But I Can Dream, Can’t I?

Posted on May 21, 2013


Lauriate Roly ponders:  is all that we see and seem but a dream within a dream?

By Lauriate Roly

I knew it would never happen, but each time I bought a ticket, I thought about it. Even if the whole thing came about as it would in my daydreams, I knew it wasn’t possible because I’m just not made that way. I could never go through with such an outrageous scheme. It was a preposterous idea anyway, even though I thought it up.

Still, it was fun imagining it happening the way it should in my dreams. In fact, it was exhilarating and I just couldn’t break the silly habit and frankly, I never tried to.

LotteryFor almost thirty years, I used the same six numbers faithfully and without question of ever making a change. Never once in that time would I have ever thought of substituting any one of the numbers; not a single one. From time to time, because I just wasn’t coming anywhere close to having a winner, I would buy another ticket, using new numbers that were completely and diametrically opposite to the ones I stuck with for all those years. Who’s to know? Maybe one of these odd times, with this extra ticket, I might just be lucky enough to strike on a winner.

The lottery was designed to have two drawings each week. Almost every weekly prize was over a million dollars. Sometimes, if there was no winner picked, the prize would be much higher than a million. Some months, there was no major winner, so the prize would reach into the double-digit millions. One time it went as high as twenty nine millions. Of course it would have been wonderful to win a prize like that, but I would have been more than content with winning a simple million dollars.

Time passed, and though never wavering about changing my original set of numbers, after a time, I found myself buying my ticket at a lottery ticket booth where this girl Ingrid sold the tickets. She was lovely and I simply fell for her the first time I ever bought a ticket from her. At first I only bought one ticket a week. But later, I started participating in the two-per-week-draws, mainly so I could get to see Ingrid more often. Then I began my special dream where I would dream that I was a big winner and I would immediately go to Ingrid’s ticket booth. As always, she would be so pleased to see me and would stand ready to serve me a new lottery ticket for the next draw, but she doesn’t know yet that I became a big winner of a large prize over the week-end. After telling her of my good fortune, she couldn’t stop jumping with joy and delight that I was now a happy, rich man.

I found it difficult to do but I said, “Ingrid, I think you love me, and you surely know that I am madly in love with you, and have been ever since I first came to this booth and met you. I know you aren’t living with your husband anymore and your life hasn’t been easy trying to manage on your own. I want to give you this cheque I made out for you. It’s for 25 thousand dollars. No strings attached. I want you to accept this as coming from someone who admires and loves you more than you can imagine. If you thought you would like to go out with me, just once, and maybe we might even end up making love, then I’ll gladly share another 25 thousand with you, but you know, if you thought we could continue to see each other as genuine lovers I would be so appreciative of your willingness to share your love with me, that I would continue to share my fortune with you, for as long as we could see each other as time went on.

Well, this is all in my dreams, of course, and I know myself well enough to know that even if this was in real life, I would never think of approaching Ingrid, or any girl with such a ridiculously wild-eyed outrageous and absurd scheme: but I wasn’t hurting anyone by dreaming about it. I knew it could never happen, but it was fun to fantasize: what the heck.

Then something changed:  when I would go to buy new tickets, I found that Ingrid was no longer in the booth. I didn’t have the nerve to enquire about Ingrid from the various girls who manned the booth during Ingrid’s absence, for fear my interest would signal and make obvious my intense curiosity about her. Finally, after almost two months, I found enough courage to very casually ask the question I had been mentally rehearsing for weeks: “That girl Ingrid, who used to be here in this booth: where has she gone? I haven’t seen her for a long while”.


“Oh, didn’t you know? A couple of months ago, she held the lucky ticket for that giant prize of over 12 million dollars. Remember? Well, she won it, and there’s no way she’s coming back to this ticket selling job. She’s probably off somewhere in some kind of paradise, spending her millions living it up and enjoying the most wonderful life a person can imagine.”

Wonderful news for Ingrid, but terribly sad news for me. There goes my silly dream. Even if my dream could ever have come true, she would see my love-offer was paltry peanuts compared to the millions she now has, and no matter how hard I might try to pour out my love for her, the whole prospect now becomes absolutely trite and ridiculous. The stupid unrealistic idea of an immature dreamer. Oh well, it was kind of a fun fantasy. I knew it never could have happened anyway.

I became so lifeless, and hopelessly discouraged that I unconsciously stopped buying tickets. There was no incentive anymore to imagine the wonderful life I might have had with Ingrid, especially now that she is so wealthy and free of all her troubles.

redcarA month or so passed, and as I was parking my little Honda at the mall, the most beautiful little red sports car came speeding in alongside my parking spot. The driver jammed on the brakes, screamed to a halt and literally jumped out and charged towards me as if ready to scold me for something I could not imagine I might have unconsciously done to cause what appeared to be prelude to a violent confrontation.

“I’ve been chasing you around all morning. Didn’t you notice I was following you, trying to keep up with you and your racy little Civic? I kept blowing my horn but you never seemed to notice or pay any attention. Thank goodness I’ve finally caught up with you. Well… aren’t you happy to see me? Aren’t you going to say hello?”

“Oh Ingrid. Gosh no; I didn’t see you following me. It never entered my mind that you would be after me. I didn’t think you even lived around here anymore. Of course I’m happy to see you… and Ingrid, hello, hello, hello. I can’t believe this is happening. I never expected ever to see you again”.

“Didn’t you hear about me winning all that money in the lottery? Millions and millions. I had to leave town soon after I was declared a winner to get help from a lawyer to help protect me from the claims being made by my ex. But everything is clear now. With the help of the lawyers I managed to shake the guy out of my life completely, and now I’m free as a bird!!

“That’s why I’ve been chasing after you. I came back just to find you. We have always been such good friends and have always quietly exchanged strong feelings for each other. I felt there was something special between us, or at least, should have been. After I won all this loot I wondered if maybe we could go out together and maybe try to find some way to stay together, somehow. I know it sounds very bold and unladylike, but I would even go so far as try to bribe you to take me out and have you get to know me better, and maybe then, you may even decide that you could live happily together with me and my millions. We could have such a wonderful life together. Have you ever thought of that? In all the time we have known each other, has that ever entered you mind? Being together I mean? If you really would give it some serious thought, you might find yourself agreeing that my bold idea may not be such a bad one.

“Please – do give it some really serious, and hopefully, encouraging thought… do you suppose you might do that? Please tell me you’ll give it a try.”

Well, I was lost for the right words for that moment. I was completely taken off guard. I never expected such a turn of events; but, I realized that soon, once I got my entangled mind back into normal balance, I would agree, then go into great and full detail and tell Ingrid about some of the wonderful dreams I have been having for some time.

But then, I suddenly became aware that this too was a dream.

Awakening, I realized that I don’t even know anyone named Ingrid, except for the Ingrid I had the luck of meeting once in France, and that, believe it or not, was Ingrid Bergman.

It’s obvious that I don’t suffer from insomnia and I’m so thankful that I don’t: otherwise how could I ever have such fantastic, exciting and unbelievable dreams?

By the way, I still buy lottery tickets, with the same six numbers, and there’s a really attractive, friendly girl there, that sometimes serves me. I like her but she’s nothing like the girl named Ingrid from my fancy dreams… or my adorable wife of many years, Frances !

“And now good-morrow to our waking souls.”

John Donne, The Good-Morrow

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Dans Le Lit (1893)

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Dans Le Lit (1893)

Born in Montreal, Lauriate is bilingual; his mother a Geordie from Newcastle on Tyne, his father a French Canadian Quebecer. Lauriate has traveled widely and has lived in Europe. His involvements are primarily of a creative nature focused on Music, Graphic and Literary Arts in the communications fields of Advertising and phases of the Entertainment business through television and film production.