That night I had a dream. I dreamt I was as light as the ether, a floating spirit visiting things to come. The shades and shadows of the people in my life rassled their way into my slumber. I dreamt that Gale and Evelle had decided to return to prison. Probably that’s just as well. I don’t mean to sound superior, and they’re a swell couple of guys, but maybe they weren’t ready yet to come out into the world.
And then I dreamed on, into the future, to a Christmas morn in the Arizona home where Nathan Junior was opening a present from a kindly couple who preferred to remain unknown. I saw Glen a few years later, still having no luck getting the cops to listen to his wild tales about me and Ed. Maybe he threw in one Polack joke too many. I don’t know. And still I dreamed on, further into the future than I’d ever dreamed before, watching Nathan Junior’s progress from afar, taking pride in his accomplishments, as if he were our own, wonderin’ if he ever thought of us, and hopin’ that maybe we’d broadened his horizons a little, even if he couldn’t remember just how they got broadened.
But still I hadn’t dreamt nothin’ about me ‘n Ed, until the end. And this was cloudier, ’cause it was years, years away. But I saw an old couple bein’ visited by their children, and all their grandchildren too. The old couple wasn’t screwed up, and neither were their kids or their grandkids… And I don’t know. You tell me. This whole dream, was it wishful thinkin’? Was I just fleeing reality like I know I’m liable to do? But me and Ed, we can be good, too. And it seemed real. It seemed like us, and it seemed like, well, our home. If not Arizona, then a land not too far away, where all parents are strong and wise and capable, and all children are happy and beloved. I don’t know. Maybe it was Utah.