Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Dream of 9/6/21

Woke up just before 4 a.m.

I was in some sort of abandoned old factory or other industrial building, with large open sections in the walls where glass had once permitted a view outside into woods.

I was up on a stage of sorts — a raised platform — and the man on stage who kept making requests of me, who kept trying to get to the bottom of my many odd unassociated talents and experiences, was, improbably, the actor and comedian Paul Reiser. 

There was someone else on the platform too, someone seemingly incapable of doing any of these strange assignments, assignments that incredibly lined up perfectly with my own life history. This other person was eager to please, but couldn’t pull any of it off; meanwhile, even with my limited skill set, I seemed able to play a significant role in all of it. And I found that I too was eager to please — to show how capable I could be.

One of the assignments, unbelievably, was to make sense of decades of Lucas automotive parts. Paul Reiser had all of these Lucas automotive parts (and perhaps this factory full of them) but couldn’t make anything of them. What was the function of each? What was the value of it all? How to sort, categorize, organize? It was a real head-scratcher… until I offered that, years ago, I sold Lucas automotive parts, and had developed a real interest in British cars (Lucas being a primary manufacturer for British cars), and indeed had even worked a deal to serve as a small-time local supplier of JRT (Jaguar-Rover-Triumph) parts when British Leyland was down on its knees and parts, including the notoriously unreliable Lucas parts, were nearly impossible to get in the U.S. I even offered a joke I’d written at the time, more than 30 years ago, when I was doing this work:  “Why do the British drink warm beer? Because they have Lucas refrigerators.”

Paul Reiser chuckled agreeably. But perhaps I should have left the idea of comedy to him.

Nevertheless, when I explained that all he needed was a database as the first step to organizing all this and turning it into cash, he was happy to enlist me in this endeavor… when something caught my eye outside that cinder block window. Outside the building, and just having emerged from the woods, was an ancient indigenous Indian — a dark-complected scowling man with thick black face paintings who was taking in the scene, and me in particular, with menace and dire warning. That was when I remembered the character Paul Reiser played in Aliens and that he couldn’t be trusted.

And so I woke up. Less than an hour after falling asleep.

Background on the dream:  Recent thought has it that when we sleep our brains shuffle our memories around for easier retrieval; the odd connections we make in our dreams are merely a side effect of this storage process. Sleepwalkers and lucid dreamers such as myself try to control what they’re thinking about before they go to sleep, because of the potential impact of those thoughts on their sleep experience. Three things before bed coalesced in this dream:

  1. I’ve been watching the Netflix show The Kominsky Method (which fell off a cliff after Alan Arkin left it); the final scene of the episode I was watching before bed featured Paul Reiser’s character scheming, and reminded me what a dolt Michael Douglas’ character is
  2. I’ve been thinking about my brother, whom I’ll get to see this weekend when I’m in New Jersey, and he’s the person who employed me in the exciting world of imported auto parts 40 years ago
  3. The 500th anniversary of the Aztec surrender to Mexico has been getting a lot of press here in California, and dovetailed with my reading of the incredible book 1491 (highly highly recommended); late last night I read a newspaper article where some parents are suing a school board, claiming that part of the literature they’re reading is an “Aztec prayer” and that teachers are trying to indoctrinate their children into an “Aztec religion”

All of this serves as a reminder that it’s probably best for me to stick to reading comic books before bed.

4 Responses to “Dream of 9/6/21”

  1. Joe Stafford Says:

    As to your final summation: yes please do.

    Stay away from Paul Reiser

    And…Do you happen to have the center hub for a 1965 Austin Healey MK 3000 the one with the little direction signal control in the center? Mine stopped working years ago.

  2. Adrian Says:

    Full dream recall! Very entertaining Lee. A little OMG moment. The reason I moved to Birmingham end of 1995 was to work for Lucas Industries.

  3. Uncle Rich Says:

    I’ve had dreams that I didn’t figure out until years later. One that recurred was standing on the beach and being able to see some mountainous land mass across the water. I finally realized that it was from me looking at piled up clouds, far out at sea.

  4. Dan Says:

    “It ended the way all my dreams end, with Marlo Thomas and Winston Churchill applauding me.”

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