After a full day of serial killers on my TiVo and a large bowl of pasta for a comforting late supper, I drifted contentedly off to sleep to the lulling sounds of my television, only to “wake up” in what appeared to be an insane asylum.Naturally I hadn’t any idea that I was a complete lunatic as my delusions seemed quite real; so I felt absolutely no hesitation as I attempted to cuddle maternally on a couch with “Dr. Spencer Reid” (aka actor Michael Gray Gubler from Criminal Minds), whilst bonding amicably over the fact we were both sporting mismatched socks. And agreeing to be my “special friend” who would protect me from the rest of the patients (I assumed they were just Hollywood extras), I felt my left arm go numb as I drifted off to a deep sleep.
Coming to (in what felt like only moments later), I found myself roaming the grounds of the massive estate with FBI liaison “J.J.” (aka actress A.J. Cook, also from Criminal Minds) as I confidentially shared the story of Dr. Reid and myself, although I was relatively certain that the whole experience had been nothing more than a mildly lucid dream.And promising never to divulge my secret, J.J. and I ambled arm in arm along, taking small notice of both “Kimball Cho” and “Grace Van Pelt” (aka actor Tim Kang and actress Amanda Righetti from The Mentalist); who jumped feet-first into a deep ceramic fountain beneath a monumental sculpture of Venus de Milo, so as to interview a massively-scarred Vietnamese woman who was currently swimming the backstroke.
“She’s just another extra without a speaking role, but don’t worry; they’re paying her a lot of money for both treading water and sitting in the make-up chair for four hours” J.J. patted my hand comfortingly.Suddenly back inside the Common Room, I espied the aforementioned Matthew Gray Gubler, offered him a seat on the couch and promptly apologized for confusing him with his on-screen character. Of course I knew the difference (since I too am an actor in Hollywood), and I was looking forward to an intellectual discussion about his favorite episodes that he had actually directed.
But with a noticeable “cuckoo” twisting finger next to her head, J.J. telepathically transmitted my embarrassing dream to him; which sent him reeling into a maniacal fit of humiliating laughter as my right arm suddenly became numb.And back to sleep I went.
Sitting in my padded room with the door wide open, I felt distracted. The little dollhouse shadowbox in my lap glistened with shining gems that I was somehow supposed to collect, but a youngish character actress (whom I couldn’t quite place) was hounding me to watch her pet rabbit for a week while she got to leave the grounds for a few days. And finally agreeing to do so, I placed the floppy-eared bunny into my deceased kitty’s carrier for safe keeping, whilst the girl unpacked a cardboard box of complex Doppler weather monitoring equipment.Returning to the diorama however, I only had enough time to amass three diamonds, which actually turned out to be miniature Barbie doll-sized light bulbs in the palm of my hand.
And that’s when it (literally!) dawned on me...I was seriously an inpatient in an insane asylum!
Well, no wonder everyone was acting so crazy! Oh, but now I had the proof! Yes, the next time the doctors stuck a needle in the arm, I’d have my little stash of light bulbs hidden somewhere next to the bunny rabbit to prove my sanity! After all, clearly I’d burrowed deep Undercover with the assistance of the FBI to expose the ugly secrets of mental health care; and upon discovering my encoded notebook which would eventually lead to the Nobel winning story I would publish, the staff had taken to medicating me to maintain my silence. Duh! (Naturally, I felt a twinge of guilt that Barbara Walters would have to come out of retirement to host the special interview, but I figured the ol’ gal could hack it.)Back in the Common Room, I found J.J. working on a legal file folder, sitting at a wooden table under a large white umbrella. (“Quite smart of her” I thought, since it was raining indoors that day.) And taking a seat on the throne at the head of the table, I asked where my favorite Dr. Reid had gone. Without so much as a blink, she pointed upward, and then steadily continued to secretively complete my paperwork.
Sure enough, climbing steadily up the side of the umbrella like a monkey in the Amazon, there appeared Dr. Reid, who stopped momentarily to shriek at me through the canvas.“You do know that you have to give back the rabbit, right?” J.J. suddenly looked up at me with shifty eyes, whispering as she scanned the room.
The BUNNY!!!Tearing my padded cell apart, I eventually found the cage which I’d left unattended for a week, and panicked at the sight of a furry misshapen creature which had morphed into something not of this earth. “You must be so hungry! You must be so thirsty!” I cried in horror, racing outside into the darkness to bathe the creature in the fountain – only to discover that massive steel bars surrounded the water to prevent the inmates from drowning at night. “Omigosh, omigosh, omigosh, I know there’s a hose around here somewhere!” I shrieked, lapping the massive estate twice until I finally found one.
Unfortunately, the landscapers had gone digital, and the only way to get water out of the hose was to interface the cable with a USB port. “Oh, you poor thing” I wept profusely, trying to un-mat a dirty clump of fur as the creature began to wearily lap at the water running over its “head” and “back”.“Don’t worry, he’s relatively resilient” the character actress (whom I still couldn’t place) suddenly appeared. “Just tell me; where the hell is the Doppler weather equipment?”
I wasn’t sure how we got there, but the next thing I knew I was standing in someone else’s kitchen, trembling in terror as the furry creature morphed upright into a raven-haired man with piercing black eyes. “You’ve still got some gunk in your fur there...” I fearfully pointed to the back of his head.“Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares” he snapped at me, slapping away my hand irritably. And breezing past me through a wall of hanging beads into a room full of actors dressed in Shakespearian costumes, I knew I had to ask the hard-hitting question for my Nobel winning research.
“So are you a rabbit who changes into a man, or a man who changes into a rabbit?”And theatrically slinking toward me to stare me down face to face, he took my chin in his hand and announced sagely, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your ring, ring, ring.”
Bolting upright in a cold sweat in the sanctity of my own home, in my own bed, I was relieved to be awakened by the sound of an annoying telemarketer abusing my land line and answering machine, as well as my television volume on low, which happened to be airing an old episode of CSI: Miami, with actor David Caruso starring as “Horatio Caine”.Good grief, what an exhausting sequence of events! I was amazed at the highly specific details of the dream in the light of day; yet still moderately shaken up at the experience as the sanitarium had seemed as real and plausible as the cold rain in the Common Room!
In hindsight of course, quite a bit of the bizarre events did make a modicum of sense...Obviously the open-door padded room reflected my current comfort zone; the numbness in my arms were likely my pea-brain’s gentle way of subconsciously reminding me to occasionally roll my ass over during hard-core sleep; the diamond light bulbs were probably flashbacks to spending too much time playing games on my Kindle; the cameo appearances by actors were noticeably fresh from my day of TiVo cleaning; and the blurbs of confusion over the Doppler effect could easily be dismissed as a couple of simple reports from local weathermen on the television.
As to the attention to detail – well, that’s understandably a nudge from my right brain feeling neglected by repetitious logical overuse of the left brain whilst solving crossword puzzles; and even the “bunny” (I suspect), symbolically represented mourning over the upcoming one year Anniversary of losing my heroic feline best friend Pretty last May 25th...>>><<<
Methodical interpretations aside, I couldn’t ignore the yearning for a bit of comfort food (no pasta or after-dinner mints this time!) to assist in my mental recovery.And where would I naturally choose to go?
Wheeling Cecilia (my car) into the McDonald’s drive-thru, I drooled (non-psychotically, mind you) in anticipation over the juicy, properly seasoned Angus burger patty (complimented with double slices of Swiss cheese and a dollop of mayo) that I hadn’t savored in approximately two weeks.“I’m sorry, but we don’t carry that specific menu item anymore” the employee informed me flatly.
(What, wait, WHAT???)“They weren’t really selling all that great, so yeah” he continued.
(What, wait, WHAAAT???)“We have a few of the other Angus choices left for now, but Corporate’s totally discontinuing the Angus burgers May 23rd. But they’re introducing a brand new line of sandwiches after that!” he offered cheerily.
And the nightmare continues...Paging Dr. Reid for medication (STAT!),
~Patient “X”Author’s Addendum: I debated over whether or not to include the following; but after the last two weeks of countless hours of talking, and with my friend’s blessing, I wanted to put out a universal wish of love and good luck to “Logan” as a new journey begins. Logan has bravely faced a personal severe alcohol abuse problem, and will be voluntarily checking into rehab tomorrow for the next thirty days. I’ll miss you my friend, but clearly (since I’m dreaming about being in a padded room) I’m already with you in spirit!!!