Last night, my husband and I saw Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, and we really enjoyed it. Anyone who has seen this movie, or The Royal Tenenbaums or Moonrise Kingdom, will know that Anderson’s movies do not follow any accepted Hollywood comedy format, and are funny (when they’re not disturbing) in totally unexpected ways.
I thought about the movie long after we left the theater, and I’m certain that it influenced the dream I had last night. My dream was so odd that I wrote a transcript, which I’m thinking of sending to Anderson. I doubt he’ll read it but, because I went to the trouble of writing it, I’m sharing it here. Dreams are usually boring to hear about, but I’m betting that some of you might find this strange enough to enjoy.
My Wes-Anderson-Inspired Dream
On a visit to Ohio, I learned that my high-school boyfriend, Reggie Moore*, had died. I had been engaged for several years to Reggie (in my dream, not in real life) until the relationship ended when I eventually noticed that he wasn’t calling or seeing me anymore, so I returned the solitare diamond ring he gave me.
I called Information to get his mother’s phone number, to offer my condolences. The operator said, “Oh, that’s so sad about Reggie’s dying, but his mother was actually happy that he died because she had learned to not like him; she only pretended to, for appearances. He turned into a long-haired, blond slacker who gave organic food to drug addicts.” (I had a vision of a white-blond, long-curly-haired Reggie [looking like Peter Frampton in the 1970s], standing over a pie chart that had been painted on the sidewalk. On each section of the chart was a colorful triangle that indicated an organic food.) I told the operator that Reggie had two other brothers and asked if she was sure that Reggie’s mother didn’t like him. She said that there was no doubt that it was Reggie who was disliked.
I decided to drive to Reggie’s mother’s house, but I couldn’t remember how to get there; I hadn’t been there in more than 35 years. Somehow, I got there, but first it involved finding the rental car that I had parked in a location that I had forgotten. When I finally saw Reggie’s mother, I told her that the telephone operator was giving out too much personal information about her, like the telephone operator in “The Andy Griffith Show.” I added that I thought the operator’s name in the show was Sarah.
I was on a crowded bus with people I knew, including my best friend, Kelly English*. She was several seats ahead of me. I went up to talk to her and she said, “Larry* [her husband] is sleeping on the couch now.” “Why?” I asked. She shook her head, indicating that she wasn’t going to say anything else.
Later, she came to sit next to me. She said that she was the cause of Larry’s sleeping on the couch. When I asked why, she said, “Why else?” I said, “You had an affair?” She said that she had, with her boss, Russell. She was his secretary (which bothered me because, even in my dream-state, I knew that she was a physical therapist and not a secretary).
That evening, at home (which wasn’t actually Frank’s** and my home, but my parents’ home in Ohio), I baked a lot of flat yellow cakes with cream between the layers and fruit on top, and coconut macaroons. Frank and our son, Luke**, were in the family room downstairs watching a game.
The doorbell rang. I opened the door to see a seven-foot (at least), handsome (part Caucasian, part Hawaiian, with jet-black hair), basketball player wearing a white, sleeveless team jersey (I think it was a Knicks jersey), standing on our doorstep. He announced, in a booming voice, “Hello, I’m Russell, and at 7 p.m., on April 23, 2014, I slept with Kelly English.” (I can’t remember the exact time or date [which is unfortunate, because they probably held the key to today’s lottery numbers], so I substituted another time and date.) I told him to come in and explain himself.
Here it becomes a little vague. I remember that he started out by saying that it was Kelly’s fault that his marriage was in trouble, but by the end of the conversation, he was willing to continue the affair. Then Frank came up from the family room and invited Russell to watch the game with him and Luke, and talk about the affair. When I asked Frank how he knew about Russell and Kelly, he said that he had heard Russell’s loud announcement when he arrived.
So, Russell went downstairs with Frank, and Frank told me to put on a shirt. It appeared that I was only wearing blue silk pajama bottoms and nothing on top, which had escaped my notice when I was talking to Russell. As I turned to go upstairs, a female voice behind me said, “You could have made these bigger, but they’re very good.” Without turning around, I knew instinctively that she was talking about the coconut macaroons.
When I did turn around, Kelly was standing there, eating a macaroon and holding a plate filled with slices of flat yellow cakes. By this time I was magically wearing a top, so we sat down at the counter. I asked her why she had jeopardized her marriage by sleeping with Russell. She admitted that she was ashamed of herself. I asked her if she was going to apologize to Larry and try to make it up to him. She said that, while she hated to end her marriage after 25 years, and while Larry was a wonderful husband, she had to continue the affair. “Why?” I asked. “Did you see Russell?” she answered. “Vroom, vroom!”
After she and Russell left, I watched them through the window at the top of the front door. Whenever they looked at the door to see if I was spying, I quickly dropped the curtain on the window so that they couldn’t see me.
Act Something or Other (I’m not sure when this occurred in my dream):
I stayed up all night reading The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt, on my Kindle. While I was reading, my heart raced when I remembered that I had a paper due that day, on Mexicans and pineapples, and I had barely started it.
* Name changed to avoid prosecution.
** Name not changed because even if I am prosecuted, the money I will have to pay to the injured parties will come from our household budget, so it will all even out in the end.
Here my dream ends. No matter your thoughts, you must agree that Wes Anderson movies are movies that keep on giving. Now, please take my poll: