"The Childe...More restless than the swallow in the skies..." -Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cultural Hash from a Childe's Mind

The Shot Heard ‘Round My Ears

The images continue to jar my mind. A couple days ago I experienced the ‘unthinkable’. Police cars surrounded a beautiful suburban home. There were hostages inside. Guns were drawn. And I had been asked to serve as negotiator. In hindsight, I should have hesitated. I’m not trained for this sort of thing.

Nevertheless, with a police officer escorting me, I began walking across the lawn toward the front door. As we passed in front of a bay window, the sound of gunshots and shattering glass rushed into my ears at over 600 mph. I jerked my head to the right to see who was firing. Through the breaking window, the assailant’s shimmering blond hair, glistening blue eyes and glossy skin made her identity unmistakable. I was being shot at by Suzanne Somers.

Of Celebrity-based Dreams

Okay, so I was dreaming. The scene I am describing took place in my mind. Still, this is not the first time I’ve dreamed of being assailed by celebrities. Old-timers who remember MySpace might have read a status update that went something like this:

“Last night I dreamed that Kevin Bacon wanted to beat me up.”
Multiple times, in a single slumber, Mr. Bacon burst into my dreams threatening to pummel me. Brandishing only fists and sheer gravitas, he caused fear that bordered on nightmare levels. And he kept coming back, always briefly, like his cameo in Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Now About Ms. Somers and the Glock

Oddly, I felt no fear as Suzanne emptied half a clip in my direction. Coolly, I drew a Beretta. Then I dashed for the front door while returning fire. Suzanne dropped to the floor. I hadn’t hit her, but she knew I was a lethal wea threat. And this is significant. In most dreams where I handle guns, they misfire. It’s a chronic problem for me in REM sleep. Yet, in this dream my pistol fired to great effect. (Shut up, Freud.)

Tragically, I think Suzanne took down the officer who’d been at my side. He didn’t make it to the front door. For the remainder of this kill-or-be-killed dream, the only two players were Suzanne and me. And there would be no retreat or surrender.

Help Me Robert Redford, You’re My Only Hope

What it is the deal with celebrities appearing in my dreams? To be candid, I wish the dreams were more sexual. We usually just wind up commiserating like weary insomniacs in a Denny’s at 3 AM. The encounters are so…whatevah. Not anticlimactic, mind you, just disappointingly matter-of-fact. Sometimes they are even embarrassing.

Take that night I dreamed of meeting Jeff Bridges. Out of the blue, he appeared next to me. A bit Starman-struck, I sheepishly said, “Did you have fun making the Tron sequel?” With gruff annoyance he shot back, “Well, obviously it didn’t turn out too well!” It made me wish I could be back in that sublime dream where Robert Redford visited my bedroom...

Anyway, I admit all that to say it was even more shocking to be trading bullets with Suzanne Somers. The dream was unprovoked and without real-world context. I’m not a fan of Ms. Somers, but neither do I dislike her. Plus, I have no recent memory of seeing her on any programs I watch. Yet here I was storming the home she was held up in like the Sundance Kid...but with mastered thighs.

As I burst through the door, Suzanne dove into a bedroom. She tried to shut the door, but I forced it open. Now trapped and separated from her prized hostages, she crouched down between the door and the wall. No words were spoken. We both still had a few rounds left. And though I hope readers are finding this a bit humorous, at the time I didn’t find it funny at all. I believed it was real. Perhaps two feet apart and separated only by a thin door, Suzanne Somers and I were about to kill each other.

About That Robert Redford Reference

While attending Weber State University in Utah, I attended a screening at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie I saw did not star Robert Redford, neither did he attend the screening. After the post-viewing Q and A, I drove to my grandma’s house where I was staying at the time. Soon I fell into a contented sleep in the back bedroom.

At some indistinguishable point between waking and sleep, I looked up to see Robert Redford walking into the bedroom. Like all trusted visitors, he had entered my grandma’s house through the backdoor. Apparently, someone had notified him of my attendance at his prestigious film festival and he decided to follow up. Quite nonchalantly, Mr. Redford sat down on the foot of the bed and warmly asked, “Do you have any questions?” Then, with the same starry-eyed dumbness I presented to Jeff Bridges, I asked Mr. Redford a mundane question about the cinematography in The Natural. Like so many of my celebrity dreams, it quickly fizzled into nothingness.

Last Man Standing

After a heartbeat Suzanne Somers emptied her mag, and I sent several rounds through the door at her. Somehow I didn’t get hit. And I don’t know if I took down Suzanne. The dream abruptly ended. But I can tell you that at such close range, gripping powerful handguns, for both of us to miss would have been a Pulp Fiction miracle.


The more I think about this dream, the less funny I find it. What humor there is largely dissipates when one considers I had this dream only days after a horrific real-life shooting in Grand Rapids. The dream itself I find absurd, especially my Lethal Weapon-esque performance in it. But the question of why I had it at all gives me pause. No conclusions. Just a reason to wonder.

Lastly, should this post ever actually find its way to Suzanne Somers, I can only say that I don’t know you personally. To the limited extent I have observed you through media, you seem talented and hard-working. I wish you continued happiness and fulfillment in life and in dreams--provided you refrain from taking hostages. Honestly, I don’t know why my brain slung such hash at your expense.


  1. Could be worse. Could be Dakota Fanning beating you up. And mozzarrella sticks at Dennys during the 3am bar-closing rush... well, they're awesome. Why can't I have dreams with this kind of budget?? ;)

  2. Yes, the dreams could be worse. And lower budget. For example, in just the last few nights one could have freaked out during a bitter argument with Stephen Colbert only to subsequently lose a 1-on-1 basketball game to President Obama. I'm not saying I had these dreams, y'know, just that such dreams are conceivable. Dakota Fanning, huh?