by Ivan De Luce
Friday — Dreamt I was in love. I met her — Samantha — at a party, and we hadn’t seen each other in ten years. She hadn’t aged at all, but she was blind. All I could say was “Oh my God.” Either way, it was a sweet feeling while I was asleep, but very bitter upon awakening.
Saturday — No dreams at all. Very concerned.
Monday — Peter sat up straight at his studio desk, staring at the number on his phone’s screen. Dr. Andrew Callings, psychiatrist. His thumb hovered above the name. He set his elbows on the desk, took off his glasses, and ran a hand through his hair, which fell back in dark waves over his forehead.
Fantastic, he thought. I’m seeking professional help now, like some kind of depressive basket case. Would Andrew remember me after twelve years? Of course he would.
He dialed the number and leaned back in his chair. He stared at a large cork board which hung over his desk, where he pinned drafts of his cartoons: amusing line drawings, black-and-white, with a single caption in italics. Other framed cartoons hung in a row along the opposite wall, from his colleagues at The New Yorker. Below them, a bookshelf held several collections of New Yorker cartoons, most of them featuring Peter Ville.
Still no answer. He leaned forward and peered into his fishbowl. He ran his finger along the glass, but his betta didn’t follow. Instead she stared back, wide-eyed.
Finally, Andrew answered.
“Andrew, how are you? It’s Peter.”
There was a pause on the other end. Peter ran his hand through his hair once more.
“Peter!” said Andrew. “Peter Ville, cartoon-smith, joke-maker, worrywart, spoilsport Peter? Of course. I’ve seen a cartoon of yours in The New Yorker. Very funny stuff. Now that I’ve been living back in the city for close to a year you decide to call me.”
He stood up. “I thought I’d let you get settled in.”
Andrew’s laughter was so loud Peter had to pull the phone back from his ear. “How wonderful. What can I do for you?”
“Well, I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction.” Peter began pacing his living room. “I’d like to see a therapist about a problem. Know anyone?”
“Peter, do you not know what I do for a living?”
“Yes, and I thought you might know someone who could —”
“What afflicts you? Anxiety? Depression? Suicidal thoughts?”
“No, none of that. I — I haven’t had any dreams lately.”
“Well, we all lose sight of our goals in life sometimes. When I was a kid I wanted to be a boxer. That’s perfectly normal. Not sure it’s enough to get treatment for.”
“No, you don’t understand. I haven’t dreamt — at night — for the last three nights, actually.”
Peter let out a sigh. “I dream every night, without fail. Always have. And I rely on my dreams as inspiration for my cartoons.”
“And without your dreams, you cannot draw little people saying funny things.”
“Fine. I’ve decided to accept your case.”
Peter could picture Andrew grinning on the other end, his feet up on a desk.
“Oh,” said Peter, “I was hoping you could refer me —”
“And just what is wrong with me?” Andrew snapped.
Peter paused for a moment. “Aren’t therapists not supposed to treat people they know personally?”
“They say there’s such a thing as professional boundaries, that a therapist must remain at a healthy distance in order to properly treat the patient. But that’s nonsense. In fact, I can treat the people I know personally even better than some other shrink.” Andrew’s laughter boomed.
“Thanks Andrew, but I think I’ll go with someone else.”
Peter imagined Andrew’s smile fading.
“Peter, come on. It’s a fascinating case. I’d like to see just what’s wrong with you. Plus, I want to help you.”
“I appreciate your concern, and I’m sure you’re a great therapist.”
“The best in my field.”
“I’ll give you a fifty percent discount.”
Peter stopped pacing.
“Any spots available tomorrow?”
“How’s five o’clock sound?”
Tuesday — Peter hoped to churn out another cartoon by lunchtime. A single panel gag. An everyday image and a funny line. He had his drawing pad out, along with his fountain pen, ink bottle, a rag, and but one idea. He chuckled to himself. He dipped his pen into the bottle, carefully took it out, and drew a man on the phone, his mouth slightly open, mid-sentence. With two strokes the man had raised eyebrows. He drew a living room behind him, a coffee table, a TV, a cable box, a line for the floor, and a line for the doorway. All of his people looked the same — two dots for eyes, a little curved nose (sometimes with a bump) and some kind of buttoned shirt. The lines flowed and there was no shading necessary. It was about the caption.
Tuesday — Tried my hand at drawing today. Saw all that I had made, and saw that it was good, but not good enough.
He took the A train to 42nd street. The New Yorker cartoonist’s lounge on the 20th floor of the Condé Nast building was a vast, round room. Thin wooden slats lined the walls, which were adorned with framed cartoons by the greats. He was already on those walls—with Maxine Roberts, Saul Rosenstein, and Sally Brunelli. Peter joined the would-be cartoonists on the couches, each one waiting for their turn with the editor. And there was Sally herself, an old woman wrapped in a bright blue scarf.
“Morning, Sal,” Peter said as he sat beside her. He set his portfolio of ten cartoons on his lap.
“Back again, Pete? Didn’t see you last week. Thought you threw in the towel.”
Peter laughed. “I was sick. Bad case of cartoonist’s block.”
“You gotta keep showing up,” Sally said. “Otherwise Mr. Mankowitz’ll forget all about you.”
One of the other cartoonists, a middle-aged woman, stepped out of Mankowitz’s office. “Boykoff, you wanna go next?” she asked, and a nervous young man trotted through the frosted glass doors.
“How’d you do?” asked Sally.
“No dice,” she said, then put a finger pistol to her head. “I’ve been coming here every week since 1998.”
“How many cartoons you ever get accepted?” Peter asked.
“Two. And that’s ten submitted cartoons every week for twenty years.”
Peter had only been coming for five years and had already made a name for himself. But still he dreaded waiting here, making chit chat — sometimes with veterans like Sally, or new arrivals like that Boykoff. He’d watch them build up their courage, take deep breaths, wipe sweat from their brows, before being torn down by Mankowitz, who was ruthless. But he had to be. Fifty cartoonists, on average, submit ten cartoons a week each. Mankowitz had to sift through five hundred and choose around twelve of the best. And no one was safe, not even the masters. Peter was constantly sketching and coming up with ideas. He typically drew double or triple the cartoons that he submitted. This time, however, he brought everything he’d drawn because he hadn’t drawn much.
Peter heard muffled voices coming from behind the glass door. Then he didn’t hear anything; Mankowitz was probably refusing cartoon after cartoon. After some time, all he could make out was Boykoff thanking Mankowitz repeatedly. He trotted out of the office with a smile on his face.
“Any luck?” Peter asked.
“Nope. But he complimented one of mine! Who wants to go next?”
I guess it doesn’t take much to please some people, he thought. At least that means he won’t be taking up valuable spots.
“Go ahead, Peter,” offered Sally.
He walked in through the doors clutching his portfolio. The sunlight from a massive window looking out towards Midtown shone through the room, nearly blinding him. Mankowitz sat behind his desk, a dark silhouette against the light. As Peter’s eyes adjusted, he found a chair to sit in. The now-familiar office consisted of nothing but a desk, two chairs, a laptop, and a large coffee mug, all tooth-white.
“Mr. Mankowitz, how’s it going?”
“Not too great, I’m afraid. Not a lot of good ones today. Need to fill up the last few slots, but not many are making me laugh.” Mankowitz’s eyes, magnified by his square glasses, were lined at the corners from years of squinting at drawings. “So it’s up to the Upper West Side wiz-kid. What you got today?”
Mankowitz held out a hand for the portfolio, and started flipping through, barely giving each one a glance. Peter found himself wincing at the reaction. “This one’s too vulgar,” Mankowitz said. “And this one’s too obvious. And this one — we’ve got enough Jew jokes this week. Hold on, what’s this?”
Mankowitz held up the cartoon Peter had drawn earlier that day. The caption read: “GODOT CABLE COMPANY,” and the man was saying, “Between the hours of 12 and what?”
“Well, it’s a joke on the Beckett play, Waiting for Godot. ‘Cause Godot never comes. Like the cable guy.”
Mankowitz shrugged. “Yeah, yeah, I get it. It’s nicely drawn, but if I see another Godot cartoon in this office I swear to God I’m quitting. And, believe it or not, it’s too obscure.”
Peter’s throat went dry. “Too obscure?”
“I have to turn down the millions of Godot cartoons because there are some readers who just won’t get it. We’ve got enough of a snooty reputation as it is. Give me something anybody can laugh at.”
He flipped through the rest and said nothing.
“As you can see,” Peter said, taking back his work, “this isn’t my week.”
“I was counting on you to round out the issue, Peter.”
“Don’t worry. I’ve got some great ideas up here,” he said, pointing to his forehead, “but they’re still marinating. Just give me a week or two.”
Mankowitz took a loud gulp from his mug. “Send Sally in here. She’ll have something for me.”
He stepped out to the lounge. A dozen heads turned to see if he’d submitted anything, hoping he hadn’t. He pointed his thumb at Sally and motioned towards the door.
“How’d you do?” asked Sally, standing up to go next.
Peter shrugged. Seriously, he thought, I had no idea something could be too obscure for this magazine.
Tuesday — Cartoons are suffering immensely from lack of dreams, and so am I. But what’s in a dream anyway?
I’m not surprised about rejection. Happens to most people. But Mankowitz confirmed the cartoons were stale this week.
He walked to Andrew’s office on east 21st street. Inside an ornate lobby with mirrored walls and ceilings, and with the help of an especially glum doorman, he found Andrew’s door.
He knocked, but heard nothing stirring inside. He tried three more times, then waited.
After ten slow minutes had passed, the building’s door opened again.
“Hello, Peter. I’m so sorry for being late, but I know you’re a patient man, so I took my time with breakfast this morning.”
Peter noticed that one of Andrew’s shoes were untied.
“It’s really nothing,” Peter said. “I myself arrived later than I thought. I hope this doesn’t shorten our time together.”
Andrew’s smile barely showed through his thick beard. “Oh, it certainly does.” Andrew laughed. “But we’ll make the most of it.”
He unlocked the door and they walked into what appeared to be a waiting room. As the lights came on, Peter saw old mismatched couches and armchairs arranged haphazardly.
In the next room was Andrew’s office. It was small and shabby, much like Andrew himself. And, much like Andrew, it reeked of cigarettes. His desk was a pile of papers and his curtains were drawn. He turned on a lamp, which did little to illuminate the room. Andrew motioned to the green velvet couch, and dragged over his blue Wassily chair.
They sat down.
Andrew exhaled as he sat, as if he’d been moving boxes all day and was finally allowed a moment to rest. “So, Peter, how long has it been?”
“About four nights.”
Andrew lifted an eyebrow. “No, I meant since we went to school together.”
“Oh, I’d say twelve years?”
“Do you still talk to Jessie, or Rhonda, or Brad?”
“Brian, you mean? He’s not very interesting anymore.”
Andrew stared at the floor for a moment. “Right. Yes, well he never was, or else I would have gotten his name right. Shall we begin?”
He then picked up a large hourglass which had been sitting on the coffee table, and flipped it over.
“One hour — give or take,” he said.
Peter took a deep breath. “Well, as you know, this started with my sudden lack of dreams. I used to dream every night; I’d have vivid dreams, about all sorts of things. They were never frightening, just lively. Dreams of imaginary cities, hybrid creatures, wingless planes, large empty swimming pools, outdoor music festivals, and sometimes, if I was very lucky, they were sexual. But this past week I have not dreamt.”
“Not at all?”
“I have not had a single wisp of a dream,” he said, waving a hand.
“And how does that make you feel?”
“It’s filled me with fear.”
Andrew crossed his legs. “Hmm,” he said. “When did these dreams first start?”
“I don’t remember a starting point, actually. They must have always been there. When I was little I’d draw pictures of them, and maybe that’s where an early interest in comics came from.”
“What were your most recent dreams like, before they stopped?”
“I guess they weren’t quite normal.”
“Well, the last one was kind of strange.”
“What was it of?” Andrew asked, leaning forward.
Peter looked at his hands. “I don’t really think it’s too important.”
Andrew shook his head. “Look, if you’re not going to tell me the whole story then there’s just no point to this.”
“All right,” Peter said. Andrew always did have a temper, he thought. “I dreamt I saw an old friend of mine from school.”
“Yes, and it was at a party. And the really strange thing was — she was blind.”
“Who was it?”
“Nevermind who. But she’d gone blind in the last few years, and I guess I hadn’t seen her in a while, and I didn’t know. But her eyes looked completely the same. But she had a stick.”
“Like one of those blind people sticks? That are red at the end?”
“Yes,” Peter replied, speaking slowly. “One of those blind people sticks.”
“And so? What happened next?”
Peter was looking at his hands again, unsure of how to phrase the next part of his story. He suddenly felt more exposed, if that was possible, and took a deep breath. “I remember feeling very sorry for her, and when I saw her I said, ‘Oh my God.’ And she just smiled. I think we were catching up on old times, and she hadn’t aged, and…”
“It’s Samantha, isn’t it?”
Peter said nothing. Andrew smirked, then laughed. Peter felt some relief at the sound. It really was quite silly, that it was so obviously Samantha. She’d gone to school with them, and had been their friend. Peter never had feelings for her, but Andrew loved to tease him about it.
“Anyway, the point is I woke up and still believed it was true. I was totally in love in my sleep.”
“And in love all through college.”
“You jokes are still fresh as ever.”
Andrew stared blankly for a moment, ignoring the quip. “So how would this dream have informed a cartoon?”
Peter smiled, already knowing his own punchline. “A man greets a blind woman at a party. Caption reads: “Karen, it’s so good to see you again!”
Andrew smiled from the corner of his mouth, nothing but a twitch from his beard. “I wouldn’t submit that to a magazine.”
“I already did.”
“And it got rejected?”
“Well, yes, but that’s beside the point.”
They talked more about Peter’s sleep routine, his bedroom, and if anything else changed in his life before the dreaming stopped. Andrew asked if Peter felt any different, then made a joke about the real cause being a brain tumor. Andrew laughed, but Peter didn’t. Peter had gotten comfortable talking about himself this way, like he was outside of himself. He imagined that he and Andrew were scientists in a lab trying to analyze data. He only noticed that an hour passed when the last grain of sand fell inside the hourglass, signaling that their time was up.
“Great,” said Peter.
Andrew was already walking over to his desk, moving around papers. “Don’t get so sulky. I’ve got something for you.” He found an orange pill bottle and tossed it to Peter.
“Experimental something-or-other. One of the drug company representatives gave me a sample.”
“What’s it meant to do?” Peter did not like Andrew’s tone, which grew more casual the more serious the topic was.
“It’s intended for patients with anxiety, but some side effects include strange dreams. So these may help you get back on track.”
“I guess I don’t have much of a choice, do I?”
Andrew smiled. “Just take two of these and I’ll call youme in the morning.”
“I’m kidding. Don’t actually. I’ll call you.”
Wednesday — Noticed that I didn’t exactly dream, but there was one image left behind — me sitting in a brightly lit room. When I told him this, he said this was very positive news. But one single image after a whole night’s sleep is as good as nothing.
Thursday — No dreams.
Friday — Peter was back for another session with Andrew.
“Have a seat, Peter. I’m excited to hear how last night’s dreaming went.”
“Actually,” he said, sitting down, “There haven’t been any—”
“Hold on,” Andrew said, flipping the hourglass. “I wasn’t asking, not until our time starts. All right, go ahead.”
Peter sighed. “There haven’t been any dreams.”
“Not last night? But you had a dream before that.” He lit a cigarette and began to stroke his beard.
“That was a fraction of what I normally have, and then nothing after that. So I don’t think these pills work.”
“Yes, well, it was worth a shot. I guess the placebo effect was nearly successful.”
Peter was staring at the floor, but now he glared at Andrew. “Placebo?”
Andrew’s eyes widened. “I suppose I shouldn’t have said that.”
That bastard gave me sugar pills, he thought. “Did you really think I’d be cured with fake pills? That the dreams would suddenly come flooding back? Did you think I’d have to keep taking these pills for the rest of my life? It’s not something that’s just in my head.”
“Strictly speaking, it’s all in your head.”
Peter stood up.
“Now wait a minute. The pills were just my first idea. We can still solve your problem.”
“I shall find another therapist.”
Andrew was standing, too. “We can get to the bottom of this. I’m sure there’s a logical explanation for it all.”
Peter was opening the door to the waiting room, Andrew following closely behind.
“Maybe it’s your childhood. Unresolved trauma. We didn’t cover that yet. Did your father ever beat your mother? Did he ever beat you? Maybe you want to kill him on a subconscious level.” No response. “My research would be greatly aided by this case, Peter.”
Though he was already in the building’s lobby, Peter turned around. The mirrored ceiling and walls made endlessly repeating images of them. Infinite conversations went on at once. “Your research? Well, please excuse me. I didn’t mean to disrupt your valuable research. I was having such a good time being your guinea pig.”
“It truly isn’t what you think at all. I have always had your best interests in mind.”
“No you haven’t.” Peter’s shouting echoed throughout the room. “You have only ever had your own best interests in mind. You never wanted to help me. You saw me as an opportunity. A strange psychological phenomenon that you could dissect and resolve.”
“And so what? So what if I studied you? We both would have come out of it on top. We both stand to gain something together.”
“This is not about gaining anything. I have lost something and I want it back. It’s the only thing that makes me who I am.”
“You’ll have to face what you are without it.”
“How am I supposed to do that?”
“How am I supposed to know?” It was Andrew who was shouting now. “Ask blind Samantha, she’ll know.”
Friday — It’s a wonder Andrew ever became a therapist.
Saturday — Peter sat before his fountain pen, ink bottle, rag and paper. He didn’t have any ideas. A single panel gag, he thought. An everyday image and a funny line.
The phone rang, causing him to drop his pen. It was Andrew. He stared at the name on the phone, letting it ring several times. He picked up.
“Peter, look, I’m terribly sorry about last night. The placebo thing is really quite a common method of treatment in some circles of psychiatry. I realize it may have looked as if I was toying with you, but I really do want to help. And not just for my research. I like to think that we’ve remained friends all this time, even if we haven’t spoken.”
“I’m not taking any more pills, real or otherwise.”
“No, of course. I’ve got something better. Let’s try a more informal approach. Some of the best therapy happens beyond the couch. Drinks tonight.”
“I don’t drink.”
“That’s absurd. Don’t worry, I’m buying.”
“No, you see, I don’t dream when I drink.”
“Are you dreaming now? No. So this is your big chance.”
Peter ran his hand through his hair. “What do you hope to accomplish informally?”
“I figure we talk about the past in a more comfortable setting. Friend to friend, free of charge. I want to get to the bottom of this Samantha thing.”
Peter thought about it for a moment. He knew such an odd dream must have some sort of significance, especially one that may have stopped all the other dreams from surfacing. Why was it Samantha, and why was she blind?
“You still there?”
“Sure, I’m free tonight.”
“That’s what I figured. Jamon Bar, eight o’clock sharp.”
Saturday — That bastard Andrew wants to make amends, so we’re going for drinks tonight. Haven’t seen the inside of a bar in ages.
The sun had long set as Peter walked down 21st street. On a Saturday night, there was more life, and the young people were leaving happy hour. Peter heard a group in the distance laughing hysterically.
He arrived there ten minutes late, thinking he’d still get there before Andrew. But when he arrived, he found Andrew at the bar chatting up a woman. She was quite short, with curly hair and a green wool coat. He only realized it was Samantha when she turned around to greet him. He suddenly felt the urge to run away. They had probably been discussing him this whole time. He craved his studio, with its volumes of cartoons, novels, and sketchbooks. He craved his bed.
“Peter!” she said, standing up to hug him. “It’s so good to see you!”
“Sam!” he gasped, manufacturing a smile. “I had no idea you’d be here. What’s it been, twelve years?”
Samantha looked a bit older, with a thinner, sharper face, and some lines at the corners of her eyes. But the age made her more graceful and intelligent-looking.
Peter glared at Andrew, whose grin was visible through his beard. “You’re late, as usual. We were just talking about you.”
“I didn’t know I’d be keeping so many people waiting,” Peter said as he took a stool beside Samantha. “Tell me, how have you been?”
“Working at a law firm. No, no,” she said, stopping his congratulations, “It’s really dull stuff. You couldn’t imagine a worse job, trust me. But I’m doing well. I’m expecting, actually.”
Samantha paused, unsure if he was kidding or not.
“Oh my God, of course. That’s great news. A boy or girl?”
“We don’t know yet. Actually, we’re adopting. But I kind of like to say I’m expecting. It makes it sound more real.”
“Who’s the lucky guy?”
“Lady, actually. Sheila and I have been together for a few years now.”
Andrew held up a finger at the bartender and ordered Peter an Estrella. “Peter, we have been discussing your little crisis.”
I knew it, he thought. Now we have to talk about it. “How far did we get?”
“I explained that your sudden lack of dreams was seemingly prompted by the dream of Blind Samantha, which could be the result of unresolved feelings towards the past, or her directly.”
“Which is why you called her up.”
Andrew grinned again. “Yes.”
“Look, Sam, it’s really not a big deal. It’s just a strange problem I can’t find an explanation for.”
Samantha smiled. “I think it is a big deal. This is your passion we’re talking about. This is like Beethoven going deaf.”
Peter shook his head and looked at his lap. “I don’t know if it’s quite that important.”
Andrew dug out his phone from his coat pocket. “Oh, Jesus. Six missed calls from a patient. What the hell do they want from me? This one, classic fear of abandonment issues. So damn needy. Excuse me while I make a call.” He rushed out of the bar, taking his coat and his bag with him.
Samantha turned back around to Peter. “Let me hear about the dream again,” she said. “But from you.”
Peter told her about the dinner party, perhaps at an old friend’s house, and how he turned around to face her. She was smiling, but looking out, empty, at nothing. Her eyes were a clear blue, as usual, not cloudy. She hadn’t aged. But she had a red and white stick with her.
“And I was overwhelmed by feelings of loss and regret. And I felt very sorry for you.”
She bit her lip while thinking. “Have you had thoughts about me lately?”
“I’m not sure, at least I don’t think so.”
“I may have been somewhere in the back of your mind,” she said.
“Maybe. Or I’m longing for the days when we used to go out three nights a week and smoke and drink together. The days rushed by so quickly, but since then they’ve felt slower. Do you know what I mean?”
“Yes,” Samantha said. “About longing for the old days, but not about life slowing down. If anything, it’s kept on picking up, going faster and faster.”
“Then I must be doing something wrong.”
Samantha downed the rest of her Coke and said, “Even after hearing next to nothing, Beethoven composed the Ninth Symphony, which became his most loved piece.”
Peter laughed. “I really don’t think cartoons are the same as symphonies.”
“Of course they are,” she said. “They come from the same place.”
Peter tried changing the subject. He asked her more about Sheila, about adoption, and about everything that had happened with her since college. He learned that she had broken up with men and women, been broken up with by men and women, and finally found Sheila sitting alone at her sister’s wedding. When she asked Peter what he’d been up to, he could hardly think of a thing. It seemed that his cartoons were the only thing he was working towards the entire time. He’d been in a committed relationship with a woman named Andrea, but broke it off after a year on something more than a whim. Then the conversation turned to their school days.
Peter checked his watch. “Andrew’s been gone for a while, hasn’t he?”
They split the bill, even though Andrew had promised to pay for Peter’s drinks, and stepped outside.
Samantha shrugged. “He must have gone home.”
Sunday — Too drunk to dream. I was glad to see Sam last night. That bastard Andrew orchestrated it. I doubt I would have told the whole story to Sam without him there.
What to use a dream journal for if not for dreams?
Sitting at his desk, Peter downed a cup of coffee in seconds and took out his notebook. He still needed three or four more cartoons to round out the week, and if he kept drawing rough drafts, he might come up with something.
Beethoven was deaf, he thought. Not that I’m comparing myself to him. Clearly I am not the Beethoven of cartoons. But Andrew was right. For all the second-rate therapy he provided, he at least gave me that.
Without thinking, he drew a therapist’s office, with a very Sigmund Freud-looking therapist sitting in a chair, and a man laying on a couch.
He asked himself, what would make this situation absurd? A man who’s bleeding out on the couch? He should be seeing a doctor, but instead he’s seeing a different sort of doctor. Something with the word doctor in it. No, too punny. I’ve got it. A man in therapy is laying calmly on the couch with an axe sticking out of his bloody head.
He scribbled the line furiously, terrified that he’d forget the idea unless he put in down on paper immediately.
Therapist says, “Now the first step to solving your problem is admitting you have one.“
He smiled, saw all that he had made, and saw that it was good.
Tuesday — But what is a dream? A message from subconscious to conscious? A wish unfulfilled? A fear unrealized? Maybe it’s a story told in symbols. Or a dark lake, with large green trout swimming just beneath the surface, making ripples with their tails.
About the Author:
Ivan De Luce is a graduate of the City College of New York, where he studied creative writing. He has been published in The Promethean and has won the Esther Unger Prize for poetry. He works as a journalist in New York. You can find him at www.ivandeluce.wordpress.com