Ode to Netflix

I had the most vivid dream last night. I’m sure it meant something– but I just can’t grasp onto the tail of its meaning. I’ve been ill for a few weeks, and I’ve been downing Nyquil (it’s fake, laboratory created Jagermeister, I’m telling you!) and now just the Nyquil pills. They knock me right out if I let them, if I surrender into that initial sleepiness. If I fight it, I’m fitful and hot. Last night, however, was the first night I took a mere cough suppressant and was able to fall asleep on my own steam (or lack of it). I think all those nights of forced sleep must have retrained my little brain, because I had this dream.

I was living in a hotel, one of those really big ones with the fancy moulding along the ceilings and floorboards. The hotel was on a cliff, which was supposed to be some place like San Francisco, but part of the cliff was floating above a misty harbor. It was kind of spacelike, but we weren’t in space. I could see a bridge, a curving road along the coastline, and tall spires of buildings clustered together like crystalline formations, but really big. San Francisco of the future, maybe? I’ve dreamt of this city before, and of not being able to drive around in it, but that wasn’t part of the dream this time.

So, there was this guy in the hotel, and he looked a lot like Richard Jenkins– probably because Luke and I had just watched Cabin in the Woods the day before (Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford made that movie, don’t you think?) and even though he was married to this really old woman, he needed a kind of replacement wife to take care of his 77 children, who were all boys of varying ages. It wasn’t a real marriage, but it was just the housekeeping part of wifeliness. There was laundry all over their hotel room, and I had to do it all, and cook, and do all the housework. And a couple of the boys wanted me to take them to the mall, but I had to explain to them that I couldn’t drive in San Francisco. They were disappointed but understood.

And at the end of my trial day (because he wasn’t sure if he was going to keep me or not), we all went out to dinner in the hotel restaurant, and then I had to tell him, “Look, I’m already married. I can’t do this for you, too. I have my own kid. My own husband.” His poor wife was sad, and said that she had liked me. Was I sure I couldn’t do it and work something out?

After the dinner, we went back to their room, which was totally messy again because 77 boys lived there, and I gave his wife a little kerchief thing that I had knit out of orange and white wool yarn (similar to a frilly scarf I knit a few years ago in real life) and all of a sudden a friend of mine (in real life) was there, and she was absolutely livid that I’d given the kerchief to the wife, because apparently I’d promised it to her. She barged out of the room, furious, and I woke up thinking, what did I do to make her so angry? Had I promised to give her the kerchief in real life? But then of course, as I woke up I realized that the kerchief didn’t exist in the first place.

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve had a dream I could remember in such detail! And it seemed so long! At the end of all this, my daughter woke up and crawled into bed with me, telling me she’d had a nightmare about a truck chasing her. Poor kiddo. I remember the chasing sorts of dreams– I had them a lot. People running after me with guns, me having to jump fences. Is it part of our brain development that forces us to have such scary dreams when we are 7-12?

I'm shocked that there are still fictional villagers living there. I'd be scared. Every week, some geriatric goes on a veritable killing spree.
I’m shocked that there are still fictional villagers living there. I’d be scared. Every week, some geriatric goes on a veritable killing spree.

For me, however, it’s a relief to have something to analyze, to have some proof that my brain is still working. I’ve been so brain dead for the past few weeks! I’ve done nothing but watch Ghost Hunt and Midsomer Murders on Netflix, and play a lot of Kitchen Scramble and Candy Crush on Facebook. It’s all my brain has been capable of. I’ve finally been able to read again– something about the prednisone I’ve been taking makes my eyes all smeary– so that’s a relief. You can only watch so much Ghost Hunt before you start thinking, “Enough with the spoon-bending, Naru! Let it go!” or so much Midsomer Murders before you start to realize that miniscule English villages have got to be the most lethal places to live. Most of the villagers seem to be over 50, yet they still get up to all kinds of sexytimes and murderous rampages. Midlife crises are a bitch, apparently, in the Midsomer area. Something in the water?

My days have been filled with Kitchen Scramble. I'm not proud. But nobody dies, and there's food.
My days have been filled with Kitchen Scramble. I’m not proud. But nobody dies, and there’s food.

Seriously, though, thank God for Netflix. When I was little, I used to park on the couch and watch hours and hours of KMPH, channel 26. Morning cartoons, afternoon matinees, Barnaby Jones, Quincy– and random movies from the 70s. Even cable doesn’t have that sort of mindless viewing anymore. If you don’t like reality shows (and I don’t, except for some cooking shows or documentaries) you are getting gypped by cable TV. So thank God for Netflix and the bottomless bucket of mysteries and anime.

I’m still fuzzy, and the day ahead will soon be lost to more Ghost Hunt and Jo Nesbø’s The Redbreast, and many, many Mexican ice pops will be sacrificed. And this too shall pass.

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