By late afternoon I conclude that I’m not stoned. I haven’t been robbed in the night, whether the theft be of organs or money or identity. Dr. Ahman delivered me the impossible without asking for payment or thank you. He just helped me. And I gave him . . . what? My dream. Perhaps his machine was a recorder of the subconscious, and he has slipped away with a piece of my imagination. Or maybe he put a dream into me. If anything, that’s what it feels like to me. A trace of something other in my veins. A purpose I didn’t have yesterday. Either way, a more than fair trade.
I treat myself to a steak dinner and a single glass of cabernet at the Keg. There’s even a little harmless flirting with the waitress on my part, and she surpasses her strictly professional obligations by flirting back, making inquiries after my plans for the evening, if I thought I’d “be around later.” I shrug. Leave a millionaire’s tip.