Monday, August 15, 2011


Illustration by JoAnne Salmon
Lately, I've been having some f**ked up, throw-your-pillow-away, crazy dreams.

They started a few weeks ago, around the time that my best friend recounted one of hers in her Facebook status update. The storyline went something like this: She was the surrogate mother for Nick Lachey and his new wife Vanessa Minnillo, and in the climactic scene, she gave birth to a baby who practically walked out of her womb. He was born walking -- not crawling, walking. Do status updates get any stranger?

It seems like since the morning when I spent a full 15 minutes laughing as I pictured the scene in that delivery room, my dreams have gotten just as offbeat -- though, thankfully, none of them have involved my carrying the spawn of C-list -- no, D-list -- celebrities. Aside from all those weirdo stream-of-consciousness dreams that are more a series of disconnected images and vignettes than actual stories (it's like dreaming an anthology of very short shorts directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, John Schlesinger, and Stanley Kubrick), my nightmares and not-so-nightmares have featured all of the usual suspects: collapsing buildings (a recurring night vision in the 10 years since I saw the second tower go down live on September 11), falling and not being able to get up, being chased, being nude in public, and being a soap-opera character (usually on One Life to Live or Days of Our Lives, my two favorites).

Then of course, there are the celebrities. Some see dead people; I see famous ones. But these days, only in my dreams. Not necessarily after I've watched a particular movie or spent all day listening to a certain album. Most of the celebrities who drop by and hang out in my subconscious when I'm asleep are totally random. They're not always A-list. Some of them wouldn't even qualify for Dancing with the Stars or Celebrity Apprentice. I'm still not sure what Sarah Jessica Parker was doing in my dream last night (read all about it here), but the fact that she was acting more like Miranda Priestly than Carrie Bradshaw tells me that it had everything to do with tough bosses and working 9-to-5.

You see, 20 years ago today, I kicked off my professional journalism career as a reporting intern at People magazine. It's been a wild, crazy, trippy two decades since. I've worked with real-life Miranda Priestlys and Carrie Bradshaws, and even once met Sarah Jessica Parker backstage at Late Night with David Letterman. (She was a lot nicer than she was in the dream.) My brushes with celebrity have dwindled since I left New York City for Buenos Aires in 2006, but only during the daytime. Though I still dream about famous people, when I'm awake, there's so much more to my life and my work now than celebrities.

But I'm still not sure where all of that time went. My brother says I'm just getting warmed up. My latest dream, which hopefully, will prove not to be so elusive, is that he's right.
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