Dream: Hogwarts Fraternity

I’m back at the fraternity of my youth, Phi Kappa Tau at Cornell University, except it looks more like Hogwarts than the actual house. No magic, but just the feel of the place, dark and gothic. I walk around all the rooms and marvel at the beauty, how right it feels.

There must be a party going on, because there’s people everywhere. All well behaved, appreciating the pretty things, like the fancy, frilly cushions on the couches. Laughter and merriment everywhere.

Jeff, a fellow Phi Tau, and I are now playing Super Password. It’s competitive; we are partaking in a tournament. It’s his turn to give the clues and for me to guess, and because it’s so loud, I can’t quite hear him. I ask him to speak louder, but it’s really no use — even if I could hear him, I suck. I’m just terrible at this game, and if Jeff had someone with half a brain, he’d be winning this thing. I only guess one clue correctly. And when it’s my turn, I do even worse. We get nothing right.

The house launches itself into the sky. When it lands, the front of the house now faces the back, opening right up to the back yard. The back of the house now faces the driveway. This will be hugely inconvenient, I think to myself, but everyone around me is delighted. Opening that front door and being greeted by the green grass and the tall trees is exactly what they want.

Then I wake up.

Commentary: The Super Password bit is obvious; I’ve been getting weekly allergy shots and the doctor’s office is always tuned to the Game Show Network. Everything else makes no sense whatsoever, but why should it? It’s a dream.

Dream: An Interview, a Folder, The Donald

I’m waiting for a job interview, and in my hand is a folder containing something new and exciting that I plan to share with my future employer. But in the hallway with me is Donald Trump, who is wearing a black trenchcoat over a black suit and red tie. He looks massive, a giant, and he demands I hand over the folder to him, now. I refuse. I run. He chases me, his body almost fishtailing because he’s going so fast and he’s so heavy, bumping against the walls. If not for me sidestepping at the last possible second to pivot and change direction, he’d catch me. His enormous hands barely miss me, again and again. But each time it feels like he’s getting closer.

Then I wake up.

Dream, 11/29/2018: Tina, Ellie, Lance, and I

I’m in a massive dorm room with Tina Fey, Ellie Kemper, and a woman named Lance Gabriel who looks just like Anna Chlumsky. The women are all on their own twin beds as I chat with them. We are good friends. I tell them they should never leave school — we are all attending Cornell. I’m a senior. I suggest that with the money they have, they really never have to leave, and they find this notion hilarious. But, I warn them, if one of them decides to leave, it’s over; the pact/spell will be broken. The women look at me solemnly, understanding the gravity of my words.

Then Ellie, Lance, and I are at a basketball game. The teams are terrible…it takes more than ten minutes for somebody to score, the other team, the ones in blue. The guy is fouled as he takes the shot; the ball bounces around the rim a few times before it finally falls in. He swishes in the free throw to give the opponent a 3-0 edge. On the Cornell team, there’s a player who is supposed to be really good, but he’s got a bum leg. His entire leg looks like it’s in a cast. Ellie and Lance are ignoring me, so I leave.

Then I’m in the dining hall and I continue to feel like an outsider. So many diners, and yet I don’t know anyone, and I can’t buy anything because I don’t have a swipe-able meal card, even though I’ve signed up for a meal plan at the start of the semester. A card? I ask the cashier. Really, you still need a card in this day and age? I’m told to go to Willard Straight (the student union), so I go there, and there are two women and a student in a tiny office that resembles a gas station mart. The student looks at me with exasperation. He holds up his smartphone and says, Touch and Pay, right? Ugh.

One of the women, an old lady, asks me why it’s taken me so long to come here. I tell her it’s because I live off-campus, but she doesn’t buy my excuse. She and the other woman chat among themselves, intimating that it’s too late for me to get a card now.

And then I wake up.


I know why Ellie Kemper is in this dream; it’s because I read her By the Book in the Times yesterday (how cool she’s a fan of Richard Yates!). But Tina Fey and Lance Gabriel, a.k.a. Anna Chlumsky? Welcome to nonsensical dream logic. And I think beds play a part because because I watched a CBS Sunday Morning segment last night about the history of the waterbed, which was fascinating.

Game of Dreams

Last night, my wife and I started catching up with the current season of Game of Thrones.  Which is, for those who don’t know the show, a daunting task.  How many kings are there, now, exactly?  And who were Ned Stark’s children again?  I’d forgotten that he’s also referred to as Eddard.  And Stannis who?  The melodramatic woman on the beach, the poisoned old guy, dragons and subtitles and bastards and direwolves…my brain cries uncle.

Two and a Half Men isn’t really that bad of a show, is it?  Save me, Ashton Kutcher, with your silly muggings and stupid lines.

Anyway, Game of Thrones is astonishingly epic, and maybe that’s why I had another very vivid dream last night.  It goes something like this:

I’m at a New Order concert with my great writer friend Ed Lin.  (Sorry, Ed, for pulling you into this mess.)  This makes sense, as I’ve read one of Ed’s posts about seeing Peter Hook (former member of New Order) a while back.  So there we are, listening to New Order, when I see Hilary Duff sitting a few rows away.  As far as I know, I’ve spent a total of 1.42 seconds of my life thinking about Hilary Duff (probably an overestimate), but here she is, not only sitting there but looking right at me, staring hard.

“It’s because she’s missing her dog,” Ed says, as if this made all the sense in the world.  (FYI, after seeing Game of Thrones, we saw the episode of Veep “Catherine,” where a dog is prominently featured in the storyline.)

At this point, I notice that everyone has a tattoo on their arm.  We received it as we entered the concert, I guess as some sort of a validating stamp?  On mine, it is a bunch of stars against a charcoal background.  The stars are moving, streaking.  I feel like dancing, I get up…

…and I’m hanging out with Janet Jackson.  (At the supermarket yesterday, I may have seen her on a magazine cover [verified via Google — Prevention, July 2012!].)  Onlookers on the street gawk at us, and I feel cool and important.  We enter a nail salon, where all the nail ladies do the nails while lying on fancily made beds.  The client is supposed to climb into bed with the nail ladies, but Janet politely refuses, so she sits in a chair while the nail lady awkwardly leans over to do Janet’s nails.

Then Janet and I are going back to the concert, and we are being followed by the nail lady and a big tough guy, both of them looking pissed.  The big guy takes out a tape measure, runs up to Janet, and starts measuring her head and back without asking for permission.  I try to stop him, and he pulls out a gun.  We run…

…back to the concert.  The door slams shut, and a man gives me a baseball bat.  The bat feels excellent in my hands.  With this bat, I can protect people.

And that’s when I wake up.

Dreams are awesome.