What was going on yesterday:
T was planning a family trip.
I’d been driving R around for three days so she could film for her second documentary about homelessness and I kept forgetting to take pictures of her filming.
One of the homeless guys R was interviewing, upon being asked what he needed most, replied that he could really use a motorbike.
Another one talked about having to sneak into his sleeping place late at night, because otherwise the police chase him away.
Halfway through her filming, R discovered that the video card wouldn’t empty, and we had to buy another one.
Russia and Ukraine are in turmoil. Men in uniforms have taken over several Ukranian military bases. It seems they are Russian, though the Russians say those uniforms could be anything.
T and I messaged back and forth about who was going to take B to math tutoring in the evening.
R’s film teacher called us when we were almost home to say that R didn’t turn in a wire thingy that connects the mic to the camera–it’s black and spirally, like a telephone cord, and sure enough, it was in the trunk–so we had to drive 45 minutes back to school and then 70 minutes back home because by then it was rush hour.
We were almost out of cat food.
I watched an episode of The Borgias, starring Jeremy Irons, on Netflix.
So here’s what I dreamed last night:
T planned a hiking vacation in Russia. “For something different.” So here we are, somewhere in rural Russia, walking along the road in an amazing forest, when I need to pee.
We come upon a campground with tents and cute little cabins and a store. All very retro fifties and forest cozy. But no bathrooms. So I ask the lady at the store where the bathrooms are. “There are no bathrooms for people who just want to pee. You have to be a member of the campground.”
“Well, what about the tent campers? Where do they pee?”
“What tent campers? Are they at it again? Guard, guard! There’s tenters again!”
A uniformed guard blows a shrill whistle and runs off to shoo away the illegal tent campers.
I ask the lady if she doesn’t have a bathroom in the back of her store. “Yes, but that’s only for the lesser cabins.”
“Don’t the cabins have their own bathrooms?”
“Not the lesser cabins. The superior cabins do, but you have to be a party member to get one of those.”
She changes her mind and let’s me pee in the bathroom in the back of her store. I have to scramble at the end, though, because the guard has come back and suspects I’m in there.
Afterward T and I sit in the grass among the evicted tenters, deciding which direction to go. There’s a storm coming from the east, but the west looks very hot. Suddenly T remembers that when he booked the trip, the Russian embassy threw in a motorbike. And sure enough, there it is, standing right beside us. T suggests we go east, because even if there’s a storm, we can ride it out on the bike.
Or maybe we just have different expectations of a motorbike.
It’s old, and when T tries to start it, it doesn’t work. He says it’s okay, he can just ride it like a bike, and when I get tired, I can hop on the back. We get started. T cycles very slowly on the heavy motorbike and I can’t imagine him being able to cycle me up a hill on it, in a storm. “This vacation is going to suck,” I mumble, following behind.
The bike disappears, and we both walk, enjoying the countryside. We are so far north that the house cats have tufted ears, but I only have the Russian camera the embassy threw in for free, and, like the motorbike, it doesn’t work. Russia is beautiful, but the Russian officials drive us nuts. They haven’t figured out yet that tourism could make the country some serious money. I say something to one of the officials that irks him and we have to flee the country.
Next thing I know, we’re in Greece. In the hotel room we realize we lost Anna (our family cat when I was a teenager) in Russia, and we decide that Freddy (one of our present cats) must stay in the room. I’m heartbroken about Anna and I’m searching our luggage for my own camera because I’m getting seriously frustrated with that Russian piece of shit. I find my camera and out pops Anna as well! Things are looking up.
We need cat food, though. And the hotel is in the center of a tourist area, with no supermarkets anywhere near. Then Jeremy Irons, who lives nearby with his wife, overhears T and me discuss the lack of stores and he offers to drive me to the suburbs, to a mall with a supermarket.
It’s rush hour and the highways are packed, so I say, “That’s awfully kind of you, but it’ll take hours and I wouldn’t want to take up that much of your time.”
“Oh, not to worry, my dear,” says Jeremy Irons. “Rush hour doesn’t bother us.”
“Hop in,” says his wife, and I hop into a strange convertible. Jeremy Irons stretches out a huge Slinky that’s attached to the back of the car, stretches it out so much that he can climb into it, stretches it out some more . . . “Hold on tight!” he says, pulls in his legs and makes himself straight as a rod inside the Slinky spiral.
It’s not as easy as it sounds.
The car shoots off and flies over hills and mountains. Mrs Irons points out different points of interest while Jeremy Irons holds on for dear life to the Slinky extended from the car. We land uneventfully at the mall. I get cat food, Jeremy Irons has a little Spiderman-like adventure where he’s suspected of committing a crime, but he does a few incredible Slinky stunts that save the day and we go back to the hotel.
Where I arrive just in time to overhear T telling another tourist that we have to pick up B from my mother-in-law’s around 5 pm.
“You planned a three-week vacation in Russia and you told your mother we would pick B up by five? How’s that going to work?”
T starts to answer but the guy says something funny and T laughs and forgets I’m there. I storm off, furious and at the same time fully expecting T to follow me to apologize, so I can get him away from the other guy and get him to focus and realize we have a problem. But T doesn’t follow me so I do some sight-seeing. And damn if I haven’t got the Russian camera with me again!
This is not T
When I find T again, he’s befriended a Russian soldier. He’s even bought the soldier’s spare uniform and he’s wearing it, looking like an imbecile. The soldier has convinced him that I’m a harpy and if he’s going to be a real Russian man, he should ignore me. Which he does.
Since I’m a harpy in both their eyes anyway, I yank T toward me and I ask him through my gnashing teeth when he’s going to stop joking about with this idiot and think about what B is going to do after 5 pm.
Before he can answer, the phone rings and wakes me up.