Cat and I are staying in a hotel, in the penthouse suite. Everything is immaculately clean and polished, colors are all cream, white and tan. The oversized TV that is mounted to the wall is on and showing some kind of cheeky spy movie starring Henry Czerny.
I head downstairs. It is morning.
I leave the hotel and enter another building through the back door that opens into a fast food/movie theater place where I am scheduled to interview. Before me is a very large room, where an army of black and red uniformed people are assembling sandwiches and other food stuffs at a series of star-shaped counter stations.
Before me is a very large room, where an army of black and red uniformed people are assembling sandwiches and other food stuffs at a series of star-shaped table stations.
The tables feature 10 foot deep counter tops. At each sharp inset corner of the counter top there is a plastic strip with number sigils in circles, which is there to indicate where you can walk on the counter top.
(countertop walkway graphic)
Actress/Comedian Maria Bamford is there as a manager. I know this is who I am meant to interview with, but I just skip the interview and get straight to work.
Embed from Getty Images Maria Bamford
I sidle up to a counter and copy the employee next to me. I watch how she grabs stock from the storage space below the counter, assembles a sandwich, places it in a box, and adds it to a pile of boxes before her. After that she climbs up onto the counter, and transfers her pile of boxes to neat stacks on the wall behind the counter. She then climbs back down and pulls more stock and continues making a fresh pile of sandwich filled boxes.
It is quite loud in the facility, but no one talks to one another. No smiles, everyone is concentrating on their work.
I stand out a little because I am not in uniform, and am slow. I mess up a few of the orders, which means having to climb onto the counter and take back a few of the sandwich boxes I have made.
Even though walking on the counters is allowed, I do get stern looks from nearby workers as I climb up on the counter – perhaps it is because I am new, or not in uniform.
After a while of making sandwiches, I elect to take a break. I seek out the front doors and step outside.
The building is set in the middle of a misty country field, there are no roads or sidewalks, no parking lot. Just a mammoth concrete and square cube building surrounded by hills and trees and marshy foggy farmland.
My friend Ben S. is outside having a smoke. Muttering something about having lost his truck, “how am I going to get home?” he sighs between puffs, “well I guess I will just live here now.” His tone is weary, as if he is resigned to this course. He nods to me and goes back inside.
I somehow make it back to a different hotel than the one at the beginning of the dream. It is another penthouse suite, with the same floorplan, but this location is run down and dirty. The same spy movie is playing on the television, but the screen is a little fuzzy, and prone to flickering.
My wife Cat greets me and we head into the kitchen and clean off the stainless steel table.
We get undressed.
Both of Cat and I are naked, with our backs toward the front door, not touching one another. We are straining physically, quickly covered in sweat at the effort, our private parts smashed up against the stainless steel table top. We are both focusing our efforts on making Cat’s clitoris grow. Through this strenuous expression of physical will, the clitoris extrudes on its own and becomes a long stalk of peeled and pickled ginger slices, folded one onto another (like you would get with your sushi).
We both gently pull the ginger off to store for later.
From the corner of my eye, I glimpse movement behind us. A small boy is peeking at us from the doorway; spying on us. Blonde hair and freckles, he can’t be older than 7 years old. He is giggling.
I wake up and jot down “Cat’s clitoris is a pickled ginger dispenser” in my notebook. I roll over and fall back to sleep.
I am in a commercial office space. There are piles of paper lying around. I have a sense that this was my studio. Some of the work in the piles of papers is mine, and some is not.
I am trying to get things organized as I want to put together an art show based around “the process” of creating art, from conception to execution. There are lots of rough sketches, research, photography, maps, along with game level design that is part geometric abstracts and part sacred geometry.
I gather and roll my work up, losing track of what I am doing for a moment, and realize midroll that I have unintentionally grabbed some work papers that are not mine. I get into a quandary. Do I unroll and resort everything so I am sure to only take my own work, or just take everything (which could be construed as stealing).
I unpack and re-roll.
I am getting anxious. There is a storm brewing outside and it is getting progressively worse by the second, I can tell by the shift from daylight toward darkness glimpsed through the windows of the studio. I feel the strong need to get going before the storm breaks.
There is an animated interlude: what to do in case you are caught in a storm. Find the nearest bomb shelter and go to ground. Food. Medicine. Other People. Radio. Failing a bomb shelter you can make due with a strong door in an underground immovable structure. This is all told with a zippy style of 50’s era minimalist animation.
The sky is dark and bruised, clouds rising and falling. It looks like an inverted image of a seascape surface during a storm. Water spouts and tornados are forming. On the ground where I am walking is a strong wind, but other than that, things are traversable for the moment.
I am on the industrial side of town; water towers, factories, and freeway overpasses. Everything is bleached concrete and white paint, which stands out in a sharp contrast to the stormy sky.
There are train tracks to my right. A train passes.
The locomotive engine is big with a rounded nose, and painted bright orange – the train cars have a similar bulbous shape to them. There is another train on the next set of tracks going in the opposite direction. As soon as bulbular train finishes passing me the other train derails. It is as if it is struck on its side from the other direction (I can not see what struck it). The train crashes and tumbles over both sets of train tracks, landing on its side.
[It is probably significant from a dream analysis perspective that the crashed train was running parallel and in the same direction as I was headed. Whereas the bulbous orange train was running in the opposite direction.]
I head toward a nearby crane type tower structure. Inside the tower footers that support the crane is nestled a set of white painted concrete steps that go underground. At the foot of the stairs is a set of grey steel doors.
I move through these doors and encounter an old man in overalls sitting on a rusty folding chair, like the world’s oldest club bouncer.
“This is not a bomb shelter.” he says.
His voice is tired and bored, as are his facial expression. This is something he has said a hundred times before. In the cool darkness beyond the old man I hear the sound of dripping water; a hollow echo in a big unseen cavernous stone space.
I go outside again. The storm has passed, it is evening.
I head toward another hotel across the street.
There is a lounge where everything is covered in burgundy red velvet: the walls, the curtains, the floor, the couches. A fire burns in the fireplace. This place is the definition of opulent womb space. Very cozy and inviting.
There, sitting on a divan, is the actress Anne Hathaway. She is wearing a velvet dress, with short hair and glasses, reading something on a legal pad in front of her.
Embed from Getty Images Anne Hathaway
I sit down across from Anne and she looks up at me and gives a radiant smile. I introduce myself and we chat for a bit.
It turns out she is working on a writing project that has turned into a bit of a struggle.
We talk about school, she admits to not going to college and how she sometimes regrets that. I admit to having two bachelor degrees and how I sometimes regret that.
I mention I have always wanted to try my hand at writing screenplays. Anne talks about Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the philosophy that you should always try to do new things.
The conversation is really good. It flows naturally and Anne is thoughtful, intelligent and charming (not to mention beautiful). I have enough sense to excuse myself before the talk starts to get awkward or fanboyish fawning.
I go to the bar and order a whiskey, neat.
As I wait for my drink I find myself staring at the dancing flames of the fire in the fireplace.
My mind wanders.
I wake up.
Kinda sorta but not entirely unrelated, Maria Bamford’s new show Lady Dynamite on Netflix is the oddest, quirkiest, funniest, sweetest, ballsy-est comedic monstrosity (in a good way, it’s like a manic Godzilla) that I have seen in a long while.