Tuesday, March 8, 2011

interpretation

So, I was at this awards show with Anne Hathaway (last night, in my dream) and she was really, really drunk.

Ever since I crushed her in a stare-fight on the set of "Passengers" (true story), I've hoped for a chance to introduce myself for real. So despite the awkwardness, when I saw her start stumbling away from James Franco, I offered to help her find the bathroom.

She looked at me like the stranger I was, but was too drunk to care. I took her down a long hallway and waited outside while she did whatever drunk people do in bathrooms. When she re-emerged, she looked a little less green and seemed to have forgotten who I was. I reminded her that I was the amazingly chivalrous guy who'd helped her to the bathroom, so she let me walk beside her, talking.

Now, as often happens in the malleable reality of dreams, the scene changed. The drywalled hallway became a rubble-strewn corridor in a medieval castle, and I quickly realized that we were being chased by some burly, blunt-nosed, Russian-looking thugs. With swords. We ran down some stairs and found ourselves at a dead end. That pretty much sobered Anne all the way up.

Fortunately, I wasn't scared at all. This was a dream, and I knew a way out. There's a special hiding place I like to go in my dreams, and past experience told me that all I needed to do was jump into the elevator that appeared in the wall and ride it up to the penultimate floor of the hotel. I would explain how a castle can grow an elevator and become a hotel, but you've probably all seen Inception by now, so I'll let it go.

Here's the tricky part about this hiding place of mine, though: the only access is through a pull-down ladder in the penthouse suite, but the penthouse suite is only accessible by using a special, keyed-entry elevator. I do not have that key (never have, in any of my dreams, ever) so I had to lift off a ceiling panel and climb up a few rungs through a ventilation duct. I guess Anne was used to that sort of thing from that spy movie she was in with Steve Carell, because she didn't hesitate. But when she realized that we were in the private apartment of an eccentric old lady, she started to have her doubts.

Once inside, we saw that the old lady was dozing fitfully on a large, musty bed covered with a lace-encrusted duvet, and when I got on a chair to pull down the ladder, she woke up. "John?" she asked.

The Russian thugs had by this time found their way to a balcony around the apartment, and were trying to peer in through the pale pink curtains, so there was nothing left but to pretend to be her long-departed grandson. "Yes, grammy, it's me," I said.

I could tell she needed some proof, so I broke out singing an old Cole Porter tune (fact: old people love Cole Porter), and before long she and I were happily singing away about how "anything goes." Anne seemed a bit worried about the whole thing, so I told Grammy that Anne was really good at singing "Danke Schoen." I thought singing might help her relax. Before we could pressure her into it, though, the Russians knocked on the door and that dear, deluded lady told them to get lost, because she was having a sing-along with her grandson.

We were free then to climb up the stair/ladder to what I guess is my "happy place," a rooftop garden replete with tropical plants, parrots, fishponds, a pool, and a whole troop of monkeys. Anne Hathaway and I sat side by side together on the edge of the swimming pool, facing out over the city.

"You know how I knew you could sing... and that song in particular?" I asked her.

"No, how?"

"Well, I was actually an extra on the set of your movie 'Passengers' and..."

I started to remind her how she'd sung that song while our eyes were locked in epic ocular combat, but just as I had begun to get into the story, a sleezy-looking guy in sunglasses and a sequined silver shirt came huffing up to us from the old lady's apartment. He was Anne's agent.

"Do you have any idea what I've been through trying to find you?" he asked, "and do you know how much work it is and how much it cost me to get a chopper to come pick you up?"

As he said this, we began to hear the distant thwopping of helicopter blades.

"It was, like, a zillion dollars!" he continued, waving his tiny cell phone through the air.

"Well, judging by that shirt of yours, I'm guessing you can afford it," I said.

In the dream, this was hilarious. Anne laughed heartily, waved her agent off, and took my hand.

"It's nice to have a girlfriend again," she said.

"Uh..."

"No, I know you're not a girl. I just mean, it's nice to be around a man who isn't trying to sleep with me."

"I am interested in women, you know," I said. "But we're on a roof and I just met you."

"I know," she replied, "that's what's so sweet about you."

With that, she got up, walked over to the hovering helicopter, got in, and flew out of my life forever. The monkeys were in an uproar. I was in my happy place, but I was alone. I was not happy.

----

So, yeah. That's weird, I know. I woke up at 5:30 this morning and promptly forgot that whole saga, but I was sitting in my faculty meeting this morning during this prayer/meditation time we do, and BAM! it came back to me, all at once. I just thought I'd see if somewhere out in this wide internet world there was someone willing to take a stab at telling me why I have dreams like this, and why my happy place is a private rooftop garden spackled with monkey poop.

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