The Dilettante

by Wharton, Edith

I dreamt last night that I made a big squash soup for an even bigger party, a party full of people from the past– people I hadn’t seen in years and didn’t care about when I did see them. I was nervous; it was a recipe I hadn’t tried before and I’d decided after a torturous dreamlike decisionmaking process to add a dash of some sort of smuggled mutant super-habanero sauce to the stuff. It was a pivotal moment in the dream, a Big Risk because of course, I genuinely didn’t want to spoil the soup, and I was lucky: everyone absolutely loved it, was raving about it, left the rest of the potlucked provisions on the table to satisfy their fix for the soup. But later, when the soup was gone, they all turned on me. At first I’d thought it had had addictive properties, and they were mad with the desire to get their fix. But then, as they closed in, it hit me: the soup had made their breath intolerable. They were livid knowing that any attempt at teeth-cleaning would be in vain, that in exhange for a moment of bliss they were scarred for life. They started to pounce on me when I woke up in a cold sweat, wondering if I’d really managed to smell in a dream.

I’ve never been one to appreciate traditional dream analysis, but have fun with it if you want. The Squash? The illegal pepper sauce? Poisoned breath? I share it because it begs to be shared, which is, of course, the same reason I read stories to the Internet. Like this one:

Article written by miette

Miette has been podcasting the best of world literature's short fiction since March 2005, when she was just a pup.

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