Pit BBQ and its effect on Dreams

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Dear Mrs. Lattimorinskivitch,

I present to you my seminal work on what I did this summer. It can all be summed up four simple words: “Dali must’ve eaten BBQ.”

Dali wasn't nuts. He was a victim of the sauce and beans. (image credit: www.paintinghere.org)

Dali wasn’t nuts. He was a victim of a sultry late summer night, BBQ sauce and beans. Notice the false eyelashes… (image credit: http://www.paintinghere.org)

I am here to argue that Dali was quite normal. His visions of melting clocks hanging off dead tree limbs and desolate lunar, desert, Martian landscapes only serves as an homage to his visions as an after-effect of enjoying fantastic pit BBQ the night before. Perhaps his BBQ chef hailed from the moon, the Mojave, or Mars…? Who are we to judge?

All I know is that I’d like to thank/ blame/ justify/ rationalize the amazing BBQ I consumed last night for the jarringly vivid and kaleidoscopic Dali-esque dream I had this morning. First, the dreams were set in Louisiana, which is where the man who holds the keys to my gastronomic heart was raised. Second, I merely turned up the Dali by watching “How the Universe Works” with my family just before retiring, so my head was filled with gorgeous Hubble telescope imagery as well.

In this particular dream, I was in New Orleans, to which I can only say: “Makes no sense. I’ve never been.” Plum-hued mists, like those of the “death eaters” from Harry Potter lore, swooped and descended on various frontages and parts of the city. A flock of about 40 bald eagles flew in an apparent formation native to the scavenger raptors just 10 feet off the wrought iron balcony outside my suite. The eagles were no doubt a symbol of my chef’s proud allegiance to America, for he is a dedicated officer in the US Army. The zombies in the dream, I can’t really explain, perhaps they are remnants of my listening to “World War Z” in the car to and from North Carolina last month. But hey, why not zombies? I mean, they’re everywhere, right? I’ve been woefully late to the zombie party. Watch all the zombie-related media just dry up and fade away tonight. 

All this is good. I am way-OK with all of the randomness of what I’ve mentioned so far.

What I’m sort of confused completely by and what I’m really struggling with explaining to myself and both of you is why would I become a floundering make-up artist and potential love interest for Queen Latifa? I admire Queenie, (as I resorted to calling her in the dream, nicknames or abbreviations being a thing of mine, unless your name is Abe, Anne, Chris or Satchidananda); I dig that she’s a Cover Girl, I thought she was hilarious in her parody of a passionate  Congresswoman from NY on “30 Rock”; I can’t remember what else she has done other than acting, but I admire her. Am I in love with her? I don’t think so. First, I consider her speculations about her sexuality to be off the table. I don’t care. Can I admit to occasional curiosity? Of course; I mean, who can’t? Am I right or am I right? But it doesn’t matter. All that aside, she’s not my type. I prefer funny people. I prefer intellectual, deep people who can laugh at their depth. I prefer storied people. I guess I prefer Queenie. Who knew?

Anyway, my husband was profoundly puzzled by my subconscious’ choice in affection.

“Why couldn’t it have been someone else?!” he asked, exasperated, puzzled and clearly distracted by our son who was pulling on his belt loop.

“I don’t know, hun, sometimes we can’t choose these things! Think about how confused I am! I was a horrible make-up artist! I don’t know anything about eye shadow! I was a failure!! Her romantic advances confused me; I didn’t know what to do!” I pleaded with him as I watched him dash down the steps with the boys in tow on their final-summer run to Dunkin’ Donuts.

He said nothing.

“Remember to get my ‘Old Fashioned’!” I called after him as he peeled away in his Old Man Car, windows down, John Denver’s “You Fill Up My Senses” streaming in his vaporous rage. (Don’t get me started on John Denver.)

(this is for you, Gretch, if you’re reading …)

Aside from my being absolutely awful as a lesbian and a make-up artist, it turns out her sister didn’t like me either. Does Queenie have a sister? I could Google that, but frankly, I want this post to be as in-the-moment as possible and I am afraid to learn that if she does have a sister, that she wouldn’t like me. Maybe she wasn’t a sister. Maybe she was a recently let-go former lover and make-up artist. I have no clue. All I know is that I was doing a deplorable job of applying false eyelashes to Queenie (she was preparing to go out that evening in the midst of the apocalyptic zombie parade outside). She was very impatient and insisted that I do a better job. All this barking made me nervous which created even more challenges to flawless eyelash application. That’s when the power shut down. Being lowest on the totem pole meant I had to go check the fuse box. (I can hear my husband now, “It’s called a circuit breaker!” and I would reply with, “My dream! Fuse box.”)

So natch, I go check the fuse box to restore power, because even sensible people in BBQ-induced Dali-inspired dreams know that when the power shuts off during a zombie apocalypse parade in New Orleans that it’s all good, just go flip the switch, right? So the basement is dark and murky — DON’T CORRECT ME! I know there are no basements in New Orleans… JUST GO WITH IT, K? — it’s dark and murky, see, and I trip on a bucket of something that ends up flooding the room (which could have been a leftover from a conversation I had last night about my friend’s basement flooding recently) so to clean up the mess, I go looking for a push broom, because that makes sense: don’t clean it up, just move it around. So while all this crazy death eater and bald eagle stuff is going on outside with the zombie zydeco band, I know that I’ve gotta clean up the mess. So in the goopy darkness, I start to feel for the switch to the fuse box and …

My alarm wakes me up.

I KNOW, RIGHT?!? Are you as pissed as I was?

I could make something up, invent and conjure falsity to satisfy the storyline and both of you, but that’s not how I roll here.

I tried though. I resisted the sleep, clinging defiantly to my BBQ-spawned nocturnal psychosis, but it was futile. As if hoisted by the zombie parade horsemen, I was ousted from my own dream.

I realize I share this at great risk. As a fledging yoga instructor, I know that I live in the 21st century and that people will Google me and look me up and speculate about my suitability to be around children after reading this, but I’m cool with that. Ask my kids. The answer is absolutely, I’m suitable, unless you expect me to apply false eyelashes in the middle of a zombie parade; in those conditions all bets are off. I am simply unreliable. As a retreat soul sister, I want to assure my yoginis that I have absolutely resumed my pre-retreat diet of consuming foods that once had a pulse, but my spirit honors the food I eat and I am more mindful of the sacrifice made to feed me. That said, will sprouted mung beans or quinoa pilaf vault me into another dimension the way last night’s BBQ so artfully did? I don’t know. I had only one crazy dream on the retreat and I chalk that up to a Cap’n Crunch deficiency.

Thank you.

3 responses »

  1. I would think that the Zombies represent something that’s trying to emerge from your subconscious. I dk what it might be. Queen Latififah is from Lousiana and anyway there’s a lot of superstitious beliefs there.

  2. uhhh, should have checked my facts. Queen Latifah is a “Jersey Girl” and isn’t from Louisiana. Maybe I was thinking of Queen Ida who is a zydeco accordion player, unfortunately retired. She probably knows a bit about Zombies bein’ a creole. Real Zombies are unlikely to hurt anybody though as noted in *The Serpent and The Rainbow*. Nasty Zombies are a figment of George Romero’s fertile imagination.

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