I Dreamed I Saw Paree Last Night…
The other night I had a long and tortuous Corona-inspired dream.
I had finally managed to get out of Illinois and the good old USA. I was in Paris at some kind of event or function I had helped organize, but it was in a strange part of Paris that looked more like Chicago or Minneapolis. It was one of those boring "procedural" dreams where you find yourself in the wrong room and cannot seem to locate the correct floor, and when you do, your number is nowhere to be found.
Miraculously, I got everything straightened out, and it was time to get out of town. The hotel flunkey offered to put my bags in the car, but he then moved the car to some place where I couldn't find it. I set off through the streets of Paris, never taking the correct turn, and I ended up paddling a canoe in a canal that started off looking like one of those narrow bridge-crossed streams in Bruges but widened out into the bright sunlight of the Venetian Lagoon.
I went up a ladder to a rickety landing area that collapsed under my feet into the water, drawing me down into the drink. A grinning idiot jumped into the water to rescue me, and no matter how many times I told him, "Je sais nager!" he still locked his arm around my neck and dragged me to land. He then expected a reward and offered to help in negotiating with the owner of the property I had destroyed. "It's gonna cost a lot to rebuild that dock."
I told him repeatedly what he could do with his advice and explained that if were not in such a hurry, I'd be suing the dock-owner for damages. Finally disengaging myself from the unwelcome rescuer, I found myself back at my hotel, still looking for the car. There were different employees at the desk and in the office, and no one remembered anything about me.
I went out again to continue the fruitless search, when a young man and two girls came walking by. I decided to ask them directions, but they did not speak English, apparently, and my French disappeared. The girls mocked my American ignorance, but I was determined to be polite, and as I walked away, I said very carefully, "Au revoir." The girls laughed uproariously, and one of them shouted, "The way he says it, it sounds like a brand of rice," first in French and then in flawless English.
I am sure all this means something more than my fear that when I do get out of this prison, the world will have turned into Rockford. Since there is nothing else to do, I am searching the local supermarkets for Au Revoir Rice.