Golden Angel, Angry Angel

It's been said, or I seem to remember, or rumor has it, that eating certain foods just before bed can affect the tenor of one's dreams. Cheese seems to be one of those foods of not just lore, but the rigor scientific experimentation, well, as much science as can be credited to the British Cheese Board anyhow. The BCB undertook a study of 200 individuals who volunteered to cram their maws with fromage, sleep and then report the results because "A lot of people still believe the old wives [sic] tale that cheese gives you nightmares but this study endorses the scientific facts." The results are nothing short of silly:
  • Red Leicester proved to be brilliant for helping participants to get a good night’s sleep – one quarter slept well every single night of the study, and 83% of all nights under the influence of Red Leicester were good sleep experiences. As for dreams, Red Leicester is the cheese to choose if you are feeling nostalgic about your past – over 60% of participants eating this cheese revisited their schooldays, or long-lost childhood friends, or previous family homes and hometowns.
  • Stilton -eating participants enjoyed their sleep too – over two thirds had good sleep experiences during five out of the seven nights. However, if you want some vivid or crazy dreams, the King of British cheeses is the one for you – particularly if you are female. While 75% of men in this category experienced odd and vivid dreams, a massive 85% of females who ate Stilton had some of the most bizarre dreams of the whole study – although none were described as bad experiences. Highlights included talking soft toys, lifts that move sideways, a vegetarian crocodile upset because it could not eat children, dinner party guests being traded for camels, soldiers fighting with each other with kittens instead of guns and a party in a lunatic asylum.
  • British Brie caused all participants to sleep very well, but dreams varied between males and females; women tended to experience very nice dreams, such as Jamie Oliver cooking dinner in their kitchens, or relaxing on a sunny beach. By contrast, the men who ate Brie experienced rather odd, obscure dreams, such as driving against a battleship, or having a drunken conversation with a dog.
  • Cheddar -eating participants tended to dream of celebrities, ranging from the participant’s family sitting in a pub with Jordan, to a Glaswegian old firm football match with Gazza and Ally McCoist. Ashley from Coronation Street also featured, as did the cast of Emmerdale - and one lucky girl helped to form a human pyramid under the supervision of Johnny Depp.
I, however, did not have cheese last night and thus had dreams distinctly lacking in Jamie Oliver or fun on the Glaswegian pitch. Still, I woke exhausted.

Jamie Oliver:
Dreamy Because Science Says So

It was corned beef hash and eggs over easy for me last night at 11:00 p.m. courtesy of the Lincoln/Montrose Golden Angel Diner. It was tasty, even tastier for the fact that I had to fight doggedly to get my side of rye toast. (The menu specifically states that corned beef hash and eggs, unlike other egg combos does not come with a choice of hash browns or pancakes, though no specific toast exclusion is cited. The waitress chose to infer this exclusion andwished to deny me my toast. However, she finally conceded this point not because she realized I was right, but because I was quickly proving myself to be precisely the type of argumentative, pain in the ass customer that every slow Tuesday night should, by all rights, be free of.) Anyway, turns out that the Sandman is no friend of corned beef hash.

I had two very stressful dreams last night. Or maybe they were two parts of the same dream. The first began with confusion as to whether I had signed my lease on time and if, had I not, I would be allowed to stay or forced to move out suddenly. It initially appeared that I would have to move out. Not particularly distressed by this drastic shift in housing status, I enlisted some friends to help me move my stuff out immediately. Where I was going to move to was not clear and, it turns out, not relevant. Apartment Finders must work on a different plane than dream logic I guess. In any case, literally in mid-move, I got word that the signed lease and eviction notice must have crossed in the mail. I was granted a stay of relocation and could remain in the apartment. Whew. However, before I could get everything back in the apartment, I had to go to an appointment of some sort. With boxes still strewn everywhere and my couch still in the stairwell I asked a friend if he could stick around the apartment and watch my half-repatriated stuff. Didn't have to move anything. Just needed him to make sure that I didn't have to play out that scene from Coming to America when Prince Akeem and Semmi come back to their place in Queens and everyone on the street is sporting their stuff.

Enter betrayal.

When I returned home, I found my apartment locked and none of the boxes on the curb or in the stairwell, nor did I spot any of their contents in the hands of the street's denizens. Perfect. But when I entered the apartment I found that most of my furniture, most notably my couch, had been pilfered and replaced by one tattered, bluish, clearly garbage-picked loveseat and a legless seat of some kind. It looked like someone took a giant-sized one of those hinged wired grill baskets, pried it apart so that the two halves of the basket formed a right angle, plopped a cushion down on one half for a seat, left the other half bare for the back, and called it a chair. It was hardly comfortable, but a sitter would have perfect grill lines every time.

Helpful Home Tip #62:
When Grilling Season is over, bring your basket inside
to insure the comfort of your holiday guests.

I came to the immediate conclusion that my friend had taken my couch. I tried desperately to call him, but only eventually received some indirect response, perhaps a voice mail, to the effect that I was not getting the couch back. Remorse, or even the hint of interest in remorse, was absent. I ran into another friend during my search for an answer, who tried in vain to convince me that there must be some explanation for this. I ended the discussion curtly with a simple Darwinian conclusion: "He's Alpha." I was distraught by the idea that I was helpless in the face of being naturally selected out of my own furniture by a friend. And it was not simply furniture. What regular readers there are to DebaclypseNow may recall that I explicitly have noted that my couch is a material symbol of my adulthood. So, for all intents and purposes, my friend was socially demoting me, if not outright infantilizing me, by stealing it. But it was hopeless.

A second hopeless situation, though far less personal, arose in a dream segment which I now believe to be part of the errand that I went on and ultimately resulted in my decouchification. Somehow I found myself in Hyde Park and needed to get to the Northside quickly. I hailed a cab and gave the address. The cab was being driven by what appeared to be a young scraggly cabbie intern as there was a supervisor of sorts (or at least some official-looking woman with a clipboard) sitting in the passenger seat. We started moving and my attention drifted elsewhere.

After some time passed, I looked around and discovered that I'd racked up at fare of $17.10 already in this hack, but had been taken to 75th and Western, the opposite direction of where I was supposed to be going. I flipped, screaming about how this cabbie was just was fleecing me by aimlessly driving me around the ghetto and not where I needed to be. (75th and Western is not actually the ghetto, but represented it in my dream. The explanation for this could be that I was roped into a conversation by a homeless man at Dunkin' Donuts yesterday. He was pretending to read a menu - yes, they have menus there now - while hitting people up for change to get to 81st and Western. Perhaps I stopped the cabbie only when I realized that I was on a collision course with Dunkin Menu Man Redux.) Still, though obviously flustered by having his ruse exposed, the cabbie maintained his innocence regarding his obligation to take me via the most direct route. He wasn't going to let me off for the fare and I wasn't going to let him get away with the fleecing. We tussled.

Through the struggle, I managed to barricade the three of us, driver, supervisor and me, into a cafe until I could figure out a proper authority to call. I sought contact with some imagined Taxi Ethics Authority and then I sought recourse at corporate. There was a phone number on the hat of the supervisor, which I tried to dial over and over again, but kept missing or inverting numbers. Part of me was distracted by the futility of it all since I was sure the number for a Cincinnati phone (the area code was 220, which turns out to not exist) and therefore would get little direct response other than a runaround. Another part of me was distressingly uncoordinated and simply unable to complete this everyday task with the pressures of the dream on me. Eventually, after numerous touchtone fumbles, I had to admit defeat and fled the area on foot, running through backyards and alleys to safely get myself to some public transportation. Why I thought the CTA was a safe haven is another inexplicable dream fact. It was, I believe, at this point that I was coming to realize the theft of my couch.

So, when I woke up I was frustrated, angry and drained. I don't think I've conveyed in the least how much. I always find that task difficult and disjointed. Waking up totally screws you out of remembering what you were doing while you slept. Now I get to spend the day rationalizing and interpreting what details I do recall.


At 10:26 AM, Blogger Butternugget said...

I wont pain you with my interpretations here, in a public space, but needless to say I’m pretty sure you should check yourself in somewhere with soft walls.

I had cheese last night and slept like a baby, a baby that didn't get enough sleep, but a baby nonetheless. I was out like a light and don't remember anything, good or bad in my dreams. Granted, it was the ham and cheese omelet, which is at best American cheese, which hardly qualifies for cheese. Either way I think I should start a cheese dream diary.

That lady was totally crazy and she messed up the soup too.

At 9:56 AM, Blogger evandebacle said...

A padded-walled room is a little severe for a dreams the likes of this one, don't you think? In any case, I'm sure I'd find your interpretations enlightening.


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