IN THE DREAMHOUSE : Daycare Time Travel Improv

              This was a significant dream because of the way it followed me into wakefulness, with no clear line between the subconscious and conscious mind.
              I was dreaming in the early hours before I woke up, influenced obviously by watching episodes of “Abby & Brittany,” the documentary/reality show about conjoined twins who work as student teachers with elementary school kids.

Abby and Brittany. I love these girls.

              My sister and I were working at a day care center, and organizing a play with the kids. I don’t know what my “sister” looked like, and we weren’t actually conjoined. But we were making occasional asides to a documentary film crew, explaining what we were doing with the kids. That’s why I’m sure it was influenced by Abby & Brittany.
              We were going to need to use water in the play, because there were scenes by a river, and something about carrying a bucket of water, so my sister and I had hired a man and a woman who were water technicians so we could have real water in the play.
              The water techs came in with all this equipment, and I told them they could set up in the bathroom. Apparently real water is very complicated.
              The kids were all sitting in a group on the floor, and my sister and I were walking around them, asking comprehension questions, to make sure they understood why the water techs were there, and that they all understood their parts in the play. Their parents were there, too, on the sidelines. Then we had a break so they could all work on props and costumes and stuff. I was narrating for the film crew how nice it was to see the parents and kids all doing their part. For example, a black boy was ironing a purple shirt for a costume, under the direction of his father. I was very impressed that a father and son were willing to do ironing. (It wasn’t significant that he was black, I just thought I’d mention that because I was pleased to note our daycare center was at least somewhat ethnically diverse.)
              We started doing run-throughs of the script, and getting into the concepts in the play. It was a time travel story, with at least one scene in settler times, hence the rustic water bucket.
              One of our littlest charges, a tiny little girl with a pixy haircut, was narrating for that weirdly omnipresent documentary film crew (a la Abby & Brittany) how her directions were to act out a time travel scene on the street, and if a passerby came into the shot, she was to pull them into the scene with her, and hopefully get them to improv with her. She was like Dakota Fanning or something, eerily mature for her age.
              My perspective in the dream shifted, and I was suddenly a stranger on the street, and that precocious little actress was dragging me into the scene about a time travel vortex. It was really tricky, because as a stranger I had no idea what the broader context of the story was, any details I could work with. But I decided to go along with it anyway.
              I had been holding some bags or something, like Anthony and I had been out shopping, and he was there with me. I handed him my stuff, plus my wallet and keys for some reason, as if those things would have been impediments to being able to act/improv effectively. As I was handing him all this stuff to hold while I participated in the scene, I said in a hokey stage voice, “Oh, no, the time vortex has ripped all my identification away from me! If I die in some past era, no one will know who I was!”

Every daycare play needs a T-Rex.

              Somewhere around this point in the dream, I was waking up. There was a perfectly seamless transition between dreaming and day-dreaming, though. It took me a few moments lying there in bed completely awake before I thought, “Why am I day-dreaming all this weird shit about a time travel improv?” And then I realized that my brain had continued the dream from sleep to wakefulness. I’ve never had a transition as seamless as that before, I can’t even explain how weird it was. Usually you wake up and the dream evaporates, and you maybe remember some of it, but your brain doesn’t just keep going. It’s like somebody forgot to say “cut!” and my brain just kept the film rolling. I even turned off my alarm while I was trying to come up with dialogue for the scene. I really wanted to work dinosaurs in, but wasn’t sure if the kids had the budget for that.
              Anyway, before my brain finally said cut! we finished the scene, and the film crew were all so delighted with my brilliantly comedic performance that they begged me to keep filming with them. But I knew Anthony wanted to continue shopping, rather than hang out with these complete strangers, and I didn’t want to hog the children’s spotlight, so I demurred. For the sake of the children.
              They were like, “How will we explain your character’s absence now?”
              I suggested they have the very next scene begin in dinosaur times with the little girl at a makeshift grave for me, because I DID in fact die! Isn’t that funny? For some reason in the dream/day-dream it was, like, SUPER funny.
              Anyway, that’s about when I was awake enough to realize I didn’t have to figure out how to explain my character’s absence in their stupid time travel daycare improv.