Ever since I was a young boy my sleep has often been filled with the most vividly surreal fantasies. I used to write the dreams down, hoping to benefit from the nocturnal peeks into my subconscious, but no more. It never did much good. Last night, however, I had an odd dream that’s worth sharing.
So, I am back in the States visiting family when I am confronted by a man who claims to be the custodian of my two boys.
My two boys?
Yes, your two boys.
But my boys are with me, I say.
These two boys are illegitimate, the man tells me in a hushed voice.
Now, I might be the least suitable person out there to start casting stones at other sinners, but since getting married I have led a commendably chaste life. The nice thing about it is, I don’t have to fake conjugal bliss: I am a truly happily married man. And yet here is this man accusing me of fathering two boys outside of my marriage. I have to find out what it is all about.
We’re in a house that has the appearance of a somewhat sterile romper room. The room that I’m now in has a sloping, padded floor for children to roll down on. At the top of the slope is an African American child about four or five years of age. The man says that Jimmy is one of my boys.
Jimmy comes sliding down, landing at my feet. When he looks up at me, there is no denying that the boy is mine: he is the spit and image of me, only with darker skin and a wild afro.
I’m led out through a door on the right, which opens on to a maze of sorts. Another boy is hiding behind a padded partition.
This is your other son, the man tells me.
The boy has light blond hair and is about the same age of Jimmy.
The man informs me that the boy’s mother is filing a paternity suit against me right this instant. The woman is sitting at a table with her lawyer.
I’ve never met the woman before. Never seen her before in my life. I’m also doing the math in my head. The boys are four or five years old, conceived five or six years ago. I’ve been married for six and a half years and have been faithful all that time. The kids cannot be mine.
This paternity suit is a sham, I say. Good luck trying to get any money out of me!
But, going back to the room where Jimmy is, I can’t help but feel that the boy is mine. Did I get drunk and donate sperm when I was a student? Who knows?
I ask Jimmy if he wants to come live in Japan with me.
He nods yes.
Okay, I say, but first thing’s first. That name has got to go! From now on, you’re Séamus. Got that?
He nods again.
I don’t know how I’m going to break the news to my wife, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I take Séamus’s hand and as we are leaving the room, he points to a large plastic illuminated Virgin Mary high up on the wall and shouts angrily, “I don’t need you anymore!”