she can continue living there.

But where can she live?

Even if I were in a position to offer her a place to sleep, I’m not so sure I would. Taking in errant teenagers didn’t work out so well for Doris Lessing (I’m not a Jenny Diski fan!) And fond as I am of Imane, I’m not crazy about self-involved young people in general. The one I gave birth to is enough for me.

To try and cheer Imane up, I took her out to a café frequented by hip Vassar students. I bought her an expensive caffeine concoction and waved an expansive hand around the room: Work hard, little girl, and some day all this could be yours!

Imane was impressed by the Vassar students. They dress in expensive clothes, have expensive computers and waft that expensive parfum – Eau de American Privilege.

“It is my dream to go to Vassar,” Imane told me fervently.

“Well, I think it’s possible,” I said. “My plan was always to get your English up to a certain level and then make appointments with the Admissions Deans at Vassar and Bard to see what resources might be available.”

“But Vassar is private school, yes?” said Imane. “Very expensive.”

“Vassar is a private school,” I said. “But paradoxically enough, private schools often have access to more resources than public schools. They have endowments.”

“What is ‘paradoxically’? What is ‘endowment’?”

“’Endowment’ is when somebody dies and thinks, ‘Vassar! That was the only place I was ever happy!’ So they leave all their money to Vassar,” I said. (I decided to take a pass on explaining “paradoxically.”)

“You think that will work?” Imane asked incredulously.

“I think it might work” I said. “You’re Moslem. In the current political climate, I think we may be able to leverage that with rich white liberal arts colleges.”

Imane seemed to have an intuitive understanding of the meaning of the word “leverage.” Or at least she didn’t ask me to define it.


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