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Sometime between approximately 2:30 and 5:30 this morning …

Diane and I are in Chicago, where we have found a “bargain” hotel room for something like $200 a night. (You can actually do better, price-wise, and find some decent to pretty nice rooms.) We go to the second floor to find our room, 2703. Along the corridor, all the “rooms” have the number written in black Magic Marker, or perhaps Sharpie, on duct tape — only, obviously, not all the things that are numbered are actually rooms:

Turns out our “room” is actually a medicine cabinet, which I open and ask, “How are we supposed to sleep in there?” A search to find us an actual room ensues; at one point, we are directed to a corner bed in some huge hospital room, in which everything is blue scrubs-blue. Eventually, Diane and I are pooling our resources and decide we can afford a room for $300 a night, at a decidedly different hotel.

Analysis:

I blame this dream on a couple of my co-workers, Mona and Sandy.

Mona is having some work done on her house, and a few weeks ago, a construction worker was removing some insulation from her bathroom wall, and, as he reached in, he cut his arm in several places because there were all these razor blades stuck in her wall! Well, as it turns out — according to another co-worker of mine, Alice (actually, her brother George was the one who told her about it) — back in “the old days,” some medicine cabinets had a slot where a person could dispose of his razor blade, which fell “harmlessly” into the wall. (I say “his” because that seems like such a guy thing to do, and guys are the ones who shave in front of a mirror … right? I mean, I shave in the shower, and if I had a bathtub, I’d shave while taking a bath … although I did shave that inadvertent stripe into my right temple late last year, but that was while using the electric clippers, not while actually shaving.)

Meanwhile, over the weekend, Sandy was planning to go to Indiana to take part in some of the Covered Bridge Festival events (read: shopping!), and she was talking about how she and a bunch of her girlfriends have gone and stayed seven or eight to a room — which, to me, sounds like the true definition of “hell” — and also how, one year, she and her husband found themselves a bargain price at a Days Inn or some other chain (she couldn’t remember which one, for sure) over there, and once they arrived, they quickly realized the hotel was in a very, very bad part of town.

You and I are out in the wilderness, climbing on rocks and branches and ladders — some Swiss Family Robinson-style place — and I’m pretty sure I’ve been here before, only with someone else.

At some point, we both stop climbing. I try to kiss you, but you refuse (you don’t want to mess up what we have). Before long, a grizzly bear enters.

Next, I’m strolling along with my mom. I’m holding up my arm as we walk, briskly, and I have a hummingbird perched on my left index finger. I’m also trying to take pictures of the bird; meanwhile, my mom keeps handing me papers to hold, so I’m carrying them in my mouth until, finally, I can’t hold any more.

The bird turns into an old woman. She’s mad because her boyfriend stood her up for the dance.

So, sometime during the nighttime/early morning hours, I dream I am eating a banana … or, actually, I take a bite of a banana, but it doesn’t taste right, so I try to dispose of it … then, this morning, I go to Wal-Mart, and when I return to my car, I see, lying on the pavement next to my car door, a BANANA, still mostly in its peel, with what appears to be a bite out of it!

We go into this restaurant, and after we find Debra and Karen at a table, I realize that Catie Curtis* is performing. So between songs, I troddle** over to where Catie is sitting on a bar stool with her guitar in her hands, and I tell her that I first heard her song “Dandelion” on a mix CD from a girl I once knew. (I try text-messaging the girl almost as soon as I see that Catie is singing here tonight!)

Then some people in the restaurant decide they are musicians, too, so they play/sing a song, and Catie waits patiently until they are finished, then she starts another song — and a guy in the corner is sorta playing his harmonica, right along with Catie’s song. And Catie’s so cool, she doesn’t seem to mind.

By the time she is midway through her next song, I decide I need my camera so I can take some “concert pictures,” so I leave, but first I have to find my keys, which I have left beside a bush near the first floor of the hotel. This search entails some sort of mini-quest through the hotel, and eventually I get some help from some bouncers/bellhops — except for one of them, who is especially rude, so I grab him by the neck and bite him (hard) on the left ear and tell him he needs to be nicer because next time, his demeanor (sp?) could be the difference between sending a guest into a rage (!!) or helping her have a much better day.

(I wake up with “100 Miles” in my head.)

* — Not Katie Couric. And speaking of her: What’s up with her face these days? She seemed so much … softer back on The Today Show, but now … I don’t know, it’s like her eyebrows have this scary arch or something to them (Uncle Leo?!), and I’m sorta frightened when I look at her!

** — That’s Leslie’s word. A combination of a “trot” and a “waddle.” Invented sometime during our days at EIU. Mostly used in this context: “I troddled off to class” or “After we drank a couple of pitchers of beer at Marty’s, we troddled over to Ike’s.”

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