There is a derelict house in my old neighborhood that surfaces in my dreams now and then. In reality, it is in Tokyo, boarded up and sitting behind a yard overgrown with tall grass. It is surrounded by new houses and young families.
When it appears in my dreams, however, it is instead in the countryside, by the sea. It is not sealed with sheets of plywood, nor is it falling apart. The windows and doors are thrown open for the air to flow through them. It is in beautiful condition and filled with activity.
The grasses of the overgrown yard remain the same, however. Soft and coming up to mid-thigh when walking through them, soughing gently in the late afternoon breeze. And instead of ending at the street, they stretch off towards the ocean, swaying as waves break below the bluff.
Here, in the dreamscape, is where this vision begins mixing with elements from other memories. The grasses in that lot in Nerima transition into the grasses I stood in as a child at eight years old while travelling in Nova Scotia with my family. In this way, my mind derives the Pacific from the Atlantic while moving a bit of Canadian coastline to Ibaraki, and all to give an impossible new life to an old house that deserved better.
I can’t help but to wish it were real, and also to wish it were mine.