The stand was near the back of the flea-market, wedged between a crumbling brick wall and another stand where a young woman was selling tie-dyed pants. The sign above it read “Edna Lewis’ Yes/No box. Your questions answered”.
Below that, someone had taped a piece of cardboard with the words “Closing down: All answers half price. Today only!” handwritten in red marker.
I was intrigued, so I stepped up to the stand. An old bald man with a thick, almost white beard looked up from his book.
“Can I help you?” he asked, with a slight Dutch accent.
“What’s this about?” I asked, pointing at his box, the sign.
He reached below the desk and pulled out a box, jet black, about the size of a biscuit tin.
“You give me 50c,” he said, “then you ask your question here.” He pointed to a small protrusion on the side of the box. A microphone, I guessed.
“Then,” he continued, “if the question has a yes or no answer, one of these two lights will blink.” He pointed at a green and red light in turn. “Green for yes, red for no.”
“And it’ll give me the right answer?”
“Yes. Yes,” he said, sharply.
Mira begins to dream of a house and family that aren’t hers. She dreams of them constantly, and it becomes scarily real, especially when her own reality seems to be slipping away. When Mira’s mother suggests that she is not who she thought she was, the dreams worsen. Does her mother’s secret hold the key to escaping the tedium of her oppressive nightmare? SY
Back in Serbia, people never talked about their dreams. Nana said that to do so was not only rude, but bad luck—and, as she always said, wasn’t there already enough bad luck in the world?
But here in Los Angeles, it sometimes seems as though people can talk of nothing else. In high school I took a psychology class and one day the teacher asked each of us to share a recent dream. This was just after we moved here, and I didn’t know Americans liked to talk about their dreams. For me, this felt like being asked to stand naked on top of my desk. When it was my turn, I lied and said I couldn’t remember any.
I was scared too for another reason: the teacher asked this of us just after the dreams started. It was as if she somehow knew.
Now that I’ve been here a few years, I don’t mind talking about my dreams so much. Amy and Caitlin, my roommates at UCLA, said that talking about their dreams made them feel better. I hope you don’t mind.