Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Clint And Me

Have you ever had a dream so surreal you just can't account for it?

It was bitterly cold and windy here last night. My husband and I got home from work late, bone tired. I fell asleep just before midnight after marking sixteen tests and three compositions.

And in my dreams, I met Clint Eastwood.

I doubt I've spent more than fifteen minutes of my entire life thinking about Clint Eastwood. Although I know he's considered handsome, even if he weren't way too old for even me, he's not my type and I've never been a fan, so why he should have shown up in one of my dreams beats me. But there he was. He'd taken over the vacant lot opposite our flat, where he was planning to start a small farm. As a fellow American, I decided I should go over and welcome him to Scotland.

"Don't go," one of my friends cautioned me. "He'll be full of himself, being so rich and famous."

But I ignored her. I took him a gift of a bag of pine cones and some banana bran muffins made with garam masala, fresh-grated ginger, and extra cinnamon. And you may be interested to know that Clint Eastwood was as friendly and down-to-earth as the next guy. We were having a long chat when my daughter showed up. This worried me: everybody knows that famous movie stars are all born womanizers. But again, Clint surprised me. He was friendly but respectfully distant and showed no untoward interest in my nubile daughter.

As soon as she left us, however, he commented on the fact that her hair appeared to be of different lengths. I owned up to having cut it for her to economize, and Clint (we were on first name terms by this time) shared a new business venture with me: he was opening a string of low-cost hairdresser shops for women and girls of low means. I pointed out that I was not poor, but simply wished to save money; he assured me that my daughter and I would still be welcome at his shops.

After this, we got to talking about teaching. Clint was very interested in my accounts of my students' many strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. He listened attentively as I described their most recent composition attempts and how frustrated I was with them, never once glancing at his watch -- Clint has a proper wristwatch, by the way; he doesn't rely on a cell phone -- and asked pertinent, relevant questions about their progress. What a great guy!

Then we started a new topic of conversation about cows and the advantages and disadvantages of raising Holsteins versus Jerseys. At some point, I realized I had misled Clint, who somehow believed that I knew much more about cattle raising than I do. But before my ignorance could be revealed, my cat took her customary early morning stroll across my face and woke me up.

I was filled with overwhelming regret and relief. Regret because I had never managed to discuss the long, hard business of getting published with Clint, or get one of his hairdresser chain cards with a telephone number on it. Relief because he never found out how next-to-nothing my knowledge about cattle raising happens to be.

Tonight, who knows who'll I meet in my dreams? I hope it's somebody I like this time. Just in case, I'm locking the cat out of our bedroom.

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18 comments:

Anne M Leone said...

Hah! This is hysterical! Sometimes I dream things that are obviously metaphors for my waking life's stress and worry. Sometimes I dream fun stories. Occasionally I dream Barack and Michelle Obama and I are deep in conversation (I think that comes from reading too much political news). But I don't believe I've ever dreamed about Clint Eastwood!

Lynne said...

I love dreams that are so real that in years to come you have to stop and think, did this really happen or did I dream it. sweet dream tonight.

Falak said...

I wish I too could meet up with celebs in my dreams :( Specially the kind who decide to come live next door :D

Its amazing how some dreams are dreamt in detail where every time you subconsciously question the reality of what you're seeing the dream reveals a certain aspect that clarifies it.

Now you'll always have a story about how you almost met Clint Eastwood ;)

Mirka Breen said...

Oh, Mary- I so enjoyed reading this post. I’m still smiling.

The psychologist in me is tempted to say you are contemplating your feelings about fame, and possible fame. But the plain reader is just happy to have come along for the lovely ride.

BTW- your Clint is my Kevin Spacey. I had a dream that I met him on an airplane heading to LA, and he begged me (yes, BEGGED) to accompany him to the Oscars. He was much too scared to go without me. :)

Vijaya said...

Hee hee ... I will recommend a good Clint Eastwood movie for you: Grand Torino.

You don't know enough about cattle? That just cracks me up.

Lisa Shafer said...

Wonderful.
I bet, though, that you'd actually seen someone or something during the day or the week that your subconscious associated with something to do with a Clint Eastwood film you'd seen once upon a time.....
My brain loves to take pieces of reality from all kinds of places and reshuffle them into something to entertain me. Last night I was a teenager again, and I was fending off zombies in my parents' kitchen with an aerosol can of "Monster Off," which I feared was only air freshener and wouldn't do much good.

Really, I'd take your Clint Eastwood dream over that.

Robin said...

That's a hilarious dream! I'm glad Clint was so nice. My favorite part was his wrist watch. Hahaha!

Carole said...

Awesome. The dream was good too, but that you remembered such detail...priceless.

Charles Gramlich said...

I wouldn't mind meeting Clint, but I guess if I had to pick a movie star to meet it would be someone like Ann Margaret or Raquel Welch. :)

Kim Ayres said...

I dream about hob-nobbing with famous people all the time - politicians, royalty, film & TV stars. But the dreams never make sense. They seems so real and vivid and importan at the time, but the moment I try to tell Maggie about them, suddenly the significance of the seagull, banana and David Cameron seems to evaporate...

annebingham said...

It's Make My Day, Mary, not Make My Night.

Mary Witzl said...

Anne -- I was definitely working out something here about stress and worry, I'm just not sure what yet.

I haven't met Barack Obama yet and I long to. Perhaps if we move back to the States we'll have the honor. I just hope he doesn't want to pick my brain about raising cattle.

Lynne -- This has certainly happened to me. Sometimes dreams are so vivid and poignant that I'm certain the events in them really happened. Sometimes I'm very glad to know they didn't.

Falak -- I like the dreams that make you stop in the middle of them and say to yourself, "Hang on -- this is so weird it has to be a dream." And then you take a good look around you and realize you're just larking around in your mind and can sit back and enjoy the ride guilt-free.

What do you mean 'almost'? ;o)

Mirka -- I envy you having had the chance to meet Kevin Spacey! I'll trade you my Clint dream for a Kevin one any day. I'd have been happy to sit next to him during the Oscars and give him my full support.

I think the fact that I chose Clint Eastwood was interesting: not only is he old, but he's had a checkered, rather eclectic career and not everything he's done has been successful. In the increasingly unlikely event that I ever have to learn to handle professional success, though, I hope I manage it as well as Clint did (in my dreams, that is).

Vijaya -- It's funny now, but at the time, it was SO awful! As Clint began to get into the descriptions of cattle illness and bloodlines, I knew that all I would be able to add to the conversation was 'spotted' or 'dappled'. I knew he'd despise for being a fraud, and there would go my chance of a low-cost haircut!

Lisa -- Air freshener will kill cockroaches as effectively as Raid -- or so I have been told. You never know; it might work on zombies too and so be useful to have on hand.

We passed a farm the other day by the name of Bitterwood. I'm wondering if that triggered the long-buried Clint memory?

Robin -- I was happy to see he had one too. It made me think he wasn't one of those flakes who'll abandon something he's had for ages for something new and trendy. (Though I'm betting he has a different idea about wives...)

Carole -- When it comes to dreams, I am the Queen of Details -- to the point that I occasionally bore myself. (I'll have to remind myself of that when I'm rewriting.)

Charles -- Ann Margaret and Raquel Welch -- what blasts from the past! If I got to choose a movie star I'd like to spend dream time with, I'd probably go for Takakura Ken, but I seem to have little control over these things.

Kim -- David Cameron, a banana and a seagull? I'm pretty sure I'd know where that was going.

Things in dreams always seem so meaningful while you're dreaming them, or just after you've woken up. It's only when you try to articulate them that you realize your subconscious was just having fun with you.

Anne -- You're right, but try telling my mind that. Wish I felt lucky...

Sophie Moss said...

Great post! Love the line about not knowing enough about cattle. I can't remember ever dreaming about having such a long, detailed conversation with someone. I'll have to work on that. :)

JLD said...

I used to dream about Clint Eastwood when I was in my twenties and he was much older, but I can assure you we never talked about cattle! He is my type and I used to love to watch his earlier movies and drool even though in real life, he was too old for me. I'll bet he just loved the muffins.

Judy

Mary Witzl said...

Sophie -- Thank you. I suspect my dream conversations are so detailed and drawn out because in real life, few people have as much time to listen as I have things to say. Writing a blog is a great way to curb a tendency toward long-windedness.

JLD -- If I'd known that you were interested in Clint, I'd have sent him off to your dream neighborhood right away! You never know; he might come back. Read up on cattle raising just in case.

Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane said...

What a story! It even made sense in its own peculiar way! You even seemed to stay in one place in your dream. What did his house look like, by the way?

Maybe you should get a book about the meaning of dreams. Who knows what it will reveal to you ;).

Keep dreaming!

Bish Denham said...

Clint, the strong, silent type. This was a good dream. I'd say it could be interpreted to mean that you are in touch and comfortable with your masculine side.

Vijaya's recommendation is an excellent one.

Mary Witzl said...

Miss Footloose -- His house was a mess, actually -- just a bunch of old tiles and slates with a shack in the middle of it. I'd have expected better of Clint, but he'd only just arrived.

I'll definitely keep dreaming, though. ;o)

Bish -- My masculine side? I'm in touch with that every time I forget and wash black socks with my snow-white pillowcases.

I'm way behind on my movie watching, but I've heard that some of his latest ones are good.