I am on a date with Rosario Dawson.
Embed from Getty Images Rosario Dawson
Rosario and I are in a fancy restaurant, dark wood with dim candlelight, and the Larry Clark/Harmony Korine movie “Kids” (1995) is playing in the background.
Rosario does not seem to mind or even notice that the movie is on and the sound is up, but I am having difficulty with the split focus between the date and the movie, which I have never seen before.
The movies earthy language and content stand out in sharp contrast to this romantic dinner location, though it does not seem to bother any of the other well-groomed customers.
I excuse myself and I walk into a nearby bookstore.
Warm white light. Friendly staff. Light oak shelving.
While I am at the bookstore as a customer, a drama ensues with an expected hold-up/hostage situation. Some sort of lockdown is scheduled to occur, with the customers in the store being robbed and maybe humiliated in some way.
This is meant to be some sort of political statement.
I am very apprehensive as I know this is going to happen, but it turns out to be all talk, as the holdup was scheduled for yesterday, and as it is today, it is no longer a legitimate threat.
I shift from being a customer to being an employee. I am running the cash register and supervising a specific section of the bookstore on “Transgender Studies: fashion and history”.
The organization of my section looks rather haphazard, costume jewelry and bric-a-brac on the bookshelves in front of the shelved books, costumes folded into the books themselves, leaking out over the pages and onto the shelves.
The bookshelves are a light blonde oak, with polished locking glass doors to prevent casual browsing or theft. When my section is available to the public the shelves are lit by white electric lights, inset into the top of each shelf to shine down on the shelf below.
The same movie, “Kids”, is playing in the background. We do not have televisions throughout the store, but the audio is piped in over speakers.
Moment to moment my career path within the bookstore is playing out. One moment I am helping customers and maintaining my section – the next moment my section has to remain closed because I am swamped with higher management functions as I am a shareholder in the store. A moment later I am the President of the bookstore. All these job transitions take place over a single work shift, complete with costume changes.
My dog wakes me up with some low growling at the world outside. As it is still dark outside, I roll over and go back to sleep.
Martin Sheen, in his low forties, grizzled, looking like he has not slept in a few days, unshaven, pale, his voice hoarse.
“World War III will be fought in March of 1970.”
Embed from Getty Images Martin Sheen
He has a woolen black coat, white button up shirt without a collar. High contrast. Giant white snowflakes are beginning to fall.
“Wait,” I say incredulously, “March of 1970? World War III?”
I get a barely concealed eye roll from Martin.
“Look, if you are going to question me, if I need to repeat myself, this is going to take forever and this will be a colossal waste of time.” His eyes bulge out and he licks his lips. I catch sight of ugly teeth and orthodontia. “It is already going to happen. May I continue?”
Meanwhile, my conscious mind has been nudged awake by this exchange. Or maybe it is a coincidence, but it has latched on to what was being said as important. I somehow need to remember that World War III is going to be fought in March of 1970.
I drift off into the dream again.
The dream shifts perspective, into movie trailer mode.
I catch a birds eye view of the current setting, dark plowed earth covered by a thin veil of snow.
Martin Sheen looking very tired. Jeff Bridges looking very tired.
Embed from Getty Images Jeff Bridges
Dirigibles moving through the sky in an awkward, slow-motion, dogfight.Embed from Getty Images
Old hands folded on a worn black, wood, kitchen table.
A gathering of people outside a rural church on a cold winter morning.
People’s clothing have a decidedly Mennonite or Amish look to them. White shirts and black woolen coats. More 1870 than 1970.
I feel myself waking up but at the same time do not want to.
“March of 1970,” I scrawl in my notebook “World War III – (1870?)”
The dog demands walkies right now. World War III can wait.