Sweet Dreams are Made of This

I’m a very active dreamer.  My folks and I used to sit around the breakfast table telling eachother what we’d dreamed the night before, so I guess I got in the habit of active observation early in my life.  I will sometimes wake up from a dream, putter around and then fall back asleep and pick up the dream narrative where I’d left off.  Sometimes they’re mundane rehashings of my day, but they’re often really interesting.  Unsurprisingly, I often dream about food.

I have many recurring food dreams.  One is a nightmarish scenario where I’m back in the kitchen at K——, dodging pans and errant hands.  It has an identical visceral feel to the real kitchen-everything is steeped in anxiety-but it looks more like the dim, dank bowels of the kitchen from "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover."  Dead body parts hang in peripheral view and a sickly steam rises from everything; there is a high copper sheen to the light that bounces off enormous evil vats filled with sludge.  The ancient cement walls and flooring slithers with a green-black ooze.  And of course, I’m in the weeds and chef is screaming at me. 

Then I have this other recurring dream where I am at a restaurant which would have been enormously chic in the nineties.  It has a gorgeous white stone floor, a large outdoor patio with a latticed roof and trellised walls where ivy grows, and a kitchen with enormous wooden tables and  big picture windows.  All the staff are in white.  Everyone is very sweet and seems to either live there, or spend all their time there anyway.  The only thing I ever make here is pastry and cheese, and both are perfect.

I think the symbology of these dreams is pretty obvious.  Even my secular sensibilities have a notion of heaven and hell. 

Last night, I had a very amusing series of dreams.  I dreamed that I was scheduled to work at Dinette at 2 am till 9 pm, and had somehow transposed the message and thought I was to arrive at 9 am, seven hours later.  I was waiting for my shift to start and I dropped by a big used goods department store.  They sold nothing but old cookware, dinnerware, flatware and such.  I was speechless, riding up the escalator watching these shelves of collectible Le Crueuset dutch ovens and original orange Fiesta Ware pass by.  And the prices were fantastic!!  I kept trying to disembark from the escalator, but it was to no avail.  I was able to get off the elevator to buy myself some clothes.  I was naked, which was not upsetting in the least (never is), but it’s never a good idea to be too exposed in a kitchen.  I bought myself a pair of checks and a white jacket, both in women’s sizes, both of which fit perfectly (of COURSE I was dreaming that part).  Then I went to work and discovered I was late.  It was no big deal though, and someone gave me an enormous brioche to eat.  I began simmering snails in a green sauce with whole nutmegs in it, and it smelled rich and garlicky.  As I cooked I ate more and more brioche until it was time to go home.

And then I woke up!

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