I never tire of fantasizing and imagining my ideal. But some days it’s really hard to decide what would be better. To be slung sidelong over a rocking chair in the wash of yellow afternoon, watching the lift and ruffle of wisteria where it is teased by currents chasing around me on the old screen porch, drinking Blackberry Acid and reading Evelyn Waugh while the sound of Gershwin laughs its way out the door to shake the sleepy cat into a semblance of watchfulness? Or perhaps I should the rather be curled in a high-backed leather wing chair with Zola, maybe Garcia Marquez, a faint dark stain of Verdi’s Requiem insinuating its way slowly through my brain, the lamp turned barely high enough to read so that it doesn’t fade the firelight or those lights fourteen stories down where the city shimmers below, and with the scent of Boeuf Bourguignon drifting into the paneled room from where it’s simmering down the hall?
Yes, I say, sometimes it’s hard, so hard to choose which I should prefer. Would it be finer to be wandering up a quiet path in checkered green light, perfumed with the heady incense of cedar and douglas fir, emerging from their shadows into meadows lapping with avalanche lilies and paintbrush and gentians at my feet as I climb up higher, drowsy with the sun and hypnotized by the river crashing away, just out of sight, to my right, and stopping at last to rest on the stony shore of a glassy lake and slake my thirst, assuage my hunger, with a crisp sweet apple and some salty well-aged cheese? Or should I better like to stride out through wildly waving waist-high grass onto the dunes just as the lowering sky with its mass of high black clouds starts spitting a sand-fine mist of icy rain, but bundled so warmly to the eyes that only my cheekbones feel the chill, and watching the storm blow up a wave so high it seems to engulf the top of the sky before it shatters to smithereens on the bouldered bulkhead there–and just as that cloudbank starts to split to disgorge its mighty gout of rain, tearing up the beach to the safety of the white-painted cottage, where I peel off the layers of storm-proofing down to my jeans, drag the little table to the window to watch the show, cracking the Dungeness crab that I bought at the shop today, to drown it in butter while watching the shoreline also drown, and eat crab sweetness messily to the tune of pelting rain and smashing sea?
I suppose if all else fails I could simply ask my butler to make the selection, you see. No, this one I know: I’d rather ask my love, since whichever it is, it’ll be that much better a dream if he will only share it with me.