Tuesday, January 13, 2009


ON OCCASION, I HAVE WEIRD DREAMS. They're never eerily prescient or anything like that. They're just weird. Like, for instance, a few weeks ago I had a dream about Tom Hanks. Luckily, I jotted down what I could recall of the dream right after I woke up. It went a little something like this.

So I’m sitting at a bar just chatting up the bartender, and someone brings up the movie Forrest Gump.” And I say, “Have you seen it lately though? It’s not that great.”

And the guy next to me says, “I don’t know, I think it’s a pretty good film.” The guy next to me is, of course, Tom Hanks.

So I try to do damage control and I say, “Don’t get me wrong, you were fantastic in it. You were great. Just some of it was a little corny and doesn’t hold up.”

And Tom Hanks says, “Well, I like it.”

“I do too!” I say, because, obviously, I want to win over Tom Hanks. Who wouldn’t want to be buddies with Tom Hanks? “I do too! Especially the parts on the island. I mean, the parts on the island are unbelievable. You were amazing in those scenes.”

Tom Hanks doesn’t look at me. He’s staring off in the distance with a wistful look on his face. And I’m still trying to press my case. Not realizing that I’m now talking about Castaway, not Forrest Gump at all. Also, right about now, I realize my barstool isn’t a stool at all, but a chair of ordinary height. So Tom Hanks towers above me and I have to crane my neck uncomfortably to talk to him. But I try to pretend I’m not uncomfortable, that the chair and the fact that I put my foot in my mouth haven’t made me uncomfortable at all.

“Where did you shoot that by the way?" I continue. "Where was the island?”

We had all been having a conversation up to this point—me, Tom Hanks, the bartender, some other people at the bar. But they’ve all disengaged now to leave me to be a total ass all by myself. Tom Hanks in fact has turned away from the bar and is still staring off, and now I realize that he’s not listening to me. He’s listening to the radio, like an old timey AM radio, with the white single earbud. And I know he’s listening to the USC game, because everyone knows Tom Hanks is a huge USC fan.

Then, just as I realize that, Tom Hanks and I are at the USC game. USC is playing Baylor in, what essentially looks like a community rec center. It’s sort of like a big barn of a place, but not nearly big enough to contain a whole football field, much less a football field plus fans. And the concrete floor is covered with a thin, thin layer of green carpet, that, I suppose is subbing in for actual astro turf. The game, while played by a bunch of football players, doesn’t look much like a football game. It’s kind of a barely organized game of grabass. Also, USC looks to be coached by a six-foot-four, 23-year-old girl.

Then a guy runs out and shouts out some awkward rhetorical question to the crowd. The crowd, by the way only numbers in the couple of hundreds and we’re just milling around near the game as there are no bleachers. The watching of the game is as much of a grabass situation as the game itself, it seems.

So this guy shouts out some awkward double entendre of a question to the crowd, something that obviously he hopes will result in a big cheer from the crowd. I wish I could remember what he said, but I can’t. But whatever the question is strikes both me and Tom Hanks as funny and we start laughing. And I say to Tom, “Please call on me. Let me answer.” And we laugh and laugh. And I'm relieved. I feel like Tom Hanks has finally warmed up to me.

The dream goes a little haywire at that point and makes even less sense.

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