Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A dream not worth following

I was playing for the Saints and they lost after blowing a huge lead, in part because I was burned for a long touchdown by a wide receiver. After the game, I walked with my helmet and shoulder pads to a waiting car. The car was being driven by my cousin, with his wife riding shotgun, and my brother in the backseat. We started talking and the conversation steered to where I went wrong — at which point the conversation switched from dream football to my real-life struggles. I began to explain some fact and got cut off, upon which I slammed my helmet/pads into the car by the facemask and yelled, “Fine, you don’t want to hear what I have to say yet again? Then fuck it, I’m finished talking to you ... No, I didn’t interrupt you this time, you interrupted me ... Goodbye.” I stormed off, immediately realizing this was going to be awkward when I had to get back in the car. My brother rolled down his window and said, “I left some chocolate on the shelf for you.” I turned to the shelf that was suddenly there and ripped open a bag of dark chocolate. That’s when I noticed that the nutrition label noted one gram of trans fat. I sighed and put it back. “At least he tried,” I said to myself.

I walked on over to a party to which I’d been invited. Was it ever a star-studded gala, featuring a wide variety of well-known comedy stars and other celebrities. It was a private thing in someone’s New York City apartment, just famous people hanging out. I sat next to Bill Murray, who shared my uncouth eating habits, and everyone else watched the action at our table. I didn’t take any pictures, instead soaking in my good fortune. Everyone there treated me as one of them, and I felt like I belonged. I recall saying something pretty funny about Bill’s slurping of his tacos, which got a decent laugh from the crowd. But then Bill added something so funny that everyone — including myself — roared over.

Just as I took a huge bite of taco, a young guy sitting next to me asked, “So you’re like a big comedy writer, right?” I pointed with my index finger as I finished my bite. He gave a look of impatience, and my bite didn’t seem to be getting any smaller. Finally I swallowed it, and as he was standing up to leave, I grabbed him by the lapels and said, “No, actually I’m unemployed! I am a writer, though.” It came out more squeaky and desperate than I meant it to sound. Suddenly a gruff old man with a mustache, he retorted, “There are 200 others like you in this town.” “I know,” I replied with resignation. “Anyway,” he continued, “You have to fill out 154 pages of tax forms to get work.” To which I countered, “I’d rather fill out 154 pages of forms than be one of the 200.” He nodded, at which point everyone simultaneously got up and headed for the exits. “Are you coming to the after-party?” he asked, almost threateningly. “Yes sir,” I replied, “Just let me finish this last taco and wash my hands.” He nodded with some hesitation, as if I’d said the wrong thing. I finished off the taco in a few seconds, washed my hands in the restroom sink aaaaand — they were all gone. They’d even turned out all the lights.

Just then, I realized that I’d left my relatives in the car on a bad note. Hopefully they’d still be waiting and I could make amends. But they were gone too. And so was everything on the shelf.

Then I woke up, convincing myself with some success that none of that had actually happened.

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