The Non-Anxiety Dream

I know it's boring to hear other people's dreams, but wait. For years and years I've had anxiety dreams about going back to the Miami Herald and not knowing what to do: I don't have a place to sit, I don't know what department I'm in and I can't get the hang of putting a story together. Last night I had a non-anxiety dream about being back at the Herald, and in the dream I thought, This is different from my dreams. I was going to write about Miamians who were nostalgic for the town before it became hip. I was thinking of calling the phenomenon "Miami Blight"; it sounded almost right since the reinvigorating of Miami started with Miami Vice, which city fathers were skittish and worried about allowing to be filmed in their fair city.

The editors (in the dream) said they needed more on Broward and Palm Beach counties. I remember my first few days there (in real life), in 1983, when the features editor said, Just drive around and I did, all over, and I got the idea for my first story on South Beach, which was full of retired needle-trade workers sitting on porches in their rocking chairs. I wrote about old feet. I spent time observing in a podiatrist's office. The highlight was an old Italian lady who came in, triumphant, showing the doctor her corns, which she'd cut off and put in a plastic bag.