California Dreamin'

Hello from Koreatown, Los Angeles.
I live here now.
It wasn't easy, but my sister put Michelle and I up, along with our TWO cats(!), while we searched for a place. Many other beautiful friends helped us get settled here, too. We're almost two weeks in, still a couple days from getting internet in the apartment, but we have food. appliances. and a smattering of furniture!

Last night I had a crazy dream, but unlike the crappy stories we've all heard that start with that phrase, I immediately woke up and wrote down every detail! It reads like a person describing a movie as he watches it, and I also watch a film in the dream... so don't get confused! Here goes:

Greg goes to see a black&white film set in an apocalyptic future, starring Bill Murray and Whoopi Goldberg - who does the voice for a mythical bulldog with an alligator head. Deciding they need a better home, she takes him to the last stop of an underground train line, which is guarded by only one man. She talks her way past the man and goes around to a vacant passageway to find them shelter. The man, who grows suspicious after the fact, follows her back there. Cornered, she reveals something to him in her eyes - off camera, which Bill only later hints at being "the simplest truth". 

There is little exposition. The disjointed narrative reveals through a series of subway car rides, that in this future, resources are scarce and that decades have passed since the scene with Whoopi's creature. Now, Bill's character has fooled everyone into thinking he discovered he is, in fact, from Bangladesh, when one of his elder tribes-people came to find him, passing on their traditions. He went on an epic voyage to get there and back. Returning to the world of
image from Snowpiercer
Snowpiercer-like subway riders who adore his story, and he quickly becomes a man of prominence. Bill takes his fame and doubles down on his humble story by enlisting  to become a modest tunnel patroller. Ironically, or perhaps on purpose, he is partnered with a genuine Bangladeshi man. The man clearly does not buy Bill's story at first and confronts him, but at the same time does his duty in training him. As he holds Bill against the wall to protect him while a subway passes, Bill stares calmly back into the man's eyes and says softly, confidently, "whatever proof you need, whatever will make you believe me, I can provide it", and in that moment, we can see in the Bangladeshi's eyes he does believe that. 

In this future, height, obscurity, and fancy clothes are signs of importance, as is revealed by the next scene where two people, wrapped in slim fit alligator trench coats, large sunglasses that hide their faces, and wide brimmed hats, recognize each other, and address one another as "president". Gushing over and trading stories of their encounters with Bill. A smartly dressed bellhop-looking attendant comes by to offer them each a Laughing Cow cheese triangles. These are clearly a rare treat in the future. He excited confides that, because Bill himself has requested four of them, but "he only ever takes one", one for each president, and Bill, he himself will get the remaining rare treat. Something about the admission that Bill's character only eats one cheese triangle reveals to the audience, his entire Bangladeshi story was somehow concocted - based off a moment in Bill's true childhood, where he saw "The Gods Must Be Crazy 4", and his spins this captivating origin story reworking that plot, with himself cast as the lead.

There's a flash of light. Now the movie is over. Greg sits by himself at the end of a subway platform, waiting to go home. Next to him, three important sounding, older people are gushing over the movie, having just seen the premiere as well. Greg, eavesdropping, realizes that the elderly woman the two men are fawning over was the film's director. In a lull, Greg admits to her that he also attended the film and loved it, but rather than being brushed aside as a common fan, the sharp old woman interrogates him about his life, and asks why, if he was there, didn't he get any of the gift boxes they gave away after the film? Greg proves he was at the film by showing a humble token he's saved, a ticket stub, but adds he didn't want to brave the crowd struggling for gift boxes.

The other two people, who had left her to get someone else, return. She surprises Greg again by introducing him to the three, including the newest, a beautiful young woman. The director says "Greg... Whatever your last name name is, these are my friends and we're going to get you some of those swag boxes! There's still a ton of them laying around. Come!"

Leading Greg deeper underground, through a series of spiral staircases. Suddenly, Greg finds himself in a literal, underground after-party. He is swept up in there rapidly changing conversations and hands his phone to a man who is asking many questions about it. Getting distracted by the director, who points down another flight of stairs and says, "there's more boxes just down there. Go." Descending another flight with the beautiful young woman pulling him down deeper by the hand, he suddenly feels like he has some deeper connection to her, and she pulls him close. He kisses her tentatively then she whispers in his ear that she is going to go find some molly for him to do with her, and with a long, deep kiss, disappears back up the stairs.

Greg spins around to find two tech guys sitting at computers. They ask him what he's doing there. Explaining he's looking for the boxes, they look down the rails and point out a "pretty short line to one of the show's perks". So he goes down deeper still. On the next level he realizes he is third in line now behind two young girls, but they are waiting to kiss a teen-heartthrob, male actor from the movie on the cheek. They do so, and quickly leave with Greg, awkwardly next in line. Saying, "I also thought you were great, but maybe I'll just ask you for a selfie", reaches into his pocket, then realizes he no longer has his phone. He retreats back up two flights of stairs to find the man from the subway platform. "Yes, I have it here. I'm charging a new battery for it." He explains and points to a cell phone battery hooked up to two sets of three tiny copper pads that Greg has never seen before. Confessing as much and thanking the man. As an afterthought he adds "How did you become an electrician?"

"There aren't." The man answers curtly, and goes back to rummaging through his equipment. Greg's mind is blown by this answer. He tries to follow up with "what an intriguing way to answer a mundane question", but he is once again pulled away by something else, and we are left with the certainty he has much further own the rabbit hole left to go...


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