Have you ever read those books?
You know, the ones that tell you how to cope with your daily stresses by giving yourself “suggestions” before you go to bed so that while you’re sleeping you can have your mind suss out all your problems by dreaming about said problems and handling said problems entirely in the dream world? It’s a part of those same books that also instruct writers how to solve narrative problems in their current writing, just by suggesting they want to dream about them. Even for fun, it seems, people can tell themselves they’d like to dream about winning American Idol and voila — they can.
Except no matter what I do, I can’t dream about Whitney Houston.
In an attempt to keep what I write on this blog as real as possible, I never fake posts. I won’t tell you something happened when it didn’t. I won’t pretend I ran into someone that I didn’t really run into. And if I want to write a post about how I had a dream about Whitney Houston so that I can write some hilarious satire about the woman since it’s so timely and what not — then I’ve got to dream about her first or else I’m just some hack who’s pretending to dream about Whitney Houston just so he can write about dreaming about Whitney Houston in the first place.
Problem is, like I said up there in the line before the last paragraph — I can’t dream about Whitney no matter what I try or how many books I read.
People I know who swear by the whole “dream suggestion” racket have given me exercises to practice. You know, the kinds of things where you lay back on your bed and you tense up your feet, then your calves, then your knees, then work all the way up to your stomach and chest and finally your head. By the time you’ve tensed up your entire body, you’re so relaxed that any suggestion you make to your now-pliable mind will usually stick. In the past, I’ve been able to use this technique to dream about (a) saving a bus of tourists seconds before they plunge to their death above the Grand Canyon, (b) how I was really related to famous country singer (and botox-user) Kenny Rogers, (c) playing hide n’ go seek with Lionel Richie, (d) beating up Albert Einstein in one of those “two men enter, one man leave” Thunderdome-like cage matches, and (e) how I could eat three packets of crackers in less than a minute without drinking any water whatsoever.
Yet when it comes to dreaming about Whitney Houston — I’m a total blank.
I’ve tried playing her self-titled 1985 debut album “Whitney Houston” while doing those relaxation exercises. I’ve tried putting The Bodyguard on the DVD player in my bedroom while slowly drifting off to sleep. I’ve even tried leaving discarded crack pipes and used needles around my bathroom in an attempt to visually put my head in the right place for such a dreamatic run-in with the pop-diva.
And at every turn (in the dream world), I’m spurned by Ms. Houston — who refuses to come out and play.
I can dream about Bob Saget. I can dream about talking dogs. I can dream about falling off a cliff, plunging hundreds of feet into the ocean’s abyss, finding the lost city of Atlantis and then finding out that they’ve got their own McDonald’s down there but it’s called Poseidon’s, and they serve nothing but Filet o’ Fish sandwiches but they’re always soggy, but apparently the people of Atlantis don’t know any better so the owners of Poseidon’s are making a killing selling the same kind of fish all those Atlanteans could just go pluck for free from the ocean’s waters themselves — but they’ve just gotten lazy over all those years so there’s really no talking to them about it.
I can dream about being on the TV show My Two Dads and taking the Paul Reiser role for myself. I can dream about fighting crime, fighting grime and fighting a huge sentient lime that’s landed here (a la The Blob) to citrus-ize the planet (which in my dream means that humans end up walking around all puckered-up 24/7 and thus can’t speak, and thus have become marginalized by the alien lime, which was the alien lime’s goal in the first place). I can dream about whittling wood, witnessing bank robberies and being full of wit.
But Whitney? No dice.
I try not to talk to people about the issue in person, because it seems like an egotistical goal to have when people are starving for creative writing inspiration in other parts of the world. I’ve tried to handle the situation on my own for months now, staring at that “How My Dream About Whitney Houston…” blog draft sitting atop my blog writing software page in the hopes that I would someday be able to actually write that post. I have hoped and dreamed and done writing exercises in which I wear a curly brown-haired wig while “The Greatest Love of All” plays on my iPod — all in the hopes that Whitney would finally grace my nighttime visions and allow me to craft my words for her.
But no matter what I do, I can’t dream about the bitch.
And honestly, things have sort of come to a head.