When I woke up in my own bed this morning, I was both relieved and disappointed. This was because of the dream I had last night. Last night, I dreamt that I had gone out on a bender with Charlie from “Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” I woke up Sunday morning at an empty home construction site. Charlie was lying inside a cardboard box atop a pallet using roof shingles as a blanket. In my dream, I was dazed and mildly hungover, but mostly confused and lost.
I checked my pockets. I still had my keys, wallet, cash and bus card, but my phone and shoes were gone. There was tall grass surrounding the empty cul-de-sac of half-constructed homes, the blue sky with occasional white clouds held the promise of optimism, and the sound of tires on asphalt indicated there was a major road nearby.
The cul-de-sac was still gravel as I walked towards the road. I walked with slow heavy steps, testing the gravel before committing to put my weight on my bare feet. Around the bend there was a black car. A short man in an untucked suit was with a tall prisoner, complete with orange D.O.C. jumpsuit, ankle chains and handcuffs. The man in the suit had large hand cannon of a pistol. He took aim at a plane flying on the horizon and fired a few bullets at it. The two men were talking with eachother, unconcerned with me. I shuffled by them unnoticed.
As I kept slowly walking out of the someday suburb, I noticed the plane start to dance overhead. One of its engines was smoking as the pilot struggled to keep it in the air. It looked like the plane would crash a couple of times, diving towards the ground only to recover. I could hear the evil men by the car laughing. I just kept walking – I’m too hungover to play the hero.
As I walk toward the road, I think about what I need to do. I need to get to Chanhassen, which is where the party was last night and where my friend lives. Without my phone, I don’t know my friend’s number and I don’t know his address. I’m not panicking. To me, this is an interesting puzzle and I’m curious to see how I’m going to get myself out of this situation.
At the intersection, there is a semi-occupied strip mall. The anchor store is an extravagant caribou coffee, but most of the remainder of the mall is for lease. My feet touch asphalt, relieved that I no longer need to walk barefoot on gravel and grateful that it is morning and the asphalt is not hot. I enter the mall and walk through empty hall. There might have been a convenience shop, but I don’t remember – I’m following the smell of coffee.
The only store I do remember is a vitamin/supplement shop. I remember it because of some advertising posters I found to be hilarious. They were advertising a “Botulism Supplement” intended to lose weight and raise energy. “Feel Great, Like You Were Meant to Feel,” it read. I reached in my pocket for my phone so I could take a picture and send it to my aunt Cindi, but my phone was gone. I was disappointed because I found the poster so funny, with its sideways pill bottle, gel cap pills and its plea for you to take fatal poison.
I entered the Caribou coffee and looked around for help. I could tell by the expressions of other people that I was barefoot with crazy person hair. This Caribou Coffee was the size of a large restaurant. I made my way to a corral of couches where some women were gathered in a small business group, conducting a business meeting. My ultimate goal is to find a bus stop so I can take a bus to my friend’s house. I walked up to the woman leading the group and I asked, “Do you know where Chanhassen is?”
“Oh, you’re a REALLY long way from Chanhassen,” she says, sarcastically amused, “It must be at least 1,000 feet away.”
I was about to tell her what happened when my alarm goes off.