Friday, November 27, 2020

Dreams Be Weird, Yo

 My dreams are so weird in the fact that they can set up full plots and details for a complete storyline and reference the details later on at the end of the dream. It's fascinating, really.

This morning, I woke from another strange one...

Quick dream setup: It was the early 80s, and I was working at a large hotel with a rather sizable staff. I was part of the dream-vague general staff (you'd think I'd make myself something more important like a manager, but noooooo). During one morning meeting, our manager stated that we had a new addition from one rival hotel. She was just another new member of the vague general staff named Cheryl. Wife, mother of two, and your typical middle-aged Midwestern with a faded red perm and large tortoise shell glasses. Very soft spoken, very sweet, very polite, and very chatty.

When asked by my small motley clique of employees (you know, the cool kids) why she left, she said that the last hotel was haunted. "Haunted?!", I said. "Yes! Really! Haunted!", Cheryl insisted, "Strange things would happen there all the time! It wasn't just that hotel; it was also the one I worked at before that one, and the one before that one, too! It's like it's following me!" The manager laughed and told her not to worry and that our hotel was not haunted in the slightest. My group and I laughed and reassured her not to worry. She smiled and relaxed a little in her chair.

The day went normally, and the night as well, but the next morning was chaos. A vacationing couple woke from their bed to find it was floating in the hotel pool. When my staff and I arrive, the couple was screaming something about a monster that did it. After we got them to safety, we spot something in the water. Sure enough, it was a creature, and it leapt out of the water and ran off. The odd thing about it was that it looked more like a small child wearing one of those old cheap plastic Halloween Costumes from a five and dime. Realizing this, I rolled my eyes and said, "Creature from the Black Lagoon? Really?" 

When I said this, I saw another small figure run around the other side of the pool and hide in the lounge. As my crew and I look around, I told them (in trying-to-be-clever-dream-dialogue), "Okay, it looks like we're looking for your typical cereal box vampire." Just then, a kid jumped out in a full, deluxe version of a cheap Halloween costume. It was a well dressed figure, in a tux, sporting a red amulet, and spreading a cape as it posed intimidatingly... except, y'know, it was all in thin cheap painted plastic. He hissed through the slit in the mouth of the crudely painted vampire mask and ran off. "Okay, sorry, we're looking for the KING of the cereal box vampires, Dracula.", I turn to yell in the direction that the caped menace ran off in, "Better?!" We never found the kid, but to be fair, it was a half-assed search mission.

When I went downstairs to join the meeting about all of the crazy things happening in the hotel, I noticed that the front desk receptionist was acting frustrated and frazzled. When I asked her why, she told me that the phone keeps ringing, but when she answers it, there's nothing but a dial tone. I did a quick search of the desk area and found a micro cassette recorder and it was playing a tape on loop of the front desk phone ringing every thirty seconds. I turned it off, slipped it into my pocket, and let the receptionist know that she's good now. She thanked me, jaw agape.

I walk into the meeting area and sit in my usual assigned spot which happens to be close to the new employee, Cheryl. She's having a very in depth personal conversation with the woman next to her. They're having a good time sharing all sorts of details of their lives and experiences. She's a master at conversation and making people feel comfortable enough to open up to her. I also hear her not only spill details about herself, but about several other people by name, too. I was kind of amazed at how she dropped such personal details about others with such ease as to not rattle the other person she was speaking with and continue the flow. As I watched them, there was a scream.

We look over to an empty chair, and behind it is another employee, standing with her hand over her mouth, and looking down at the chair through a stream of tears. She wailed, "Who did this?! WHO. Did. THIS?!" We all looked confused. Before anyone could say anything, she ran from the room. When another woman looked in the chair, she gasped. She picked up a container of baby food as others started murmuring. I sat there in silence with the knowledge that the woman had recently had a miscarriage. I look at Cheryl who whispers to herself, "It's happening, again!" Suddenly, my magical dream detective mind starts to put the clues together. 

"Cheryl?", I asked as I turned to her. She looked at me, "Yes?" I start my grilling, "About how many hours do you put into a typical workweek?" Confused, she says, "Oh, uh, I dunno... about 60-ish hours, give or take... but mostly give." I nod, "And do you know the name of the woman that just left?" Still bewildered, "Yeah. That was Connie. She just recently had a miscarriage. Oh, it was tragic. I told my husband about it and we both felt so awful and thanked the lord above for our two boys..." She went on and on as her voice faded.

Then it all clicked. I solved it. BUT, with this being set in dream territory, there's no satisfying end. I didn't get to actually solve it out loud to all of the other dream actors. It was all internal; Cheryl was a workaholic mom who didn't spend enough time with her kids, so they sabotaged her job with "supernatural" pranks so that the hotel would be shut down and she could spend time with them. That's it. Case solved. In my head. 

As I was waking up and the dream was ending, the scene turned into one that was on a TV screen and I was the actor no more, but the spectator. Cheryl, according to the rules of a gay man's dream-space, launched into a song complete with subtitles so that I could sing along.

I never got to.