I was semi-awake for what seemed like a long time, having a featureless dream that resolved into my university campus. On one of its main streets I came across a candy store, which made me sad. How could a candy store, which I associated with little children from a bygone time, survive on such a campus?
In the twilight, I peered into the display window and saw a candy snowman with a permanently sad candy face. The sight broke my heart, but I was distracted when I noticed a child knocking on the door. She wanted to get in not for the candy but to play with the little girl I now noticed in the closed store. Her African-American mother, perhaps the owner, sat nearby in a rocking chair and didn’t seem to notice the visitor or the knocking. In a cradle lay a baby with an enormous cartoon head and lots of red hair, like Little Orphan Annie. The inexpressible candy suffering on the face of the candy snowman and the disturbing surreal appearance of the baby, combined with what I felt had to be the inevitable failure of the store, upset me and made me wish I had not seen it.
Yesterday I’d read some articles about senior executives and a few middle managers being laid off, although it was claimed in all cases that the reasons were not financial. I must not believe it. While this recession is different and not as evident as the Great Depression with its lines of hollow-eyed, stony-faced workers, somehow I sense that we can’t hide it, or hide from it, forever.
We are the snowman in the window, exposed.