The short story I don’t dream of Genie is written by Chad Pelley in 2016. The title is inspired by the American fantasy series called I don’t dream of Jeannie.
Also, the wordplay between Genie and Gene in the title gives us an idea, that the story is about wishes- whether they come true or not. Sherry, who is a Jewish woman, works as Santa Claus at a mall.
Santa Claus is so famously known for making peoples, and especially kids, dreams come true. A Genie is “a spirit of Arabian folklore, as depicted traditionally imprisoned within a bottle or oil lamp, and capable of granting wishes when summoned.”
I get the impression that Sherry would do everything in her power for her and Gene to reunite and get back together. But she seems aware of the fact that it would or could never happen. Sherry 2 therefor has lucid dreams about it.
Even though she knows he doesn’t miss her “I am not going to miss you” in these dreams Sherry controls what he says and thinks, and she can decide what will happen, how it will happen and when it will happen.
The theme in the short story is, as hinted to in the title, dreams, wishes and hope. Sherry’s lucid dreams are highly connected to the theme of hoping and dreaming.
Just like the Arabian genie promises its master all their wishes to become true. Sherry does not yet master her own dreams and can therefore not have her wishes met.
To make her dreams become reality she needs to control them and needs to forget about Gene. I think that by the time her wishes changes they will also become easier for her to make them come true. Sherry’s true wish is to be able to forget about Gene.