Gluten Free Pizza and Other Light Quandaries

I had returned home to my old office in New Malden.

We went for lunch across the street because I was told that there was a place that did great gluten free pizza. So we got in line and ordered a small pizza, which Mr Thanh, whose shop had been there for many years, served by splashing it out on the table.

I hadn’t asked for it to be put on a plate or on grease paper. Instead I ate it directly from a metallic counter which stretched out like a front row seat in front of the brick oven. I cut apart the slices with a fork, before picking each slice up with my hands.

Yes, the pizza wasn’t bad despite it being gluten free, but it wasn’t great either with its heavy flat unrisen base.


I was trying to write up this dream and was struggling for the words.

In the next room, Siobhan had been cooking but she had not turned off the burners. I had to get out of bed to check on them. And when I went over to the stove I realized that though all the knobs were turned to ‘0’ the gas was lit on all six burners. The knobs were round but oversized and wooden. And in turn I rotated them, first on, then off again to see if it would reset them but it was no help.

Siobhan’s purse was laid next to one of the burners right by the flames’ edge… It was a fire hazard.

“Turn it off at the mains,” I told her.

“Where is that?”

She had her hands on the stove’s control panel.

“It’s right by your thumb!”

And I reached past the purse, flicked the switch to ‘Off’ and the fires went out immediately.

When I pulled up the faceplate to look at the circuit boards underneath, I saw there was one board for each burner. So I pulled one out to take a look but it did not look any greasier than expected. I plugged it back in and tried the burners again, turning them on, then off, and it seemed that they worked.

Siobhan also pulled out a board while the burner was on and so did Mr Thanh.

“Hey don’t do that, you could blow the fuse!” And I turned off the burners and pushed each board back into place then returned to bed.


I lay on the side of the bed that was next to the wall, in the corner, even though everyone else was already up. And I figured I should write up this new dream, so I pulled a composition book from the shelf behind the headboard and started to write it down with a pencil.

I was continuing to struggle with the first sentence when I realized that I needed more light and should turn it on before the others returned to bed. It was confusing: Lizzie and Liam were also up because of the burner fires and I couldn’t remember who agreed to share which bed.

But when I got up, the top light wouldn’t work and neither would the wall light.

Lizzie was standing at the door.

“Why don’t you write one of your more exotic dreams?” she said. And momentarily I thought of using the one in Afghanistan instead.

Gluten free pizza

The old carved wooden standing lamp with the yellowing shade (the same one that used to be in the living room) cast off a little light.

It was then that I realized the problem.

Why wasn’t I using the iPad like I usually do?


I walked past Lizzie to get the iPad from the room next door and Amy was now there.

In the dream.

Also a woman I didn’t recognize, possibly her girlfriend.

The friend was saying something. “The first thing I noticed about Amy was she doesn’t get dressed in front a mirror.”

I stared at Amy. She was half dressed in bright green translucent tights that covered her spindly legs. I had not realized how thin they were before. Then I realized that I was looking too intently and had to look away.

It made me think. Who doesn’t get dressed in front of a mirror? Is that normal or is it not normal? Is it a bad thing, or maybe it’s good? And I concluded that it was good, because it was less vain.

USDA farmer’s market pizza oven,
Pablo Picasso paintings brought via Ali Eminov and Mark Mauno all on Flickr

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