Saturday, January 03, 2009

Choco Taco Thwarts Identity Theft


Day 3 and the dreams are trickling in—keep 'em coming!

I begin with a word to all you dream-writers out there about the art of dream-reading (alternately called dream interpretation, dream analysis, dream therapy or whatever you wish): It may be tempting to send in your "best" dream—one that made you feel great or is a truly spectacular story. While these dreams make for amusing online displays of what we're up to when we're sleeping, it might be better to submit a less thrilling yet more recent dream, the reason being that it's sometimes difficult to read a dream that doesn't bear relevance to a person's current situation and psyche. Of course I have no idea when you actually dreamt your dream, but experience has shown me that the fresher the dream, the better the dream-reading.

That said, I'm gonna be a good sport and take a whack at an older dream anyway. The third of the 31 Dreamers is Sharon who lives in Philadelphia, but she dreamt this off the coast of Massachusetts. And yes, it does give neighboring Nantucket's own Moby Dick a run for his money (...er, swim for his blubber) in its quality of epic storytelling. Here what was happening in Sharon's head:
In real life, I was on a totally amazing vacation with my sweetie Mike, and we were sleeping in a real, comfortable bed in an apartment on Martha's Vineyard. I should add that before the vacay we had gone to a cousin's wedding. The night before we had unsuccessfully shared a couch, so this bed really ruled. Anyway, I had this dream in the morning:



In the beginning, I had to choose a frozen novelty dessert product (I had done this in real life earlier that day). I don't remember what I chose, but someone I was with chose the Choco Taco. Then, later, our desserts became our superhero identities. 



Then I was at a wedding. A mixture of friends and family were there. It was in a city, and I was on an outside porch on a high floor of the building, talking to the bride, when some sort of big fight broke out. I went inside to the ballroom and there was pandemonium. I think I was talking to my Uncle Paul, trying to figure out what was going on, when for some reason I became Choco Taco, Superhero. (Sometimes I was looking at myself, and yes, I was a giant Choco Taco with funny cartoon legs and face.)



So then, (I saw this in a sort-of cartoony way, looking down from up above the room), these people come in and address the crowd. At first I thought they were from the hotel or whatever, trying to calm everyone down. Then their leader spoke, and I realized a sinister plot was afoot. She was a black, shiny, plastic, faceless, talking mannequin, wearing a wedding dress and veil/tiara. Her cohorts were also wearing wedding dresses but they looked more human. This is all I remember her saying but there was probably more: "Hey everybody! My name is Identity Theft! Let's all play a game!" Her voice was high and grating but trying to sound really friendly.

Everyone was mesmerized by her and her gang and started doing whatever she wanted, although I don't know what that was, because I, Choco Taco, was trying to get my superhero friends to help me stop her evil plot. They were also staring at her, unsuspecting, until I spoke to them. There were about 5 or 7 of them all standing next to each other, and I said something like, "There you are, X Friends! I think this Identity Theft is up to no good! We have to stop her!" The only person I recognize now as being one of them was my friend Stevie—I think he was supporting my plan when a girl on the end, whose name i forget, said something like, "What do you mean? She's trying to help! Identity Theft is a nice person!" It was then I realized that this was an imposter speaking, not a real X Friend, so I pushed her out the window.

I wish I could remember what else happened exactly, but I know that the X Friends and I somehow worked together to vanquish Identity Theft and her band of evildoers. It involved a lot of dramatic jumping and falling out of windows, and saving innocent bystanders from harm. At the end I saw myself walking down the street with someone, maybe Stevie, who was dressed like Robin from the old Batman and Robin TV show, and I was starting to say something along the lines of "Well, we sure showed Identity Theft that she can't go around messing up our friends' weddings!" when I woke up.

Best superhero dream ever.
Sharon, even in Martha's Vineyard you manage to channel Philadelphia, birthplace not only of the Choco Taco, but also innumerable other American working class frozen dessert heroes such as Mister Softee and "wooder ice." Clearly you dreamt this up not in freezing January but in balmy August when ice cream is more like a super hero than a mere confectionary denizen lurking in the frigid nether regions of a large kitchen appliance. I however grew up in the region that consumes one third of the nation's ice cream (New England) where the locals tend to eat as much of it in winter as in summer, and your dream consequentially sent me on an arduous trek through the freezing cold to snap up a pint of KOV Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert.

But enough about my sweet tooth. Let's talk about your dream. Right after we talk about what you call "real life":

Weddings tend to fall into two realms. There are weddings of those who we choose to have in our lives (i.e. amigas, buddies, chums) and weddings of those people assigned to us at birth (you guessed it: family). My hunch is that your cousin's wedding wasn't the utopian stress-free love ceremony that you had hoped for, but something a little more taxing, laced with the occasional batch of friendly mandates delivered in high, grating tones. And you brought a date to such an affair? Well, that's just asking for it. The fam took one look at that guy in his Sunday best and—whether actually verbalized or not—popped the question on your behalf: "So, Sharon, when are you and Mike taking a one-way trip down this here aisle?" And is that really a path you want to take? Mm, maybe someday, but you'd rather have it your own way—not with the pomp and circumstance of a traditional church-and-priest thing, but with your own blasted pomp and the circumstance of your own damn choosing. Amen.

In the dream there you are, back at the wedding, and you've given yourself your just desserts and they are cool to the touch—a calm before the storm, selected carefully like a hors d'œuvre platter of magical weapons before the apocalypse. The internalized tension of the "real life" wedding becomes what you describe as "pandemonium" in your dream wedding (and for some reason I'm picturing the wedding reception scene from What the Bleep Do We Know? set in Bruce Wayne's penthouse fundraiser from last summer's Dark Knight movie). Everyone's emotions have risen to the surface. Then the pressure from your family materializes, manifested as a set of showroom dummies who seek to steal your identity—your individuality, right down to the features on your face! They want everyone to just play along with their game, to put on a dress and look pretty, even if what's underneath is just ersatz and plastic. They try to make you fall in line, Sharon, but little do they know that you have a super hero identity that cannot be stolen, and your odd number of freaky friends are there to back you up in your quest to resist! And way up on the tip-top floor of some fancy-pants high rise, your choices are either to just go with the flow, or to FIGHT!

There are those who would betray you—a 6th or 8th associate who is not in fact an X Friend but an ex-friend to you and your ideals and she must thus be defenestrated from your team. Then there are those who help you in your struggle for liberation, such as the campy Boy Wonder Stevie (who, as Robin, embodies the very antithesis of heteronormativity in our society) adding color commentary to Sharon Choco Taco's protagony of play-by-play narrative.

Now the burning question: Why "Choco Taco?" Well, of course you know that the term carries with it a variety of sexual connotations that I decline from exploring on this blog and, as a matter of principle, feel that resorting to innuendoes such as these is the cheapest way out of thorough dream reading. I prefer to think that the crammed couch-surf with your sweetie the previous night may have had some uncomfortable, yet intimate, taco-like quality to it. Also, the Choco Taco is far from the run-of-the-mill soft-serve vanilla cone or hardline water ice: she is an innovator—an individual who packs both a mighty punch and a peanutty crunch. She is, in short, you alter ego, and you are her secret identity, which can never be stolen.

2 comments:

Sharon said...

You're a genius!

Morgão Papelão said...

The genius is all yours.