I drifted off late this afternoon and had this dream:
It is dark outside. I am wearing a grey three-piece business suit and no hat. I am walking down a street with my grandfather. He is roughly my age, but he looks a little bit more like a young Jimmy Stewart than the pictures I’ve seen of Grampa at my age. He is dressed similarly, except that you can see a thin, silver fob chain leading from a vest button to a pocket.
We walk into a corner bar. There’s no password to get inside and there’s no evident attempt to hide the fact that it’s a bar, which means this is the post-Prohibition 1930s. The place is empty. The lights are brighter than you’d expect in a bar. The booths, tables, and chairs are finished with a dark stain. The walls, strangely, are neither finished nor painted nor papered. The whole place is so brand-spanking-new that I wonder if they’d been building it just for this dream, and Grampa and I wandered in a day or two before they completed set construction.
I excuse myself and head to the men’s room. It’s huge. It’s immaculate. The wood is new, unfinished and unpainted like the walls in the bar. There’s a beautifully carved shoeshine box with shiny brass hinges and a shiny brass handle. The stalls are not stalls so much as individual restrooms, each about ten feet square, with mahogany doors. I am in such awe that I almost forget why I came in. I go to the sink to wash my hands, and find that the fixtures are polished silver on white marble countertops. There’s not a smudge on the mirror or anyplace else. I wash up, and leave.
Grampa’s sitting at the bar, waiting for me before he orders. There’s no barkeep to be seen, so he rings the silver service bell. We hear him approaching from a dark hallway, and an oddly familiar, raspy voice asks, “What’ll ya have?”
The barkeep emerges from shadow, drying a tumbler with a towel. It’s Humphrey Bogart. Humphrey f@#&$%g Bogart is tending bar in my dream.
I order a rum and coke. Grampa orders something as well, but I don’t catch what he says. Bogie serves the drinks in short order.
I am aware, in my dream, that this is going to be a good one. We’ve got me going back in time, we’ve got Grampa at a young age, we’ve got some real Hollywood star power, and a beautifully-crafted set (even though the crew needs another day or so to finish the walls). Grinning, I raise the glass to my lips and–
–the phone rings. It’s eight o’clock on a Sunday night, and I’ve been asleep for two hours, meaning I’m going to be wide awake all night. Just great. Hopefully the dream will resume some other night. Oh well.