Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Giant Peach

An XSO* of mine once said to me after I related to her a particularly vivid dream: "Edward (or, Edouard, as she called me) you shouldn't confuse your dreams with reality."

I had and still have a hard time with that prohibition — I've never wanted to regard it as wishful thinking to tell myself that my waking life could be as fast-paced and fraught with adventure, danger, and romance as my dreams.

I do think she was admonishing me more for trying to figure out what my dreams meant more than for me wanting them to be actualized; for trying to impart significance on a phenomenon none of us really knows all that much about.

So the other night when I dreamed I had discovered, up in the mountains, a tree with enormous peaches, peaches the size of footballs, pink and glistening with dew, so mouth-wateringly juicy that I had to collect as many as I possibly could and bring them back down to town for canning, I wasn't quite satisfied when I woke up to look out the window at the quiet winter landscape with the bare biwa trees and even barer fields.

I did feel however, that the dream was a good omen, for what I can't tell, and there was, when I got down from the tree with the peaches in my shirt, a little steam train just off through the clearing, hard by the sea, all black and Victorian and coquettish, waiting to take me away to I know not where.

And the residue of the dream, nagging me all day, pointed me to a story I had for some reason never read: Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach.

And in that charmingly sinister story, which I won't relate in detail here so as not to bore you, the boy James escapes from his wicked Aunts (Ants as we call 'em in the Northeast) inside an enormous peach, lifted across the Atlantic from England to America by seagulls and spider thread.

I can assure you that I am not coming back in or on a giant peach, though I am waiting for someone to slip through the hedge and hand me a sack of slithering beans. Who knows what I'll do with them — I'll have to consult my dreams.

*Ex-Significant Other


  1. Reality is a crutch for those who can't handle dreams.

    PS: I love the phrase XSO.

    PPS: Momotarō didn't even have a supporting role in this dream?

  2. I must admit that I partially stole XSO from the British writer Will Self. In his restaurant reviews, so as not to have to reveal exactly who he's dining with, he uses the term SO. Re: Momo-chan, I'm as woefully un-well-read in Japanese children's literature as English.

    1. No no no, you should never admit to plagiarism! It forces the rest of us to be honest, too!

      I enjoyed your dream, with or without a Japanese supporting cast. Please dream again soon. ^^