I Had a Dream

Last night, I had the strangest dream. I’m going to break it down here. From what I remember, some stuff was happening and I was out on the town drinking with some friends. However, they weren’t my actual friends, except Elena. Lane was there, she was driving….until she got drunk. Along with our other friends. One of these friends was the actor Wood Harris, which is odd, because if I was going to imagine myself drinking with an actor…well I can think of a few (*cough* Christian Kane) I’d pick before him. But he was there. As was another male actor. Unfortunately, my brain is not accessing that information at the moment, so I can’t tell you who it was.

Okay, so the four of us, me, Lane, Wood, and guy I can’t remember, are out on the town. They decide to get Elena drunk. It works. Now I have to drive. This is fine. Except, apparently it was my birthday. After the bar closed, I decided we were detouring to Dairy Queen. I’m fairly certain there are no 24 hour DQs in the world, but whatever, we went to the drive through at DQ at 2am. In the dream, I was suddenly holding a Dilly Bar in my right hand. Meanwhile, my three drunk compatriots started getting rowdy in the backseat. They were yelling and swearing and cursing and causing a general ruckus. I was trying to calm them down, but it wasn’t working. I couldn’t even hear the guy who was trying to take my order. There were cars in line behind us and they were honking because it was taking so long for us to order, because i couldn’t hear. Then I noticed the Dilly Bar was gone and I was just holding the stick in my hand. I was staring down at my hand, holding that stick, while apologizing profusely to the poor kid who worked at Dairy Queen. I kept trying to order, but the drunks wouldn’t let me. Finally, I heard the DQ guy say that we were just too out of control and he was refusing to serve us. Yep, I got kicked out of Dairy Queen in my own dream.

Well, at that, the rabble rousers in the back seat went ballistic. Wood Harris jumped out of the car and put his face right up to the speaker and was cursing at DQ guy and telling him that it was my birthday and how can he not give me ice cream. And I felt ashamed. We were the ones in the wrong. Well, not me, but the crazies I was carting around. So I got out of the car, still holding the Dilly Bar stick in my hand and I starting hollering at Wood and finally, I got him to shut up and get back in the car. I ordered silence from the back seat, and, for once, they listened. Actually, Lane started giggling, but they were mostly quiet.

As I stared at the stick in my hand, it suddenly seemed like the most important thing in the world for me to throw it away. Like the fact of throwing it away would make up for the bad behavior. None of this makes any sense, but in the dream it became imperative for me to throw that away. I drove forward through the line and up to the window where I apologized to the DQ boy and gave him a $20 and asked him to buy ice cream for the people behind us as an apology for this whole event.

And just like that, I was awake. I know, you’re thinking, “okay, it was a slightly humorous and a little odd, but why would this warrant sharing on the blog?” Was I close? I bet at least a couple of you were thinking that.

Here’s why.

I jerked out of that dream and I was awake. Dreams rarely wake me, but this one did. In those few moments between sleep and full wakefulness, I was disoriented to find myself suddenly sitting up on the edge of my bed. My instinct was that I had to use the bathroom, that’s usually the only thing that wakes me in the middle of the night, but then full wakefulness hit. I canted my head to the right and saw on the clock it was 2:47am. I was sitting up, on the edge of the bed and I realized that I did not have to use the bathroom. So, what woke me? It was then I realized my right hand was curled up as though I was holding something. I was not. But I had this feeling….

And the dream came crashing back. Evidently, the feeling in the dream that if I just threw away the stick, I could right those wrongs, it stuck with me. It was so strong and powerful that it woke me up with the feeling I needed to get out of bed to throw away something that existed only in my dreams. The whole thing was so bizarre, there was no connection from my life to that dream, but there was such power that it carried me between both realms. I’ve never experienced anything like that before. I wish I knew what it meant or why that occurred, but all I can say was I sat for a few minutes, just breathing and thinking about the dream and then I opened my right hand and let it go.

I curled back up in my bed and drifted back into slumber for the remainder of the night.

Mouthful of Memories

As I mentioned, I’ve been negligent in my homeowner duties, I have no groceries. I’ve been piecing together food for about a week, I’m tapped. Last night, driving home, I gave in and stopped at Burger King. I’m not even particularly a fan of BK, but it is on the way home.

I ordered a value meal, and right now, they are offering a free ice cream cone with any value meal purchase. Ok. So I get my meal and they hand me a vanilla soft-serve cone. Vanilla. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a vanilla cone.

I didn’t know what to do with it, it’s not like I could set it down while driving. So, I decided to do as my Gramma always suggested and eat dessert first. I took one lick of that cone and was blown away. I haven’t had a soft-serve cone in probably…I don’t know. Maybe high school? Before? I stopped doing cones years ago. I prefer malts when I’m at a McDonalds or BK, or real ice cream, or Culver’s frozen custard. But soft-serve? And if I were to have some, I for sure wouldn’t have vanilla.

Yet.

As I licked the cone, a million memories came flooding into my mind. The taste of the soft-serve, the texture. The feel of the cone in my hand (those generic sugar cones that taste like cardboard). It was all so familiar and it tasted like childhood. It tasted like riding a bike with one hand and licking a cone with the other. It tasted like rare trips to McDonalds by Lake Phalen. It tasted like summer. It tasted like my grandparents and special treats. It tasted like Shasta.

I was eating this cone, driving home, and I was remembering a thousand little moments that I might have forgotten, otherwise. I remembered my mom’s parents and how her mother used to always give us dessert. I remembered how we’d go to their house and they’d take us to Subway and my grandpa would order the meatball sub. I remembered my dad’s parents and how my grandpa used to go to McDonalds just to get ice cream. I remembered how my grandma always had candy and that they kept pop in their root cellar and we thought it was scary, but we’d brave it for a can of pop. They always had Dad’s rootbeer and I think that is why I love it so much. I remembered how when we were kids we hardly ever got to have pop, but sometimes my mom would buy a case of Shasta, because it was cheap and if we were very lucky we got to pick out a few cans of our favorite flavors (cause Shasta was a mix and match pop) and I loved the black cherry the best and my mom used to charge us a quarter per can. She must have made bank because Shasta was super cheap. I remembered how when we were kids sometimes we’d have ice cream. Mom would buy a gallon of ice cream at the store. Usually is was Neapolitan, three flavors in one, but sometimes Cookies and Cream, and a few times, Chocolate Marshmallow, which is still my favorite, to this day, but it is almost impossible to find. In the summer, she would by those rainbow cones, remember those?

And they were “flavored” except they still all tasted like cardboard. But it was exciting to pick out the cone flavor. And my brothers would take huge scoops and pile it as high as they could. And I would take small scoops and pack it down, all the way to the bottom of the cone. I used to love that even with the last bite, I’d still get a good mix of ice cream with my cone. I don’t know what Emily did. She was small then, she probably took whatever mom gave her.

When I got to the bottom of my BK soft-serve, I grinned to find they piped it all the way to the bottom.

I remembered how sometimes, on very special occasions, we’d get Dairy Queen. Dad would usually go, while mom waited at home with us kids. He’d come home with a huge bag of dilly bars. Didn’t matter if I desperately wanted to try a Blizzard or really anything else at all, we all ate Dilly bars.

Then that made me think of the A&W rootbeer out in Oakdale and how we got to go there a couple times and have “real” rootbeer at a drive in. Then I remembered, Jerry’s Drive-in. It used to be on White Bear Avenue, and they had the best onion rings ever. I don’t even really remember the onion rings, I was pretty young when they closed, but I remember, clearly, how my parents loved those onion rings and no matter what we got there, there was ALWAYS a huge order of rings to share.

While I was doing all this thinking I accidentally bit into the cone and got a mild case of brain freeze. Then I remembered a slumber party I had when I was young, I think it was at Amy Reasoner’s house, she grew up just down the street from Kelly. Anyway, I remember we were eating ice cream and trying to get brain freeze. Kids are so dumb. And then I thought about how my mom has always been able to bite into ice cream or frozen treats with her front teeth. I can get brain freeze just watching her.

As I pulled into my garage, finishing the last few bites of that cone, I thought how remarkable it was. I experienced memories I haven’t touched on in years. Some were half-forgotten and others were just dormant, waiting for a spark to ignite them. They say it is scent that carries the strongest memories. For me, last night, it was taste and texture, long forgotten remnants of the joys of childhood.

I guess vanilla isn’t that bad after all.