Thursday, November 11, 2010

When groovy goes wrong

Last night I dreamed I had gone back in time to the decade I am most obsessed with: the 1960s. 

It was the first time I've ever had this kind of dream and I was thrilled! Not only to finally see what it was like to live in the sixties (which has always been a fantasy of mine), but because I knew I was dreaming, that it wasn't some fluke "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" thing.

In my dream I woke up to myself standing on a sidewalk in Berkeley. I'm wearing a billowy creme minstrel shirt beneath a brown suede vest with extra long fringe. Groovy. It was something akin to this:

I beamed, so unbelievably happy that it had finally happened, that I had gone back in time to the sixties! Unlike movies and books where the main characters make it their mission the entire story to get back to their original time period, I remember thinking that I never wanted to go back to "now." I wanted to stay in that decade, well... forever. 

The one strange thing about it all was that my new black Coach bag had magically transported back in time with me, but I thought nothing of it as I clutched it and started down the street. Little did I know the bag would end becoming my nightmare.

Further down the street there was an outdoor farmers market. Lots of open-air booths with people peddling vegetables, woven jewelry...the usual farmers market fare. I walked through, smiling at all the free-spirited hippies who smiled back until I paused at a booth with a couple girls making and selling soap. These girls looked just like me except blond, and were up to their elbows in soup gunk, kneading it for their next batch. Folk music blared from the radio next to them and I watched for a while until I moved on down the market. I want to stay here foreverrrrr, I remember thinking.

That's when I realized -- my Coach bag wasn't in my hand anymore! Dread washed through me. All my money, everything, was in that bag -- which itself wasn't cheap. I dashed back, remembering I'd set it down on the soap-making table.

Hippie making soap (with glassy-eyed smile): "Heyyyy you're back."

Me: "Uh yeah, so I --"

Hippie, tilting her head toward the radio while hands are still in soap vat: "I know, you want to know the name of this song right?"

Me: "No, actually I --"

Hippie: "It's totally in, man, everybody's digging it. It's --"

Me: "I KNOW WHAT SONG THIS IS. It's Crosby, Stills and Nash singing Love the One You're With! Trust me, I know this song. It's going to still be popular decades from now."

Hippie, with a wide smile: "Right on man, you can see the future. We can dig thaaaat."

Her and other hippie girl start laughing slowly, like they'd had one too many 'ludes that morning.

Me: "Listen I put my purse down on this table and now it's gone. Did you see anyone who might have picked it up?"

I spend the next few minutes trying to get an answer out of the two hippie girls who are so drugged out of their mind that I probably looked like a giant bar of soap to them. My fantasy was quickly spiraling into a nightmare. I had visions of me, penniless that night, sleeping on some bench in a Greyhound bus depot. Finally my soap-maker friends called out to a guy at a booth near them. The guy looked like Peter Fonda in Easy Rider (heck, it might have actually been him, who knows).

Peter Fonda-lookalike: "Oh yeah, I saw that purse on the table. Bill picked it up."

Me: "What? Why would this Bill guy pick it up?"

PFL: "He picks up anything he finds, man."

Me: "Ok man, where can I find Bill, what does he look like?"

PFL: "Just chill out man, he'll be back. He comes here every couple days, he's got a long beard, a little dirty..."

Basically I was imagining that guy from Pursuit of Happyness who steals Will Smith's scanner and when confronted screams "No! I needed that! I wanted to back to the sixties man!" I shuddered, imagining his grubby fingers clutching my exquisite bag. Then....

I woke up.

In the words of the Double Rainbow guy: "What does this mean???" Why did I remember this dream so much more vividly than the rest? Is it a good thing I didn't live back then? Is it a sign I should open a homemade soap business?

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