Dining Room (Mechanicsburg), 2012
I was on one of two boats in the midst of a prank war/battle of wits/actual battle. The other boat had small livestock, like goats and donkeys, tethered to their deck, but the ropes were long enough that we were able to reach out and take hold of them. When they weren’t looking, we would cut the ropes but hold them tightly enough that they wouldn’t notice the shift in weight. For our final, end-all prank, we planned to send a little boy over to their ship on a jet ski. When he tried to start the jet ski, though, the engine stalled. No gas. I went inside our ship and grabbed a red plastic gas can, which was filled with gas we had siphoned from the other boat earlier in the day. With the tank filled, the jet ski started, and the little boy made his way across the short gap between the boats. When the other ship’s crew was looking the other way, he climbed up onto the deck and spun a light they had on top. By spinning the light, the boy turned on the beacon or signal, which then called the coast guard to come get the ship. Supposedly, that made us the victors.
After the battle, I went inside the ship’s cabin, which was actually part of a giant house. The house was an interesting combination of mansion and old church (not like a Gothic cathedral but a 1970s musty church with ’70s interior design). I lived in this house with a roommate, who had planned a surprise party for my birthday. She hadn’t dropped any hints about the party, so I hadn’t cleared my schedule nor gotten ready for the party. I was walking around the house in a pink bathrobe and a white towel on my head, and apparently there were already guests in the house. One was an old college roommate, who was dressed in an ’80s bridesmaid’s dress with ’80s hair; apparently the party was themed.
My roommate didn’t know who to invite, so she asked random people to attend. These were people who went to my high school (but weren’t friends) or had any vague connection to me. When I went upstairs to the youth room in the church portion of the house, I found a room full of guests sitting at dining tables. They awkwardly said, “Happy Birthday!” since they didn’t really know me or know why I was attending the party in my bathrobe.
I made a quick exit and proceeded to the mansion part of the house. There I found my cousins from Texas getting ready for the party. I went into the bathroom to get ready, and one of my cousins was watching the flat screen TV mounted in the corner. 20/20 was airing a special on Gavin DeGraw, who was still recovering from his August 2011 assault and accident (he was attacked by a group of men in NYC and was hit by a taxi minutes later). The recovery was a slow process, as he was walking with a cane in the TV special. His face also looked like he had a stroke.
I would have continued dreaming, but a text message from my coworker woke me up at 10:30, an hour and a half after I was supposed to be at the office.
I should have written down this dream much earlier in the day, because now I hardly remember it. Here are the scattered details. My family was walking through some house or shelter. I think we were either on a tour of the house or walking through to get somewhere else. My brother was walking ahead of me, and he was carrying one of his sons. I think the son was actually inside a closet organizer (much like the one they gave me for Christmas), which my brother was carrying. The organizer was home-made, and cheaply so. Like many of the things in the house we were touring, it was cheap, and my brother often made comments about it as we walked. I think he also mentioned something about the family being so stingy and not wanting to pay much for anything, so they settle for poor quality.
We walked outside, and we were on some kind of campground or retreat center, also owned by the stingy family. We weren’t the only people there, and there was actually a rather large group. We were all in the lake or some body of water. I was on a “water blob” with some other people as we listened to this one man make announcements. He was introducing us to Ashley, some random girl who didn’t look familiar. It was her birthday, and they were giving her a T-shirt.
“Wait for it,” said some cynical guy on the water blob. He was aware of the family’s penny-pinching ways. He doubted the shirt was a gift.
The announcer man continued, “We’re giving her the shirt in exchange for her providing and serving the birthday cake.” Surprise, surprise.
“There you go,” Mr. Cynical remarked before jumping on the water blob to send me flying into the air.