I dreamed I was playing what I thought was a video game but which turned out to be a real-life intercontinental remote control, piloting a super-fast speedboat as it coursed down a river in Europe, while watching on my living-room TV. The object was to beat the clock and to avoid obstacles, especially canoes and kayaks. For the most part, my “game” was going well, as my speedboat only occasionally veered too close to the unpowered craft, swamping them and spilling their passengers into the drink.
The remote system was preposterous: a Playstation 2 controller for steering, which I had to operate entirely with my left hand; and a sphygmomanometer bulb for my right hand, to control speed. The turning point of the game came between rounds, when I set the controller down for a moment and accidently pressed a button that selected an alternate subject vehicle without changing the video feed. When I resumed play, I was still watching my speedboat on the Danube but actually driving an 18-wheeler on the New Jersey Turnpike. Without understanding what had happened, I grew desperate at the controls, looking on in panicked impotence as my river-skimming meteor careened into clusters of kayaks and canoes, launching them skyward in cartwheeling comets of cedar, fiberglass, aluminum, paddles, and people.
God knows what havoc I wreaked on the New Jersey Turnpike.
I have arrived at the home of Christina Ricci, to pick her up for a date. Her mother is Frances McDormand, and her father is unknown though an actor as well. The fact that they are film stars carries into the dream, yet they seem lower middle class, and their abode is humble. Christina’s parents are dressing her, with a great amount of fuss. As they wrestle her into her clothes (or perhaps they are giving her an insulin injection), she amuses herself by flashing and mooning me. I, in turn, make light of what she is doing, by complaining that she is blocking the television.
Frances McDormand is Chinese, and I engage her in conversation; however, she speaks a dialect, and when she names her home province, I cannot correlate it with any place I know. In the meantime, the family’s white poodle appears, and I recognize it. Apparently, it used to belong to my daughter. The mode of the dog’s transfer of ownership had been traumatic, and, recalling it, I begin to cry.
I am sobbing deeply and convulsively, unsure of whether I should try to stop myself. Will Christina and her family think I am unmanly for weeping, or will they appreciate my emotional openness?
I dreamed last night that I’d joined a group of young people on a car trip to a historic northern town. The place was home to a rather morbid tourist industry, for Jimi Hendrix, in this alternate reality, had drowned there in his car, while trying to cross a river. (Cars were amphibious, but only under calm conditions.) In fact, we arrived by driving across the fatal lake, and I was quite nervous about it, somewhat cramping the style of the carefree whippersnappers I was with. While browsing the town’s emporia (which sold various Hendrix-related merchandise, including a computer-generated simulation of how he might have escaped his sunken car and what his music would sound like had he lived), I gathered that younger visitors frequently capsized their cars on purpose upon departure, in order to achieve maximum identification with Jimi. Usually, they were able to swim to safety, but occasionally, they drowned. It seemed that my young driver was especially determined to swamp us, after our day’s shopping. I sat in the back seat, trying to imagine how to squeeze through the undersized rear window, in the likely event of down-flooding. As fate would have it, there came a loudspeaker announcement that someone had just drowned, and the news sobered my driver just enough to induce him to give up his pursuit of the ultimate Jimi Hendrix experience. “I guess we’ll just do it next time,” he said, and I hastily agreed, “Yes, of course. Next time. Next time.”
I dreamed that I was watching a sparrow being chased by a hawk. The sparrow tired; the hawk did not; and the distance between them narrowed. The hawk attacked with its beak, and the sparrow fell crippled to the ground. Thereupon, the hawk perched at some distance and seemed content to bide its time, waiting until later to claim its prey. Dozens of other sparrows, fellows of the unfortunate one, settled around it and began pecking unconcernedly through the grass, confident that the hawk would leave them, at least, alone, when the time came for it to finish its work. And so the wounded bird continued to limp among his teeming community, friendless and doomed.