870. When I recall that dream I still can feel that delicious feeling of being in love with someone who I really do not yet know – set apart in some wild and strange place. We were like shipwrecked survivors on a deserted tropical island, for whom courtship, inquiry, fascination and consummation take place without the least possibility of interruption or competition and where even memory and fantasy are silent.
871. The very next morning I set about building a tree fort, with the restricted means of a five year old. Our backyard however presented a dismal prospect: a piece of dirt perhaps thirty feet square with a few strands of crab grass here and there. It was bordered with cinder block walls on three sides. One of these walls was the back part of a funeral parlor which had one window, its curtain always closed. Another wall was the back of an establishment that rented tuxedos.
872. In the corner of this yard grew a lone sumac tree about seven feet tall with spindly branches and those long leaves that look like the remaining unkempt hair of some balding old man like myself.
873. I spent a long time trying to nail a two-by-four into a branch in that sumac tree but with no success. I remember being stupefied by the problem of how to hold the hammer, the nail and the wood up in the air all at once and still, be able to strike with the hammer. Each time I would try the nails would fly off into the dirt of the yard someplace and I would have to hunt around for them.