Halfway through my 10th year, for the first time ever, I noticed myself. All at once, I knew that I was me, a person, different from and separate from all the other people. Just as quickly, I knew that I had to grab this sudden feeling and secure it so it could not get away, and to do that I had to put it into words. Fiercely, I said to myself, "I am me and I know I am me. I must remember this moment."
Not long after that, I had a dream, a regular sort of night dream, with jump-cuts and shape-shifting and all the nonsensical stuff that happens in dreams. What made this dream different was that I gave it a title, and started trying to sell it on the playground. "I'm selling dreams," I said. "I just had The Army Termite Midget Dream and I'll sell it to you for a dime."
My friends, my two best school friends, made it clear that this was silly and not the least bit entertaining and that nobody was going to pay me to tell them my dreams. Even when I revealed tantalizing details of the dream, like our classmate Bonnie Peterson wearing a suit of armor, nobody was buying it.
What the hell was I doing? I've never understood that incident or known what to call it, until now. Four inches up the screen from where I am typing this sentence, on Blogger's dashboard, is a clickable tab that says MONETIZE. I haven't clicked it yet, but someday, someday I will. And then I'm finally going to sell somebody that dream.