Dreams are manifestations of the subconscious, often related to events occurring in our conscience lives. Many times we address issues in our dreams that we will not or cannot address while awake. In the short story "My Brother, Gary Gilmore", Mikal Gilmore has a recurring dream in which he returns to the town he grew up in. His family, who have all passed away in previous years are present in this dream. The turbulent events that led to his brothers deaths along with the years of unresolved issues involving his parents drive Mikal to reconnect with them through his subconscious. This dream offers him a solution, an eternal reunion with his lost family through death. This dream will save Mikal Gilmore's life.
The Dream takes place in Salt Lake City, Utah, the place where he was born. The haunting images of his past described so vividly by Mikal Gilmore, reveal much about his feelings and emotions associated with this place. "In the dream it is always night. We are in my fathers house-a charred brown 1950s-era home." In this passage Mikal refers to the house as "my fathers", why is the house is not our house, or my parents house? This possessive statement alludes to being a guest, a sense of being unwelcome or temporary. This statement could imply an uneasy feeling involving Mikal's childhood in this house, and with his father. Since he grew up in this house, it is the place where he came to know his father; hence an association could be made between the two, his father's house. The charred-brown color of the house could be interpreted as a burned memory. The blackened wood, the smell of fire, crematory ashes remaining. .
Mikal Gilmore describes Salt Lake as "a dead-end American town, pinioned between the night-lights and smoking chimneys of towering industrial factories". There is an overwhelming feeling of imprisonment associated with this town. Crammed between a vast forest and an industrial monster, Mikal is trapped by forces threatening him with a boring existence, life in town.