I dreamed that I was sleeping in what seemed to be the most comfortable bed in the world. I was warm and cozy, then I felt someone shaking my shoulder and nudging me to wake up. “You said you’d read him, but you haven’t,” said my husband in a reproachful tone.
What the hell? I thought. I don’t have any husbands right now.
I rolled over and pulled the covers off of my face. Sure enough, it was no husband I’d ever had — it was William Faulkner. We seemed to be in some kind of swanky hotel room and he was wearing blue-and-white striped pajamas and slippers. He was holding a glass with a toothbrush in it and he was shaking it at me.
“I’ve read Faulkner, I mean, I’ve read you,” I said. I ran through the list in my head: As I Lay Dying. Light In August. Go Down, Moses. “A Rose For Emily”. “That Evening Sun”. What else? “I balked on The Reivers,” I told him. “I’m sorry, I don’t know why.”
“Not me.” Faulkner shook the toothbrush and the glass at me again. “Charles Henri Ford. You haven’t read him.”
“I have so! I like the Andre Breton poem. His collage poems are kind of cool. Can I go back to sleep?”
Secretly, I thought Faulkner was kind of hot in those pajamas with his silvery hair all messed up from sleep, but the prospect of bow-chika-bow-wow with him worried me a little. Plus, that damn toothbrush and glass routine was putting me off.
Faulkner’s mind wasn’t running in the same direction at all. “I’ve got every one of Charles Henri Ford’s chapbooks in my suitcase out in the car. You need to go downstairs, get them and read them today.”
“You’re burning daylight,” Faulkner said.
“Okay. Where are we?”
“New York City.”
“New York City!? Oh my God. Can I brush my teeth first?”
Faulkner held the glass and toothbrush out to me. “Here, use mine.”
I was caught between Oh yuck and He’s one of the giants of American literature when I woke up.