Wednesday, February 18, 2009

fires, group trips, and Southern Cooking

I was on a [wait for it!] group trip, and we were all staying in a high-rise hotel. There didn't seem to be any staff or even any guests not in our group, although I didn't find that strange. It was at night, and we were all just kind of hanging around waiting for something when someone noticed smoke wafting in from a distant part of the hotel. It was decided that we had exactly an hour to get out of the hotel, and that we would meet outside at the end of the hour. No one seemed very worried about it; everyone I saw was going on with their hanging-out activities until near the end of the hour.

When the time was almost up, everyone started running around and heading for the elevators (it didn't occur to anyone in the dream that we shouldn't be taking elevators in a burning building). I started grabbing random items: purse, a change or two of clothing. I was trying to figure out which would be the most useful clothing items to take with me, and my hands were getting full. I also took my childhood stuffed Curious George, although, vexingly, there were suddenly two of him and I couldn't figure out which one was the "real" Curious George. About then I realized that I could have easily used the hour to pack up all my stuff and just taken it all with me instead of risking it burning up. For some reason I had been under the impression that we were supposed to take only what we could grab at the last minute, to make it more of an Emergency Scenario. I was vaguely resentful that I hadn't thought of it, and I wondered if everyone else had packed their bags, or if they were just doing last-minute grabbing too. I was getting ready to be resentful of everyone who had packed, because they hadn't been coerced by an inaccurate impression of what the "authorities" wanted them to do and would not only not lose any possessions but would also be cool and put-together instead of dropping things out of too-full hands.

After that I was in a gym-type building, for some kind of vaguely Adventist meeting. People were sitting on rows of chairs, and vaguely Afro-Caribbean food was being served: some kind of beans and rice, really delicious fried lumps of mashed plantain, and some kind of whole-wheat-looking cookies or biscuits that were in a messy state of tabletop preparation. My mother (?) said, "That's Southern Cooking!", which kind of embarassed me.

As I was standing there contemplating the food, an African guy who had a crush on me* walked past and touched my hair, then continued on to sit with a very kind- and meek-looking wife and cute little son. I was mortified that a married man with a child not only had a thing for me but was expressing it somewhat openly in a public setting (his wife didn't see it). Then an ex-boyfriend showed up beside me and hinted somewhat snarkily that since I was looking at the cookies, the mess would soon disappear because I would consume everything, crumbs and all.

*I don't know how I knew he had a thing for me, it was just an established fact.


CëRïSë said...

Seriously. It's dreams like this that make me think we share a subconscious. And also make me hungry!

Curly Sue said...

I swear, you have an even bigger phobia about group trips than I do.