"Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives." --William Dement

v i v i d   d r e a m s
December 18, 2005
In which my friends throw me a really lame bachelor party, and then give me a really crappy nickname.

September 8, 2002
In which I try to direct a musical, then watch a building get demolished, not once...but twice.

June 10, 2002
In which I find myself competing with an unidentified black woman to see who is prettiest.

May 5, 2002
In which I discover an entire national park made of Legos only moments before finding out about a tragic turn in Glenn Danzig's life.

a dream I had the morning of April 3, 2002

The whole dream was a mixture of familiar Los Angeles faces and people from my high school.

It began at a school that was Shawnee Mission East but wasn't. I knew it represented East, but the countryside around it was much too hilly and covered with pine trees, etc. The weird part of the dream was that everyone was there at the school, as if we were still in school, but everyone was older. It was very obvious to me that I was coming back for a visit. I even thought to myself, "I should go see Mrs. Barnes." (She was my eighth grade English teacher who now teaches senior English at East.)

This part of the dream is pretty foggy, but I remember a group of people sitting outside, maybe at a group of picnic-type tables. I came out and made a big production, yelling at someone jokingly as if I were an important editor and they were my star writer, who was not getting a piece in on time. It was obviously a bit I was doing with the person (female? I don't recall) I was pretending was the writer. Everyone got a big kick out of it.

What I do remember about this part of the dream was that Michael Beymer from high school was there. [Note: Beymer was a disturbed kid at school who kind of always sang to himself and acted very strangely. It was rumored that he had been picked up by a tornado and that's what made him so odd. Kids at school would spin like tornadoes around him to freak him out...because kids in high school are mean.] Beymer was, I think, annoying the girl/fake writer and I was coming to her rescue by making this big production. I started talking to Beymer in my big booming editor voice also, telling him that "She doesn't have time to dilly-dally with you! She's got a story to write! We're on deadline!"

It seemed to do the trick and Beymer decided to leave, putting a cardboard box on his head, climbing onto a moped and driving straight into a brick wall. He got up, dusted himself off and prepared to drive off again. I tried to get him to take the cardboard box off his head, but to no avail. He rode off, this time into the parking lot, with the big cardboard box still on his head. The wind eventually blew the box off his head, revealing another, smaller box, which the wind eventually blew off, revealing another, smaller box.

I don't really remember the transition from this part of the dream to the next, but somehow and for some reason, I left the school and found myself walking down a street that looked a lot like a street in the Hollywood Hills.

It was there that I passed a guy I knew was Dudley Moore, who was carrying what I knew to be a detonator and saying something about "Puck's." Instinctively, I knew that he was going to blow up Wolfgang Puck's original restaurant (called Puck's in my dream), which I just so happened to be walking past at that time. Which was located basically in what looked to be a residential area in the hills around Hollywood. I continued down the street, walking down the hill and around a corner and ended up standing with a group of people excited to watch the building get imploded.

It was scheduled for demolition, I guess, and Dudley Moore was the guy to call.

There was a big crowd of us standing really close to the building, which looked nothing like a restaurant from any angle, especially not from the back side, which was where we were all now standing. It was made of red brick mostly. It was fairly narrow -- to fit in between the buildings next to it -- and had sort of a round turret-ish room on the back side. There may have been something painted on the exterior brick wall, like an old ad or something.

As opposed to the view from what seemed to be the front door (the entrance Dudley Moore scurried into to blow the place up), this side of the building faced a street. It could have been Ventura Boulevard in the Valley (which would sort of made sense, what with the mountains and all) or it could have been Wornall Road in Kansas City at about 77th Street.

There were no cops or other officials keeping us from getting close to the building. No yellow tape cordoning off the area. And a bunch of us were simply milling about right next to the building. Suddenly, I realized that it was time and I said, "They're going to blow the building up!" Not frightened, but excited. Who doesn't love watching a building get imploded? So we all moved roughly 50 feet away, next to a Ryder moving truck that was empty.

The crowd here was an interesting mix of people I hardly knew from high school (mostly girls, it seems) and improvisers from Improv Olympic. There was some business with this cute blonde girl from high school. She had apparently done something to me as a practical joke a while back and was laughing about it, and I was telling her, very jovially, that I would get her back. But I was thinking, "I can't remember her name. Who the hell is she?" (While I was convinced she was familiar in the dream, after waking up from the dream, I realized her face was totally foreign to me.) The joke that she pulled I think had something to do with transplanting organs. I remember seeing a group of small half-moon scars on her stomach. Even in the dream I couldn't make sense of that.

Then it was time for the building to detonate. We all watched as the lights of the building flickered off (the power was still on...why turn it off?) and the first charges detonated. Surprisingly, they weren't all that loud, despite our proximity. The building sagged and then collapsed down and away from the hills, toward the street. I remember watching the collapsing building pull away from the building next to it and thinking "Impressive. That other building hardly moved!" That Dudley Moore must know what he's doing.

Everyone cheered and we immediately walked over to the rubble to check it out. There was, naturally, no dust cloud or anything, just a pile of rubble.

Sticking out of the top of the pile was what looked like a skinny old-fashioned stove. At least, that's how I interpreted it. It was white in that appliance-white kind of way and had ornate legs and laid on its side. Pat Finn was the first on the pile and he immediately made some joke about the stove, which got a huge laugh -- from a studio audience somewhere nearby, by the sounds of it. As I got closer, the "stove" transformed into more of an old scale. The kind with the big round dial at about eye level, like the kind you might put in a quarter to get your weight and a fortune from.

The crowd of us, which was by this time mostly Improv Olympic folks, found that the bottom floor of the building was still intact. At least the front room of it was. Even stranger than that was the fact that it was the apartment of John and Kevin Farley, and it was still fully furnished and everything. I only saw John there, but he didn't seem surprised that the building was being demolished with all his stuff in it. Nor was he upset.

So, about a dozen of us were crowded into that room poking around, with the ceiling sagging from the weight of the building above us. In many ways, the room didn't seem like it was John's, because he didn't care that we were basically scavenging. But I knew it was John's apartment because later the phone rang and he answered. Adrian Wenner found a green velvety couch (the kind that folds out into a bed even) with lots of green velvety pillows under a little bit of rubble and went nuts over it. He wanted to save it from the rubble and was claiming it as his own.

I decided it was probably not so safe to be just hanging out in this room, what with the collapsed building above us and all, and decided to leave. That was when the phone rang. John Farley answered it and handed it to me. It was Laura Walsh (a girl I was dating at the time) calling me to see what I was doing. As I walked out the door (it was a cordless phone), I asked her how she found me, and she said she had just called my home phone. I laughed and said that was weird because I wasn't at home at all. I was at John Farley's apartment that had just been demolished.

Then Wendy Molyneux ran out of the front door of the Farleys' place saying something about how the place was about to collapse. A piece of rubble had broken loose and almost hit her in the head, or something like that. Everybody cleared out of the Farleys' place and began throwing rocks and chunks of building at the walls and onto the pile atop what was left of the Farleys' place, trying to make it collapse and wanting to have something to do with it. I remember Lindsey Stoddart was one of the rock throwers. Finally, the walls buckled and the place collapsed and everyone cheered.

At this point I think the phone went dead. I'm not sure though. Because I stayed on the phone with Laura. I can't exactly remember. Maybe the phone went dead and I called her on my cell. Whatever the case, I kept talking with her. Before I left the site of the demolition, I looked up the hill and saw a restaurant, like a diner, that was next door to where Puck's had been. Either I hadn't noticed this restaurant before or it had magically appeared. It was not round, but kind of awkwardly shaped, and as I looked at it, the restaurant, the whole building, rotated. I could see the giant tire at one corner of the asymmetrical polygon that was the building that aided in its rotation. Painted along the eaves of the restaurant's flat roof, in big white block letters was the phrase, "Restaurant revolves every half-hour!" Or something along those lines. In one of the windows I could see my high school drama teacher Max Brown waving at me. Somehow I knew that he was the manager of the restaurant.

I walked away and kept talking on the phone as I walked toward my apartment -- or what passed as my apartment in my dream. I opened the door to my apartment (a lovely arts and crafts home straight out of Old House Journal, compete with dark oak entryways and window treatments and a lovely rug over the hardwood floor) and noticed an Archie comic lying face down in the doorway from the living room to the dining room. It was the only thing out of place in my view, and somehow, I knew it meant trouble. I looked to my left and there was a man hunched over, his back to the wall, as he rifled through what I guessed was my stereo equipment and CDs. He didn't look up at me and I never really got to see his face.

I was so startled and panicked that I woke up.

© 2002 Jeff Drake