In high school I began having dreams which were disturbingly ordinary. In a typical one I would wake up and take the subway to the school I was attending and sit where I always sat in my classes. There might be a test, but I never felt undue stress about taking it; a friend might give me news, but it was never startling – he had had a cold for a few days but was better now; his oldest sister was engaged; he was tired because he’d stayed up to watch a movie on tv. In response, I started absenting myself from my life for days and weeks at a time, not knowing I’d been gone until I was suddenly back, perhaps having to finish a sentence without being sure of the beginning. My life seemed quite able in those days to live itself without me.