Hey all. I know I don’t blog in this category very often, but ever since I started working for a living, my dreams have been trending less coherent and harder to remember. All the same, I had a long and coherent one last night, which I would like to share with you now. I largely suspect that my dream was inspired in part by the fact that I fast-wound through Knight Rider‘s third season premier, “Knight of the Drones” last night.
Hit the jump for the details…
In last night’s dream, I played the role of a rookie crime scene investigator, and not the boring kind like in real life (Incidentally, I actually know a real-life crime scene investigator, who is anything but boring, but still), but an exciting adventurous type like on the hit NBC drama CSI. More specifically, I, in fact, was one of the crime scene investigators on the hit NBC Drama, CSI. In the course of investigating a crime, I and my colleagues were investigating some evidence which was conveniently placed in front of my car, which was, so close as I can tell, parked in the parking lot at my old high school.
Said colleagues included loveable but dopey Greg Sanders, Spocklike Gil Grissom, and Pointy-Haired-Bosslike Conrad Ecklie. Having the benefit of experiencing the action of the dream from both the first person perspective of my character in it, and also as a detached observer in the third person, I knew that the previous night, Ecklie himself had, in what the director had tried very hard to convince us was a sign of his having a deep dark secret, panicked and thrown a disposable syringe behind my car. I led Greg there, feeling all the while conflicted. For those of you at home not familiar with the show, Conrad Ecklie is a comparatively minor character, originally Grissom’s day-shift counterpart, but later his boss. Ecklie is career-minded, politically savvy, and spiteful, and we’re all supposed to hate him and want him to turn out to be on the take or have a heroin problem or whatever. On the other hand, Ecklie is also a competent CSI, and the other side of his being a total dick in order to advance his career is that he’s actually good at his job. Further, the scene of Ecklie discarding the syringe was so obviously a bit of misdirection that it’s obvious he’ll turn out to not be doing anything wrong, which I know in my role as a detatched observer, but which I am genre-blind to in my role as a participant. In fact, observer-me has already worked it out (It’s going to turn out that Ecklie has diabetes and it’s an insulin syringe. I largely know this because the discarded syringe is pretty much identical to the ones we used to use on the cat. Never mind that it’s kind of an old fashioned way for a human being with a good job and health insurance to be using. This is both TV and a dream), but participant-me has to go through the story, possibly to learn a Very Important Lesson about jumping to conclusions, and somehow the fact that my heart wasn’t pure will counter the fact that to not bring this to the attention of important people seems to kinda be the converse of my job.
Anyway, this bit takes like a second, but dreams don’t really work on the same notions of linear time as real life does. (I once had a teacher insist at me that real life does not take place in linear time “because your mind bounces around forward and backward in time” and this was why non-linear “female” narratives (her term) were “more realistic” than “masculine” ones that had no heart and soul and related events in the order they occurred. I think she didn’t understand what “real life” means.). Grissom catches me trying to explain what the syringe means, and comes over, though I has been trying to keep him out of it until Ecklie wasn’t nearby. He won’t let me explain or collect the evidence, and instead gives me sort of look that indicates that he knows more than I do, and is probably a better person too, and we are led inside the high school. Which may also be our lab, I’m not sure. I try to explain that, no, I’m not trying to make implications about Ecklie using drugs, though, hey, maybe he is, and no, I don’t expect Grissom to seize this opportunity to discredit his nemesis and advance his own career (Though the phrase “And then everyone moves up a rung” was spoken), but that I don’t think we ought to sweep this under the rug. I point out that, as part of the backstory, Ecklie has thrown some sort of fit when the health insurance folks came through and wanted to force everyone in the lab to take some kind of blood test so they could, I don’t know, have the slow ones in the pack put down, and suggest that if he’s got some kind of health problem that he doesn’t want anyone to know about, this could somehow compromise the integrity of the lab, as I skip over actual dialogue and instead use the power of an Imagine Spot to show how Ecklie might go into, say, DKA at a scene and pass out, tainting evidence.
But this all goes nowhere as some new piece of evidence, or perhaps enhancing some old evidence, leads me to a mall, which, despite any resemblance being coincidental, my brain tells me is the long-extinct Jumper’s Hole Mall (Which Leah and I drove by the exit for last night. I can’t be sure how much my memory tells the truth, but what I recall of the Jumper’s Hole Mall tells me that it looked just like the also-extinct Ocean Gateway Mall in Ocean City, where Leah and I were Wednesday). There is some sort of psychic’s shop set up in the mall, and through its window, I can see a woman with Caribbean features, dressed in your stereotypical fortune teller’s costume (If you imagine Calypso from Pirates of the Caribbean you’ll be pretty close), gesticulating over a contraption that looks like a sort of amber orb nested in a Cat’s cradle frame of dark wood. This device will be called an “Alien Fetish” in the dream, thanks to backstory, a term which is funnier in the waking world. She is the who that dunnit in the investigation I’m working on, but also, as I know thanks to my third-person perspective, an alien bent on world domination. Using her fetish. I arrive on the scene at the same time as Jared Martin (who had played the villain in the aforementioned Knight Rider episode, hence the connection) as more-or-less Harrison Blackwood, his character from the 1989 War of the Worlds TV series (Yes. Really. There was one. It was pretty good.). I kept wanting to call him “Dusty”, which apparently is something that he gets called a lot, because he played a character named Dusty on Dallas, a show I never watched, and can’t can’t remember him being on. I, again thanks to my third-person-perspective, knew that he was from a secret government counter-alien agency, though, thanks to my first-person genre blindness, I take this as “The feds are trying to muscle in on our investigation.” That’s right. Alien body-snatchers, and I’m worried about jurisdiction.
Dusty wants to go in guns-a-blazing, which indicates that he’s not quite his character from War of the Worlds (who was a peacenik), but I persuade him to pursue a more subtle approach, by which we engineer it so that she is compelled to leave, and, as she crosses a highway, I obtain the alien fetish by the simple expedient of pickpocketing it from her. Unfortunately, I blow my stealth roll or something, because she fights back and throws Dusty into the street, in the path of an oncoming bus.
Now, at this point, there’s a sort of fork in my perception, wherein I know what is supposed to happen, but my ability to perceive events as an outside observer gives me the ability to trump this. I’m supposed to somehow sacrifice the Alien Fetish in order to save Dusty, thus ensuring that the episode ends as a zero-sum-game without either side getting this powerful whatever it is. Instead, I just use the Alien Fetish, sort of holding it out in front of me like a weapon, pointing it as Dusty, and thinking at it really hard. I’m not sure exactly what this does, but, despite neither of them seeming to move, the bus fails to hit Dusty, as he is somehow sprawled a bit to the left.
I think I may have gotten too close to being lucid at this point, because I woke up after this.