When she was seventeen, she stopped dreaming, like someone had cut off that part of her with a knife. It took her a while to notice and then when she did she only noted it absently, with a sort of bemused reflection. Sometimes she’d wake up and think she’d dreamt, for she’d bring some scrap of emotion back with her — anger or arousal or hunger — but never any image or sound from beyond night’s plutonian shore.

Health class. “Dreams, besides allowing the mind to categorize and sort the sense-impressions from the day before, also serve an important mythological purpose. The number of ways that dreams have been interpreted over the centuries are many — dreams had shortly before waking were held to be prophetic in the fourteenth century, for example, and to work by inversion in the early twentieth century; later as important indicators of mental health and freudian neuroses. All of these interpretations, of course, are true in different ways, but…” She stopped listening and began drawing interlocking flowers and gatework in the margins of her notebook. When she had covered the page she moved on to the desk. “…dream life is essential. Retention of dream memory and control of the dream state is an important step in many…” Slowly the desk filled up with ink, a wild garden of alien flowers and baroque ornamentation. She slid her arms across the laminated press board and the vines twined over her wrists, the gates swung wide on the smooth flesh of her arms.