PERHAPS BECAUSE I LIKE TO WHISTLE it was no surprise that, the other night, I dreamed that I was a mockingbird in a pine tree singing my heart out, chirping a volley of different tunes and showing off my musical repertoire. But then, I woke up, and I was Henry laying in bed, staring at the dresser visible by the night light. Then it came into my head that I was a mockingbird, dreaming that I was Henry laying in bed. The first dream seemed real at the time, just like me laying in bed seemed real. Whoever first said that ‘life is but a dream’ had to be on in years, looking back at what, from the distance of old age, can seem unreal. Did I really do that? I ask myself this question often. In retrospect, life seems to have been an express train, the few stations fading into the obscurity of the past, dreamlike in the elusiveness of the images, the people standing on the passing platforms as faceless as will-o’-the-wisps. Night dreams are by their nature a past tense thing. Time moves in one direction, memory in another. People that you have known appear in your dreams as they used to be, not as they are. As for the little gray mockingbird, he has gained a reputation as a copycat but, being a proud little guy, he thinks the other birds are imitating him.