Giorgio fell asleep. In his dream he was back home in his parents’ farmhouse. Vines grew over the pergola columns and roof and bunches of grapes hung down, purple and green. He reached up and plucked a grape and put it in his mouth and it tasted blue and blue and blue and pink. His mother came out of the kitchen where she had been cooking and saw him.
“Giorgio!” she said. She wiped her hands on her apron. This was very strange to Giorgio, since he grew up in a small flat, not on a farm, and his mother never cooked.
His mother looked at him curiously.
“How much you’ve grown!” she said.
“Mama,” he said. He went to her. She looked good. But hadn’t she died in the last major outbreak, five years ago? And she was never this large or this homey. His mother was thin as a rake and smoked long menthol cigarettes and worked in accounts. “You look good,” he said.
“Come give Mama a hug,” she said. She put her arms around him. It felt good to be held by his mother.
“Snuggly-wuggly,” she said, nuzzling him close. “Snuggly-wuggly-woozy-woo.”
“No, no,” Giorgio said. “No, mother.”
Mother was turning blue.
“Snuggle!” she cried. Her arms lengthened, wrapped around him. Blue and blue and blue and pink.