A sweet heist, an incomprehensible war, and throuple problems
I have Covid. I’ll be OK, but as you can imagine Covid puts a damper on writing Situation Normal. For one thing, I’m quarantining, which limits my interactions with the oddballs, scammers, kind strangers, and dip-shits I rely on for inspiration. Another thing, I feel like crap, and it’s difficult to write when you feel like crap.
My plan was to call in sick, but then the drugs got the better of me. And by drugs, I mean NyQuil. I take NyQuil because the label promises to relieve your symptoms so you can get some rest. But what the label fails to mention is that NyQuil can also give you strange dreams. Really strange dreams. The kind of dreams Sigmund Freud wouldn’t interpret with a ten-foot phallic symbol.
I should probably keep my strange dreams to myself, but my whole schtick is turning lemons into lemonade, narratively speaking. So I decided to share a few of these dope-sick dreams with you.
Enjoy & I’m so sorry!
The Dream Without Subtitles
I am in a trench, which explains the trench coat.
It must be World War One in the dream, but obviously we don’t call it World War One because those of us in the dream don’t know there will be a sequel. So, I guess it’s The Great War.
Except, war isn’t so great. Because there’s lots of death and destruction all around me. And rats. Big hairy rats with tails as long as my fingers and teeth as sharp as the barbered wire strung up all around our trench.
Suddenly, there’s a boom. A big boom. Followed by another boom. And another boom. And another. This is artillery, and it sends everyone in the trench scurrying for cover.
I get the feeling like I’m supposed to do something about the artillery—something besides pissing my pants.
To my left, there’s a telephone. Maybe I should call someone, and maybe that someone can either return fire on our behalf, or ask the people who are shelling us to stop.
I reach for the phone, press the receiver to my ear, and begin to speak. But I have no idea what I’m saying because I’m speaking German.
Apparently, in my dreams, I’m a fluent German speaker. I speak for what feels like hours. My voice is guttural and harsh, just like the Germans in the movies.
My words work! The shelling suddenly stops. The grey sky turns blue. Birds begin to chirp. And all around me everyone is smiling and eating Chinese takeout.
Did I order the takeout?
I guess so.
Because now another German soldier is yelling at me in English, and he’s pissed.
“You didn’t order any mu shu pork! Why didn’t you order any mu shu pork, asshole?!”
The Movie Theater Heist Dream
Somehow everyone who follows me on Twitter got the word to meet at a local movie theater for a matinee screening. It’s possible that I tweeted the meet-up out to my 1,266 Twitter followers, but that wasn’t part of the dream. We were all just there, and it was understood that we were there because of our Twitter connection. We were also there to see a movie, or so I thought.
The movie was an adaption of The Winter of Frankie Machine, Don Winslow’s underrated crime novel about a mob hit man who retired to San Diego, where he runs a bait shop and lives as Frank The Bait Guy, a respected and beloved member of the beach community. In the story, Frankie’s new life gets turned upside down when a mob boss from his past calls in a favor. But the favor is a set-up. Someone wants Frankie Machine dead, which is understandable because mob hit men make a lot of enemies, but it’s also a clever narrative device, forcing Frankie Machine to shoot his way through a hornet’s nest of trouble while trying to unravel a deadly mystery from his past.
The Winter of Frankie Machine is one of my favorite novels. For years, I’ve been telling everyone to read the book. I’ve dreamed of seeing The Winter of Frankie Machine on the big screen, and here it is. This was turning out to be a good dream! And it was about to get even better because I was sitting next to Don Winslow!
“Michael, can you do me a favor?” Don Winslow asked.
Could I do Don Winslow a favor? In Winslow’s books favors get you killed, but in my book I’d kill to do Don Winslow a favor.
“Sure thing!” I said.
“I’d like a popcorn,” Don Winslow said. “Lots of butter, easy on the salt.”
I jumped up from my seat and ran to the lobby. But when I got to the concession stand, the dream took a criminal turn. Some of my Twitter followers had bound and gagged the concessions workers, while rest of my Twitter followers used hammers and crowbars to break open the candy drawers. This wasn’t a screening, it was a heist!
We cleaned out the concession stand, filling garbage bag after garbage bag with peanut M&Ms, Sour Patch Kids, and Milk Duds. We took everything, even the Raisinets.
It was a crime against cinema—literally!
And we would’ve gotten away with it too, except there was one problem.
Instead of keeping quiet about the heist, we went on Twitter, where we argued over how we’d divvy up our heist.
The Throuple Problems Dream
I was driving a dump truck. I guess we owned the dump truck, and by we, I mean me, Christina, and an unidentified man we’ll call “Leonardo.” I guess somewhere in this dream timeline, Christina and I stopped being a couple, opened up our marriage to Leonardo, and the three of us became a throuple.
I met Christina and Leonardo at the Tesla dealership at the Woodland Hills mall. The plan was to trade-in the dump truck for a Tesla, and then maybe get something to eat at the food court. But as soon as we got to the Tesla dealership things went to shit.
“I want a motorcycle,” Leonardo said.
“Tesla doesn’t make motorcycles,” Christina said.
“And motorcycles aren’t practical for three people,” I said.
“We’ll get a sidecar for the motorcycle,” Leonardo said. “Michael can ride behind me because I like the feel of his bear-hugs, and Christina can ride in the sidecar so she can navigate with her phone.”
I look at Christina, who usually navigates in real life. I could picture her in a sidecar, but she wasn’t having it. She wanted a pink Tesla convertible, and I got the feeling she wasn’t going to take no for answer.
“You guys,” I said, “Tesla only makes cars. None of them come in pink, and none of them are convertibles. We need to be reasonable!”
Reasonable sounded good to me, but Christina and Leonardo went ape-shit.
Leonardo threw a temper tantrum that began with him pounding his fists on the floor and ended in tears.
Christina didn’t cry. She said something about being the only one in our throuple with big dick energy. Then she took a chainsaw out of her purse and began to turn the Model Y on the showroom floor into a convertible.
“Maybe you guys should do some online research,” the Tesla saleswoman said.
“I’m so sorry,” I said. “I don’t think we’re ready to buy today.”
“That’s OK,” the saleswoman said.
“I was really hoping to get rid of this dump truck, though. It’s a very bumpy ride.”
“I understand. And if it makes you feel better, a lot of couples have trouble choosing which Tesla is right for them.”
“We’re a throuple, actually.”
“What’s a throuple?” she asked.
“It’s like a couple, but fifty percent more compromise.”
Thanks for reading Situation Normal! Subscribe for free to get new posts & support my work 👇
TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK!
I love hearing from readers after every story! If you have something nice to say, please leave a comment bellow👇
Or, if you’re the type of person who needs a prompt, consider the following questions:
Does cold medicine ever give you strange dreams?
What’s the strangest dream you can remember?
What’s your go-to cold/flu/covid remedy? When I’m sick, I’m all about soup, tea, and goldfish. Share what makes you feel better!
If you were going to rob a concession stand, what candy would you steal? What candy would you leave behind?
How many languages do you speak? Do you dream in multiple languages?
If you’re in a relationship, what’s your best advice for compromising with your partner(s)?
Why doesn’t Tesla make pink convertibles?
Have you read any Don Winslow books?
SPREAD THE WORD!
Sharing Situation Normal is the #1 way to support my work & it means more than you could possibly know. Please forward this email to a friend, post this story on social media, or hit the share button 👇
STILL WANNA SHOW YOUR SUPPORT?
Hit that ❤️ button 🙏👇