Last night, I lay in bed trying to go to sleep, and for goodness knows what reason, an image of a toy store popped into my head.
I'm not talking a toy store like Toys R Us or the toy department of Walmart. I'm talking a small business, a sole proprietorship, one of those small places that carry the more rare stuff simply because they know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody.
It sat next to the local drug store - or maybe that location later housed a drug store. It might have been a health food store at the time. I can't remember.
I remember this store because there was a certain doll there that I wanted, but never got. As I recall, it was quite expensive.
But I think they had Lego models there, too, which my sister and I ADORED for a brief stint.
I was quiet small at the time, so the shelves seemed to tower over me, loaded with box after box of action figures, puzzles, Barbies, paper masks, baseball cards (I went through a collectors phase with those, but never knew who the players were), and Nerf guns.
Thing is, while I'm pretty convinced this place actually existed until the business went bankrupt, I actually don't know for sure if what I'm remembering is real, or if I dreamed it and it's an amalgamation of many different small stores to which I've been.
My dreams can be really close to life - I've had whole dreams of conversations with people I know, and later think that the conversation actually happened while the other person looks at me like, "Uh, Carol, what have you been smoking?"
You ever had that? Dreams you think are memories, or memories you think are dreams? (No, drunk memories don't count.)
One "memory" I know for sure is a dream involved me smoking a cigarette for the first time and not coughing. It was so vivid, I actually thought it happened. But then I got older and figured out the person who gave me the cigarette in my "memory" wouldn't actually have done that. So I got a hold of a real cigarette and tried it.
I coughed. Case closed.