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Long, Long Dream

September 24, 2020

The first thing I remember dreaming las night is buying some DVDs at a discount, including the Army of Darkness Bootleg Edition (I see my VHS copies of the Universal edition on the Anchor Bay director’s cut on the shelf every day now because I found the right shelf piece and the right box, but still don’t have a DVD of it) and a fictitious film by Joe Dante called The Buccaneers, probably a result of buying Tsui Hark’s Detective Dee trilogy at Dollar Tree yesterday, an unfamiliar work by a favorite director. Some weirdness is that I seem to have still been living in my parents’ house and foolishly setting down my purchases on a window ledge outside Northview Middle School, which is contiguous with that property. A freaky non-sequitur is that Ted Danson left two of my film production textbooks, which are not yet unboxed, <i>The Filmmakers’ Handbook</i> by Asher and Pincus and a guide to Flash for Macintosh that I never really used and is surely outdated. I checked on both the DVDs and the books occasionally throughout the dream and found them there, but never went to retrieve them, even though I certainly would have in real life,

The heart of the dream was something that was inconsistently a sitcom that people would watch on TV or on YouTube (I saw both during the dream) and real life, centered on three American-born young adults of Indian descent in a workplace–two beautiful women, one named Jahlisa and one named Kalisa, the latter of whom was very pale by Indian standards but her tone was different from the average white person–a slightly yellowish extremely pale brown but less Caucasian-looking than most east Asian people, and a young man named Ted Kolisetty–the surname matching one of the neurologists (both female) who tested my hands. All four of us were friends. Jahlisa seemed to be romantically involved with Ted, and Kalisa seemed at least interested in me, although the two women also liked to kiss each other, although kisses on the lips were quick. This is odd considering that until Raja Hindustani in 1996, which showed a brief kiss and was a smash, non-Indian films had kissing scenes cut when exhibited there (as a westerner who saw the film without knowing the hype around it but had liked Karisma Kapoor in another film, I thought it was good but nothing special). It wasn’t clear what we did for a living–at one point Jahlisa rode around on a black vehicle that looked intended for interior use that nevertheless requited a lot of open space, but mostly I saw desks with computers. At another point Kalisa was in a small room with high narrow tables, and I was watching her put on copper-colored glitter lipstick to such excess that I told her she looked like she had a seventies porn star mustache, and I had a brief flash of her turning into Rowland Sherrill, my late Introduction to Religion professor, but our relationship was such that she thought it was funny. Even when my dreams went other places, it still kept coming back to this workplace, often with a title screen that didn’t really make any sense showing hearts carved on a wooden telephone pole in the middle of the desert–we weren’t living in the desert but the names in the hearts could have been the three characters.

There were a lot of people in the office, but a couple of others I remember were a guy named Nathan who seemed a sort of Hector Heathcote army runt type–a young man of below average height who wanted to prove himself in the military but couldn’t, but also wasn’t the overtly racist flag-waver type, either, just a sense of enthusiasm based on old-fashioned notions of proving oneself. There was also a Hispanic guy–I think his name might have been Stephen, but I don’t remember anything in particular about him. There was maybe one scene with him.

There was mild sitcom-eqsue misbehavior. Apart from the public kissing, there was people going to restaurants too far out of the way for their lunch hour and coming back late and shenanigans like that, but one thing I never saw that a sitcom would probably have was an angry boss–perhaps we had a worker co-op where people were simply paid for working and not paid for not working.

Another weird thing about it is that I kept realizing I was dreaming but wanted to remember. There was also totally surreal stuff like falling from an overpass and not being hurt just because it was grassy, and playing a well made of concrete bricks like a piano. Like kids, we had decided to wander into the woods behind a shopping center because of rumors of what was there–obviously it wasn’t in New York City but more like my memories of Indianapolis.

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