Last night, I had a very absurd and frustrating dream that was partly about my fears for future “real life” and partly like Pan’s Labrynth, a movie which I have not seen for a very long time so I don’t even know.
I dreamed that my friend Jen and I were reading books and writing our own manuscripts when suddenly, my family friend, who is copy director at Random House, decided he wanted to see how good we were at editing manuscripts. We both told him about our experiences, emailed him a test edit and about books we liked, but we were not told to submit resumés. And then he randomly hired Jen, who had absolutely no experience or expertise in the matter, as an acquisitions editor, and I got nothing. I was absolutely resentful and livid, and I wanted to talk to my mom about it. My mom, however, was busy helping my sister and her friend Taylor choose dresses for prom. and Taylor was going in and out of the front door, modeling an appalling pink satin gown. She told my sister, “You should really wear the yellow Calvin Klein one.”
My sister said, “I’d rather wear this,” and held up a gigantic, oversized grandpa sweater. I looked absolutely horrified and she grinned. “Just kidding.”
I finally dragged my mom away (after, rather oddly, locating an old Christmas present in my purse that I’d forgotten to open six months earlier and getting distracted by it), and I got her outside. But our entire front yard looked very strange, and there were oddly frightening creatures and animals. One animal looked like an anthropomorphic llama, and I freaked out, but my mom dismissively stated, “Oh, that’s just the vet.”
As I was about to tell her my really annoying problem, I realised that my entire neighbourhood was being set on fire, and it was by strange creatures who were like masked humans but weren’t actually masked. I told my mom to go inside and to get help, and I frantically located a fire extinguisher and began putting out the small patches of fire. But I realised that about five or six of those creatures were on our lawn, heading towards our house and setting trees and bushes on fire as they went, so I attacked them, too, and somehow managed to slit a couple of their throats even though I don’t remember having a knife.
My mom finally emerged, bringing my uncle Paul, my aunt Jane, and three little cousins out to help, and I shouted, “Don’t bring the kids here!” Because there were a lot of dead things. And fire. My dad walked out from behind them, and he said, suspiciously, “why?”
“Because,” I said, “There are some things they should not see.”
He went to look, and he shrugged. “There’s not much blood, it’ll be fine.” And they let the kids run loose.
I sighed. “Mom,” I said, “I still need to talk to you.”
So somehow, we moved away and I started talking, but then I realised that there were new creatures following me; they looked like they were made of thick, brown vines, that used the ends of the vines for their limbs, and their centers were empty, like bagels. Sentient, terrifying bagels. And I realised that for whatever reason, they wanted to get me — and I killed one, I think, to save someone. I never got to talk to my mom; she disappeared back inside the house.
I was frankly miserable at this point, and I went upstairs to my room, but I knew these monsters were still after me, and were hunting me down until I was killed. I was about to go to sleep when one showed up in my room and I screamed bloody murder, and my little cousin scared it away briefly because she could see it better than I could. These creatures could only be seen by adults if they caught an accidental glimpse, but she could see it in whatever form it chose. It chose Jack Black.
But Jack Black-monster was actually pretty good, and he didn’t consider it his primary duty in life to see me dismembered and eaten, and he struck up a friendship with my nine-year-old cousin Stella, who at this point had become a mixture of my cousin and the character of Sally Draper from Mad Men. They spoke at a party, while I was off freaking the hell out about supernatural things that wanted me dead and also the fact that Jen got the job and I didn’t, and Jack Black-monster told her that he didn’t like being a monster. They sat on the swings and chit-chatted and then probably a few other things happened that I don’t remember because I finally woke up and was glad it was over.