The previous story, 'A True Ghost Story', is for Toto.
Not the events on which it is based, which form the constitutive frame of the narrative, that's my father's; and is not mine to dedicate. But this narrative, this telling of the story, this is for Toto.
At the age of twelve i had a quite strange experience. Three nights running, i had a sequelized dream. A filmic narrative in three parts, which, end to end, was a fairly complete story. I don't remember much about it now, except that it involved deserts, camels, and many shades of red and yellow. Its a pity about the fading, because the only person i told the story to when it was vivid doesn't remember any detail either.
So we're twelve, visiting toto's father in Tribeni, and we have a huge room, just for the two of us. Its about midnight, we should definitely be asleep. But toto wants a story, and the three-part dream is still glowingly inscribed behind my eyelids. So i told her the story, and i wanted to be good, so wove in every detail that i remembered.
Toto's always been a very good listener of stories, in part because she treats it like an exercise in qualitative research. She's convinced there's vital detail you're hiding from her, and addresses your unwarranted (maybe unintentional) secretiveness by asking questions. Lots of Questions, demanding Much Detail. The answers to many of these questions is perforce 'I don't know', but what it does do is blend all varieties of craziness into the mix. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, but you have to try because she's not going to take a no.
In my own estimate (and hers) the last good story i told her was when we were twelve. And i finally wrote a story. Its not mine, as she has pointed out, but what mine to give is being dedicated:
To Toto, with thanks for the faith.