This morning/last night… I had many dreams, all of which stayed with me, all of which were very vivid. Allow me to attempt to describe them:
The dream started as one of my recurring dreams often does. I’m in college, I’m bored and lonely, and I decide to walk to one of the dance clubs/bars that dotted the street when I was at UNI. I select one I typically avoid due to reputation, and walk in just to see what it is like. The entire place has been updated to look outdated. It appears like a rundown jazz club from a bygone era; the intentional dilapidated appearance creating a perfect backdrop statement of “This is safe, but it is meant to look like dreams of the past have come here to die.” I felt very out of place and just walked up to the bar. I bought a tall whiskey and told the bartender that I’d pick up the lady’s drink. He looked at me sideways and I shrugged saying, “Whatever lady comes up to the bar next, I guess.” It happened to be a petite Asian girl wearing a pink wig. She didn’t order a drink first. First, she approached me. Told me that she could tell I was lonely and looking for someone to hang out with. She had been waiting for friends, but they had just texted to say they wouldn’t be there for another 2 hours. She was hoping we could keep each other company. She introduced herself as Hana Kiken and we took our drinks to a booth to start talking.
After her friends arrived, I thanked her for the conversation and told her that I genuinely hoped we would run into each other again. I left and found myself back at my parents’ house. I was in the basement and trying to show my brother the new South Park VHS Tape I’d got. Problem was, the VCR controller had become extra sensitive so that even someone brushing against it would set it to pause, rewind, or fast forward. My brother was very upset about it, mocked me mercilessly, and went back upstairs. My mom came down to find out what I had done to upset my brother so, and I told her it wasn’t me, it was the VCR. She didn’t believe me. Even after the VCR violently ejected the tape and damaged the casing… nope, still my fault. I tried to argue that the VCR was old and obsolete technology but my mom kept insisting it was no more than 6 years old and that it would not have broken if I had taken better care of it. Frustrated, I went upstairs and grabbed a DVD we had rented. I assured my brother that this time we would see something quality. I didn’t want to tell him what it was; if he knew it was an X-Men movie, he likely would have gotten upset again.
The movie’s start shows up before the title:
The movie starts with an exterior shot. Dark. The camera is focused on an extravagant, very posh looking house. Beautiful, complex classical piano music fills the air. The camera cuts to a man in a chair, we only see the back of him. He is flanked by two upper crust looking people. All three are facing the piano. The piano plays on and the camera swings around to show a child, of no more than 13 years old, playing this masterful complicated piece. When the child finishes, he stands, bows, and sits back down looking at the adults expectantly. The two aristocratic adults stand and join the child at the piano bench. The father speaks first, “There you have it, sir. Do you think our child is gifted enough for your program?” The camera swings to the man in the chair (fans of the series expect it to be Xavier) who has a full head of raven black hair and a strange outfit on. The father speaks again, “Dr. Essex? Do you have a place for him?” The screen shows the title “X-Men Rise of the Phoenix” and a lightning bolt gives the scene some weird illumination. As the title fades, the “Dr. Essex” shoos the parents out and begins accusing the boy of not even playing the piano. The boy stammers and protests but Dr. Essex says, “Jason Wyngarde, you are a mastermind of illusions. Luckily for you, such mind games don’t work on me. You see, I’m special too.” and the digital shimmer of an ersatz disguise fades to reveal MR. SINISTER in all his glory.
The TV is shut off as my mother reminds me I need to get to play practice. I leave for play practice and arrive at the IF Play House with a bag of clothes to spread around on the stage. Unfortunately, I’m not wearing more than my boxers and my big blanket. The play’s director asks to borrow my “Depression Blanket” and encourages me to get dressed. I grab a pair of underwear, jeans, and a shirt from the bag of clothes I had brought and start scouring the playhouse for a dressing room or a bathroom. But as I search the building, I realize that the whole thing is filled with models in various stages of dress. Dozens of female models preparing for a runway show of some kind so that all of the spaces (dressing rooms, bathrooms, hallways, classrooms) all of the rooms are filled with female models (almost all of them wearing white). As I’m searching for somewhere to change, I run into Hana Kiken, now without the pink wig. Apparently, she’s a model in the show as well and was surprised, but happy, to see me. She stands guard as I change clothes and we “walk” back to the theater. (Quotation marks around walk are because it was far more like a ballet dance than a walk). As we get closer to the theater, she is swept up by a dozen or so models and they go to the left of the hallway and out of a door.
I continue on towards the theater and am greeted by my co-star, who is now suddenly Anne Hathaway in a red dress/negligee (hard to tell if it is a very revealing dress or an elegant negligee). She says something about “That’s all the industry needs. Another actor caught in his underwear, hanging around models.” I blush a little and assure her it isn’t like that. She smiles, knowingly, establishing that she was just giving me a hard time. Suddenly, Louis C.K. shows up and threatens Anne for trying to “tear down” a man for doing what comes naturally. She screamed with fright and anger, “Don’t touch me!” I race to her side to get between C.K. and Anne. C.K. picks me up and throws me across the hallway and continues to advance on Anne, who is frozen to the spot in fear. From nowhere, I realize that I have a blade in my hand and I run up behind C.K. and slit his throat. I rush to Anne who starts to cry and throws her arms around me. But C.K. is taunting both of us. As he’s bleeding from the neck, he pulls out a large buck knife and cuts his head clean off. He holds his head in his free hand, and his head says, “By force of will, I shall kill. There is no stopping my brand of ill.” As he approaches us with the knife raised, my brow creases. I say to myself (but aloud), “I know this story!” And upon saying that, C.K. vanishes. Anne clings to me and I can feel the warmth of her on my face and I can taste the salt of her sweat. She’s crying and I’m trying to piece things together.
I begin to explain to her what I can remember. There was a script that was said to be haunted. The story was two lovers that had a bond that could not be broken… but a powerful man wanted the woman and used all of his resources to keep her for himself, making her his bride against her wishes. The lovers refused to be kept apart and would be together at night through dream magic. But as the woman slept more and more (spending time away from her tyrant husband and with her lover), the powerful man used magic of his own. He began to invade the dreams of people for his own benefit. First financial, then military. Until he felt that he was the strongest force on earth. But his adviser reminded him that there was still a force stronger than him: love. In an effort to prove once and for all that love was nothing compared to the power of his will, the powerful man invaded his forced wife’s dream. There he discovered that his wife and her lover had created an entire kingdom for themselves to occupy and be safe in. The tyrant destroyed it and came for the lovers. Together, they slit his throat and found solace in each other’s embrace. But it was not over. The tyrant severed his own head and told them that his will was stronger than any force in heaven or earth; that he would slay them for their treachery; and that he was beyond death, dreaming, and and all powers of magic.
After explaining it to Anne, the director approached us mournfully. She looked sorrowful and guilty. The director explained that such a play was cursed because it was based on true events. The tyrant had bound himself to the script through magic and was continuing his crusade against love. The director looked at us quizzically then. Anne still clinging to me in her negligee dress. The director then said, puzzled, “But for the tyrant to come forth, the two leads must have a deep emotional connection.” At this, Anne pushed me away from her, smoothed her dress and said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about. That could never happen with him.” (indicating me). I’ll admit I felt betrayed but simply went back to the theater and sat down. Yeah, I was upset. But I tried to convince myself that Anne was just saying that to protect herself. Time passed and the models and Anne and everyone left the building. I walked the director out to the parking lot and we discussed the Cursed Play and the existence of Magic.
As the director got into her car, I noticed Hana Kiken still waiting by the door. I didn’t know if she was waiting for me or waiting for a ride; but I figured that (either way) I should go check on her to see if she needed anything. As I started walking towards her, however, a large dragon form made entirely of black smoke appeared and enveloped Hana. When the smoke cleared, she had disappeared, and in her place was a Yakuza symbol. I leapt into my car and raced to the Japanese District, breaking down the yellow gate that marked the beginning of Yakuza territory. I demanded to see Hana and that she be released. I was quickly surrounded by Yakuza and in the center was The Top Dog. He smiled, cruelly, and shouted something in Japanese. A large, impossibly thick bo staff sailed through the air and landed in his outstretched hand. He spun it with ease and motioned for me to attack him. I knew I didn’t stand a chance. Suddenly, from behind me, a young man I recognized flew onto the scene. It was Hana’s brother! He had a long bo staff and instantly started attacking The Top Dog. I quickly spun on my heel and kicked the sword out of a nearby Yakuza’s hand and started fighting the flunkies so that Hana’s brother could concentrate on the fight. It got down to Top Dog versus Brother and Chief Lieutenant versus Me. A difficult fight. Top Dog went down, the sound of his left leg breaking ringing through the courtyard. With his master down, the Chief Lieutenant spun and charged at the Brother, seeking nothing more than vengeance. The Chief Lieutenant plunged his sword into the Brother’s back and Brother slapped him down with his bo staff before Brother, too, fell. Enraged, I rushed to Chief Lieutenant and with a flick of my wrist, cut his throat with the sword in my hand. I rushed over to Brother to try to help but he had lost too much blood. I closed his eyes and thanked him for his assistance. And then I saw Chief Lieutenant sever his own head and rush at me. He knocked me down and said, “By force of will, I shall kill. There is no stopping my brand of ill.” As I felt a small pen knife piercing my neck....
I WOKE UP.
So… that was my dream/night. No wonder I woke up with a start, soaked in sweat, and it is now hard for me to keep my eyes open! Seriously.