There’s the motorized roar and the background roar of the sea. There’s the greyed-out horizon, and the signs for the upcoming exits, Iceland coming up in a few hours and beyond that Denmark and Norway.
It’s a dream, of course, because in real life there is no highway across the empty waters, over and past the sea-roads trodden by Vikings, by slavers and by pirates who called themselves explorers. There is no road that passes over the ghost road of the Middle Passage, no exit for the West Indies or for Ireland.
It’s real, because the book says there is such a place, and there’s a slowing as the clouds clear and an improbably blue sky breaks overhead, a baroque Mediterranean heaven, and the Utopian consul steps on board to look at her papers and to ask her the purpose of her visit. What is the answer to that question?