I seem to be dreaming about movie stars a lot lately. I wonder what that means. I had 2 dreams last night: in the 1st one, Edward Norton and I were walking down a poorly-lit street in NYC on a very cold winter night, and we went down into a church basement where a soup kitchen was operating. The dining area, several long tables with wooden chairs, was poorly-lit, as if the operation didn't have enough money for powerful light bulbs, or enough light bulbs. Like most soup kitchens, this one wasn't serving soup: tonight they had hot dogs, not particularly good hot dogs, boiled and served on not particularly good buns, with ketchup on them and no other condiments in sight, strike three.
In the dream Edward Norton was both the movie star Edward Norton, and the character he played in spike Lee's 25th Hour, a convicted felon out on bail on the last night before he has to report to prison to begin serving a long term. Unlike in the movie, Norton was clean-shaven. He looked very young. I was the only one of his friends around. I don't know why he and I were friends in the dream except maybe that he and I both volunteered at the soup kitchen. It was unusual that they were serving food at night, and the place was crowded with people eating. I didn't know what day it was, but the meal at night and the heavy attendance made me think that maybe it was Christmas Eve.
Norton -- or, actually, as everyone called him in the dream: Edward -- got himself some hot dogs and found a place to sit at one of the tables. I wasn't particularly tempted by the hot dogs.
I heard someone singing. It sounded like Michael Stipe. As with every REM record, I couldn't make out a lot of the words, and I couldn't comprehend a message conveyed by the words I did make out. But the voice was beautiful. I looked around, and saw that it was Edward singing as he stared off into space. No one else paid any attention to the singing, which I found odd.
Then Scarlett Johansson came in and said hello to me. Like Edward and I and most of the other people, she was wearing a heavy winter coat which she didn't take off, taking a while to warm up. I asked if she was getting something to eat, she made a face. I asked if she was vegan. She didn't answer that. We were near the entrance to the room, and Edward was seating near the other end of the room, facing the other way. He had stopped singing and was eating his hot dogs.
Scarlett asked me if Edward was there. I said yes and pointed in his direction. "There," I said, "you see the back of his head there?" She said that she did. But she didn't move. I gathered that she didn't want to approach Edward alone. I didn't want to make their meeting awkward by being right there in the middle of it. But eventually I figured out that Scarlett wanted me to be in the middle of the meeting. So I walked over toward Edward with her. I wondered if perhaps they had dated, and Scarlett was afraid Edward might get clingy, and she wouldn't know just exactly how to tell him to get away, on this particular night, right before his prison term would start.
When we were close behind him I said, "Edward, somebody's looking for you." Edward stood up and gave Scarlett a hug, and he did seem smitten and clingy. After they had talked for a short while, Scarlett gave him another hug, a long one, and then a kiss on the cheek, and she nodded at me and said, "We've gotta go."
I played along as if I had expected all of this. When we were back up on the poorly-lit street, Scarlett wiped some tears from her eyes and told me, "Thanks." I didn't know what to do or say. Eventually I decided to open my arms in a gesture offering her a hug. She held me very tightly. She was short and I'm 6'3", I had to stay hunched over or I was going to lift her off of the ground. After a long hug she said Thank you again and asked if she could buy me dinner. She said, "I know a good vegan place, are you up for that?" I said it sounded great, and I woke up.
Then I went back to sleep, and Chris Noth and I and two other detectives, a man and a woman, were in an undercover operation to infiltrate a business fronting for some criminal enterprise. In the dream, Chris Noth was not Chris Noth, but a real detective. We weren't in NYC, there was very new architecture everywhere you looked. We were meeting with some reps from the company at a sidewalk cafe, trying to get the go ahead to come in and apply for jobs.
Chris was wearing one of those dresses made for men. The skirt came down to just below his knee, and the top showed a lot of his shoulders and chess and back. I thought it looked like a dress made for an enormous woman. I didn't think it looked good on Chris, but I admired the confidence with which he wore it. No-one else seemed to think he looked strange.
All four of us got the go-ahead to come in for job applications the next day. The next day Chris was wearing a conventional men's suit with checkered tan trousers and jacket, a white shirt and a nice silk tie. It was the sort of suit I would pick out for myself if I had a big suit budget. I was wearing something I never would've picked out for myself: all solid colors, dark blue jacket and pants and a dark green shirt with no tie, no collar and no buttons, which fit snugly and came down to just past my waist, and didn't tuck into my pants.
I had no idea what we were doing, what sort of crime the criminals were suspected of, how we planned to expose them -- nothing.
The businesses office were splendid and airy, with free-standing staircases and big monitors all over the walls with what looked like financial charts. Again: I had no idea what that was on the monitors, and I felt I should know. And I seemed unable to find one free moment in which to give my fellow detectives a heads-up that I was lost.
I made a joke about my outfit, saying that I bet Chuck Woolery would like it. No one even smiled at my joke. On the contrary, both the criminal and my colleagues just glared at me as if they were priests and I had made a tasteless joke about the Pope. I didn't know if they were offended because I didn't seem to appreciate the fine quality of my own duds, or what fine taste Chuck Woolery has in clothes, or both.
All four of us and three other job applicants were subjected to rapid-fire Q & A's, with cameras recording our responses and computers analyzing the footage with heat sensors, sonic scanners and all sorts of high-tech equipment. After the Q & A's two of the non-detectives were thanked for their time and told that the company had no positions for them at this time. The other five of us were asked to make ourselves comfortable on some sofas in an office. A company rep came in, closed the door behind him and said that all five of us had lied in our interviews. Involuntarily, we detectives exchanged worried looks, wondering whether we had blown our cover. Then the company rep laughed. He was just having some fun with us. He told us that, what with the high percentage of inappropriately-personal questions in the Q & A's, everybody lied at least at little during them. We five had lied little enough to suit the company's standards. All five of us could probably count on drawing a salary as of today, there were just a few formalities left, but he was sure all five of us were in.
Then I woke up.