Keeping the Normal at Bay

Have you ever had a dream where you are like, far FAR more beautiful than you ever look in real life? A dream where you know that technically, the person you embody in the dream is still you, but she bears no resemblance to anything you normally see in the mirror?

I had a dream like that last night. I was standing in front of a wooden vanity, washing my face, using one of those old-fashioned basins Henry VIII might have used, and I had this amazing long black hair that would put a female superhero to shame. It was doing that windblown-swirly-thing-look that is always popular on comic book covers. My hair was awesome.

And then Richard Gere walked into the room. Not modern-day Richard Gere, but like, An Officer and a Gentleman Richard Gere.

AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, Richard Gere, Debra Winger, 1982, (c) Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

Yeah, I know. Weird. I mean, I like Richard Gere, he’s not abhorrent or anything, but if this was a fantasy dream, Russell Crowe would have walked into the room. Why couldn’t Russell Crowe have walked into the room?

Richard Gere took one look at me with my awesome superhero hair and that was it, he was so into me, and all I could think was, “What’s with this old-fashioned basin? And why does my hair look so awesome?”

Richard Gere kept smiling at me and intimating that we should– uh, you know– and I was just like, “I think I need to go for a walk.” My hair was so awesome, it was all I could think about, going for a walk with this hair.

And then some woman stepped into the room (maybe Richard Gere’s wife? or his girlfriend? I honestly don’t know if he’s married or not)– and this woman got really angry and started shouting at me, “What do you like to do? Besides read? Barf! Do you do ANYTHING other than read? Do you?

She kept yelling at me like I was this horrible person, she even said, “I bet that’s all you’ve ever loved, isn’t it? Reading!” Like I was such a loser I might as well be a criminal. I couldn’t take it, I left the room and discovered I was in the mountains. Out in the middle of nowhere. Sweet! I walked through the mountains and found a house. The house, it turned out, was full of vampires. These vampires were busy inside doing some evil vampire thing, and a human came out of the house and begged me to save the other humans inside, and that was when I knew why I had my awesome hair: so I could go into that house and commence to kill all the vampires, which I did, with knives and guns and stuff blowing up, and then my dream ended.

I have no idea what the point of that dream was, though what I like about dreams like that is that there’s no predicting what the hell is going to happen. Nonsense leads to nonsense leads to more nonsense. We’re all Alice through the looking-glass when we fall asleep.

As a writer, it’s important to keep stories that way. Keep them from being predictable. Keep an overdose of the normal at bay.

I woke up and felt grateful that I hadn’t actually spent the night killing vampires (or had I? some people believe dreams are simply an alternate reality to this one– in which case, I am one badass vampire slayer with quite the weapons collection, and I know like, everything there is to know about guns)– but what really made me smile this morning was this video that my sister shared with me: The Happiest Facts to Make You Smile. I just couldn’t imagine anything cooler to post on my blog, as this video is simply the sweetest. Like the real-life mountains in my dream, the normal world holds so much fantastic, so much magic– it inspires all of the crazy we ever dare to dream up.

Plus, there’s Russell Crowe.

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