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Michael: I want to change the subject a bit, yet it seems close to memory and imagination: I'm talking about dreaming. Are your dreams still as clearly visual as before?
Joel: As always, I have dreams where I can't see very clearly, but more in the way we all may dream of running from danger but being unable to make much progress. Other times, at least as I recall, I see people and scenes as I used to, with normal detail and color. And now, added to the mix since my vision has been deteriorating, are dreams like the recent one where I was driving along a familiar stretch of the Hollywood Freeway, just like old times. The dashboard and the roadway looked nearly as foggy, faded, and blurred as they would in reality. I realized I had no driver's license, and that it would be a miracle if I made it another quarter mile without crashing, and wondered how on earth I'd gotten into the situation, and woke up with relief.
Michael: Yow, that sounds terrifying. When you've just had one of the other kind of dreams, one that is visually clear and detailed, and suddenly wake up with such vivid images right there in front of you, it must be a strange experience.

Joel: Strange, you bet. The archetypal rude awakening. I don't experience surprise, since the true state of my vision floods back into consciousness instantaneously and undeniably. What I do feel is a poignant sense of reinflicted loss, of repeated disillusionment. It's like that Bruce Connor film loop of the JFK assassination, "Report." The President and First Lady emerge from Air Force One, pose for the cameras at the top of the roll-up stairway, smiling, waving. Then the open Lincoln glides through Dealy Plaza, the President is hit, he slumps, the Secret Service swarms, and then Jack and Jackie are in the plane's doorway, smiling and waving. Over and over again. Worst is when I dream of love. Clearly seeing eyes, and lips, then emerging from the dream to lose not just the wish-fulfillment of romance but the prospect of seeing its physical, actual face, ever again.