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Well, it’s official. They say something has really made an impact on you when you start to dream about it, so congratulations, CGPR. And since I rarely remember my dreams, the fact that I remember this one so clearly is a sign that it was a doozie. Last night, after a long day of cataloging Canada Goose inventory in our basement (on an 85 degree day the thought of heavy-duty Arctic parkas was borderline offensive to me), I went home, lay down and dreamt the following (by the way, I swear to God, I’m not making this up):

I’m on a tundra in Nunavut. I was supposed to be driving home with my Canadian friend Mandy, but as everyone knows, if you continue too far onto Lafayette Street in Salem you end up in Nunavut. Mandy is upset, but I’m blown away by how pretty the tundra is, and for some reason keep comparing it to Arizona. “This is exactly how I remember my trip to Arizona!” I say to Mandy.

“I want to go home!” Mandy sulks back.

“Home is where the heart is,” I lamely quote back, and then Mandy mysteriously disappears, maybe to protest my recitation of such a corny platitude. All of a sudden it occurs to me to be cold – to be VERY cold. I’m in Nunavut, and I’m still wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops. (Note: We had the AC on pretty heavy last night, so I’m sure that was the catalyst for a lot of this dream.) I’m so COLD, I think, and there’s nothing for me to do but to walk in circles to generate heat.

It occurs to me that right now I’m living one of my biggest fears. On long, freezing walks from my dorm to classes in the wintertime, especially at night, I think about how scared and lonely I’d feel were I walking aimlessly through the Arctic wilderness. Then I remember a moment from The Simpsons Movie when Homer was stranded in the Alaskan wilderness and the spirit of an Inuit woman appeared in the sky along with the Aurora Borealis and guided him back to Marge, Lisa, Bart and Maggie. I think about that for some time, waiting for this spirit to appear, but she never does. Fail.

Then an army of – take a wild guess – Canada geese come. All of a sudden, as almost always happens in dreams, my identity changes, and I’m Anna Paquin in the beloved 1996 children’s movie Fly Away Home. “Hello, geese!” I greet them, but they’re not paying attention to me. Instead, they’re listening to their leader, who’s giving a very noisy speech. They’re standing in two straight lines – à la Madeline – and showing full deference to their very verbose leader. (Note: I know exactly where this comes from – my parents once described this happening with seagulls on a beach in Montauk.)

I’m a little offended that the geese don’t listen to me. After all, I, Anna Paquin, saved Canadian geese from having their wings clipped off and then risked life and limb helping them migrate, did I not? The least they can do is show me some of the respect they’re showing their fearless leader who won’t shut up. I said as much to the geese.
Next thing I know I’m no longer in Nunavut, but rather in the Northwest Territories, and I’m outfitted in – you guessed it – a Canada Goose down parka. Maybe the army of geese respected that I dared to stand up to them and rewarded me with their namesake in clothing and a plush hotel room. It’s true, I’m staying in what’s called the “Triumph Suite” in a place called the Red Mountain Inn (note: where the hell does my brain come up with this stuff?) The Triumph Suite is, indeed, triumphant: It’s expansive and luxurious in a charming and rustic way. The only thing left to worry about is that it’s haunted by a ghost who comes in every night and blows out the candles. According to Mandy, who by this point has randomly reappeared, this is only a minor inconvenience. Good to know.

I had another dream unrelated to PR (doesn’t it feel like dreams are just episodes of TV shows and movie shorts that the brain flicks on at night to keep you mildly entertained, as if you were on an eight-hour flight? I’m gonna start referring to them as “in-flight entertainment”), and then woke up. Tonight I very much look forward to dreaming about 180s.

–Mike Wittner

 

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