I have always had pretty vivid dreams. Not every night, but on a fairly regular basis my subconscious will string together one helluva film and I'll wake up remembering it. I haven't had one of these in a while, but Saturday night the ol' mind went to town. I'm going to try to recapture it for you.
First, let me tell you what I've been feeding my mind, so you'll see how the basic ingredients were transformed.
I've been reading a book about Venice. I've never been to Venice, but the book is quite good at filling my mental screen with images of black canal water lapping centuries-old mossy stone palazzos and bridges, characters in masks silently drifting by in black gondolas, or modern vaporettos, blown glass, Henry James, marble statues – you get the picture.
I have a couple of cousins who have spent a lot of time in Italy. I haven't talked to these cousins in a while – they live in another state – although last I checked we were on good terms and they were in good form.
A friend I hadn't heard from in almost 2 years emailed me out of the blue to say he would be in this neighborhood very soon.
So. Let the games begin.
The dream started with my friend, let's call him Bob, just arriving in town and I had apparently taken it upon myself to play tour guide. I started showing him around and he was gamely following. I suggested, “Let's go see my cousins!” And off we go.
We go to a gigantic palazzo. It is many stories tall, but we don't linger outside. Instead we wander in and up two stories to a vast open space, dark and shadowy, filled with statues, furniture, decorative arts, paintings, etc. I tell Bob that these things don't belong to my cousins, but to their neighbor, an Italian art collector. I've only been there a few times myself so I find myself leading the way through half-remembered twists and turns, pointing out some of my favorite pieces as we go. Suddenly, the Italian art collector, a round little man with a mustache, pops up from behind a stone lion and says, “Ah, miss, you have a very good eye. If you ever want a job, you just let me know!”
I love that part. My own subconscious would like to employ me. I'll bet it would be happy to give me a good reference too.
Then we get to the front door of my cousins' palazzo and it is evident we have arrived at a bad time. We walk into the huge airy first room, lit by chandeliers and sunlight, only to find more than a dozen caterers and decorators running wild around the place. White table cloths, candelabra, flowers, ferns, crystal – it's all there but it's not in any order yet. It is clear my cousins are getting ready to throw a ball that very evening and dropping in unannounced was not our best move. Still, the cousins are gracious. 'Celia' is on the phone two ballrooms over, gesticulating and persuading people to do as she wants. 'John' comes to greet us.
In real life my cousin has a full head of brown hair. In my dream he had gone bald except for a black rim of hair lining his skull over the ears and just around back, over the nape of his neck. He had topped the pink shiny bald dome of his head with a platinum blond toupee that wasn't quite long enough to reach the back of his head, so some longer blond strands were hanging over the pink and black patches that were clearly visible in the back. It was one of the most bizarre hairdos I've ever seen. Awake or otherwise.
Anyway, in my dream 'Cousin John,' wearing the outrageously inappropriate toupee, tries to make us welcome while still yelling at caterers. He leaves us in a corner of the room while he deals with a crisis. We take in the view.
Bob and I are standing in front of gigantic glass windows, easily 20 feet tall by 10 feet wide. And right outside is the ocean. Not as in, “Oh look down there, a beach right by the front porch.” The ocean is right outside and we can see the waterline about 2 feet up from the floor level. And out there on the sunlit waves we can see about 30 surfers on their boards, waiting for the next big swell.
Before our very eyes the swell starts swelling, a big-time wave starting up, right at the save level where we're standing, but getting taller, taller, taller and faster. I felt no fear that the wave would crash through the glass. I did worry for the surfers though, and as they hurtled toward us I could see quite a few of them were worried too. And then the wave smashed into the side of the building right in front of us and about 20 surfers were splayed on the glass like bugs on a windshield in a Far Side cartoon, looking right at us. The wave subsided, they climbed back on their boards, and 'Cousin John' came running in, yelling on a walkie-talkie, “CHANGE DIRECTION! CHANGE DIRECTION!” Somewhere outside, some lackey on ocean duty turned the waves, and the surfers caught the next swell running parallel to the palazzo rather than heading right for us.
About then Bob and I decided to take our leave and I woke up.
So there you go. This is what my subconscious gets up to when I'm not looking.
Halloween Costume Postscript – Jen, I like your suggestion of Lady MacBeth. Chaybee, I think it's funny that we independently wore the same costume to Halloween in different parts of the country! Keep the suggestions coming, folks. I am clearly most creative in my sleep. Your help is greatly appreciated!