Most of the "versions of reality" in The Road are dreams. McCarthy includes a hallucination or two and briefly makes fun of happy stories, but he mainly focuses on the dreams of his characters. Good dreams act like mirages in the novel, drawing the characters away from their harsh reality. Nightmares, on the other hand, reflect the terror they face daily. It's almost as if the unconscious in the novel no longer harbors illicit desires. All the terrible things people could do are already being done. Rather, the unconscious harbors suppressed happy memories, which the protagonist, perhaps correctly, calls distracting.