Right before I fell asleep last night, I was thinking how happy I would be if reincarnation were a thing. I was hoping I might come back a little more responsible next time. The type of person who holds on to receipts and returns things on time instead of partially using them, crumpling them up and making them look dirty so I can throw them away without feeling guilty. I was also thinking how nice it would be if I came back really gorgeous next time, like drop-dead, people give you free stuff, gorgeous.
I guess it was the hope of reincarnation that lead to my dream last night. The one where I’m trying to return my own coffin in ABC carpet.
A salesperson is eagerly hovering.
I expect her to float around in slow motion like a ghost, but she’s just a normal person with normal legs and a face.
Most of the coffins are early Colonial in design. Most have a little chip or nick in the veneer. The poor selection surprises and disgusts me. I pretend to hide my disgust to emphasize it.
I admit I tend to overact to anything I don’t like but anyone would have been disappointed by the overwhelming ugliness. And then I spot some cute square tufted cushions in a pile, still neatly encased in plastic. They look newish, but they’re upholstered in a dusty rose silk damask, which instantly re-depresses me. In my dream I list all the colors that depress me out loud, as though I’m talking to a psychiatrist, and what they remind me of: Dusty Rose (a bridesmaid’s dress that was so tight on me I took it off in the car on the way home, while I was driving) Brown (stepfather’s NYC apartment who didn’t want me living with him), Teal (eye shadow color on the cover of my first book), Tan (a pair of corduroy pants my dad had that didn’t look good), and rust (the 70’s). I search for better fabrics and prettier color options, but all they have is something that looks like my grandmother’s robe.
As the dream continues, it occurs to me that I’m not actually in ABC carpet, and that none of the coffins in the entire store have lids! This is excellent news because it’s the lids that I find so unappealing.
After a lot of browsing I find something that looks almost too good to be true.
“I think I’d like to get some pricing on these styles over here,” I say, pointing to a collection of coffins that look exactly like chairs.
“Chairs are very popular now,” the salesperson says, “So are these new round tables.”
“What goes around comes around,” I say, hoping I’m right.
“Are you looking for yourself or for someone else?” she asks.
“Myself. I’m actually here to make an exchange,” I say.
“You were unhappy with your original coffin choice?”
“I just feel like it’s not me anymore. And trust me, I slept on it. ”
“Are you sleeping right now…or?” she asks me.
“I don’t know. Are you?”
“I’m not sure,” she says.
“If I bought this chair would I be able to return it?” I ask her.
“Yes, but…” she says.
“You’re gonna need your receipt.”