My wife and I stood in the kitchen, working on a nondescript breakfast. Working in an unfamiliar kitchen, we chopped vegetables and cracked eggs.
After washing my hands, I went into the back yard, where I dug three enormously deep holes into which I intended to plant three very tall trees. The soil I dug from the ground seemed to disappear, though; there was nothing to fill in around the holes. Apparently, I had expected this, inasmuch as a mixed pallet of top soil and potting soil lurked next to the foundation of the house. Nearby, on top of a queen sized box springs set, a neat stack of builders’ sand, contained by a canvas bag shaped exactly like its foundation, awaited.
I returned inside the house and, just as I finished washing my hands, Lana appeared in the kitchen. She and my wife danced around a little. I danced close behind each one in succession, mimicking the movements of their arms and legs, as if shadowing them.
Then Mel entered the kitchen. He went immediately to a window that looked out on a screened porch and peered intently at the top of the window. Finally, he said, “Aha! The fly is stuck between two screens! It won’t be able to bother us. Eventually, it will die there.”
I then asked Mel, “Can builders’ sand be used underneath newly planted trees, and as bulk material to keep them upright? Will it do any harm to the roots?”
Mel, his eyes wide as if in terror, looked at me the way he had looked at the fly. “I don’t know,” he replied, “but the worst case scenario is that the trees will die.”
And then I awoke.