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gumbootlandia : the series.

O Lordy. The Gumboot dreams series are mad epic. They started in the year 2004, when I first started visiting Roberts Creek. At first, they were nice dreams, associated with familiar, kind faces. Then, when I started doing shifts behind the counter at the cafe, they turned into anxiety-filled nightmares of the worst order. I wake from them with painful heart palpitations, full on sweating, definitely stressed to the maximum.

Lately, my Gumboot dreams are all set in the restaurant, and they all share the similar theme of me being unable to provide what everybody in the room needs, along with deep and utter confusion and bizarre uncomfortable situations with people who have crossed my path in this place.

In one recent dreamscape, the head chef and I were arguing. It was terrible, because I had a room full of people in the dining room, and everyone seemed really happy. There was a huge Lazy Susan built out of this cool looking light-coloured wood. Oak, maybe. And on top of it were smaller, rainbow-coloured notches. (It kinda reminded me of that spinning wheel they used to have on "The Price Is Right".) I was trying to sell something to the crowd, using my auctioneer voice, talking really quickly and loudly. I was spinning the Lazy Susan, and all of a sudden, these magical teapots appeared in each rainbow slot. They were all really cool, and had matching little cups. I couldn't stop giggling. It was really awesome. I went back into the kitchen to tell the chef, but he was grumpy.

When I returned to the dining room, the teapots had disappeared, and in their place were tons of little tiny cakes. I again addressed the crowd. I tried to sell the cakes, and was telling them that our staff had all baked them last night with their families. People were all bidding. They seemed happy. But then I went into the kitchen, and this time I was flirting with the chef. My recall on this next part is hazy and a bit selective. (Convenient, on my part, as per usual.)

When I returned to the dining room this time, I could tell that a few people were not stoked. I walked up to one table, and a gentleman complained about something. I took his plate and went to the kitchen to get his dinner re-made. The chef and I argued again about something strange and inconsequential.

I had the plate and was walking back into the room, when I sensed it. Utter chaos. I walked in, and sure enough, there were objects flying through the air. Cutlery, plates, glasses, chairs. The fan was on. There were napkins kind of floating in the air. People were running everywhere. Kids were all over. Little kids crawling through the plants, handing from the ceiling, coming out of furniture. Fucking weird. And so carnival-esque, in a way. Like the circus sidestage show that suddenly takes a turn for the hideous.

There were messes everywhere. Spills. Broken glass. Everything tipping and sideways. And me, flailing all over in shoes suddenly too large for my feet.

Trying, trying, so unbelievably hard, to simply juggle it all. To clean up the spills, to calm the children, the sweep up the glass, to feed the all the people. I even think there was a dog in there somewhere. I was even trying to placate the poor creature. I just couldn't figure out quite how it was working, but it was. It was like I'd grown extra arms and legs or something, or cloned myself. I was kind of able to take care of it all for what felt like a few minutes. But then, I started slipping. --MALFUNCTION--

I got deeply anxious and really sad all at once. I knew I had to ask for help. I walked into the kitchen to get one of the kitchen boys to come help out in the front. I was going to size up their outfits and see which one was looking the most presentable. But when I walked in I noticed that the chef himself was not wearing any pants. He had an apron on, and his chef's cap, and his chef's shirt, but no pants. at all. like, no underpants, or anything. I could see his bare bum! I turned around to look at the prep boy. He had pants on. Turned to look at the dishwasher. Pants too. Turned back to the chef. Asked him if he was trying out a new dresscode. He was like, "Fuck yourself. It's too hot in here." I was like 'wo.' and said nothing. Exited stage right again.

Walked out to the crowd, and told them that they could all take their pants off, if they wanted. A few seemed into it, but nobody actually seemed to want to follow through. I was suddenly behind the bar, with what seemed like a chorus line of REALLY hot girls. We were all singing "The Shirt No Pants Salmon Dance" and being really crazy, dancing all around and flailing like fish.

I woke up laughing my ass off. Saw Wendy on the bus the next day, and reminded her about that song, and she thought it was hilarious.

...

Another recent Gumboot dream. I am standing in the middle of the room, looking around at all the tables. I recognize a few people, but most of them I've never seen before. There is this amazingly beautiful dark-skinned woman sitting on the patio at table 23. I walk up to her to give her a drink and she tells me she has a message for me. I become lucid. I realize that everything in this moment most be recalled. I look around, at the flowers. Take note of their shape, and colour. I try to sniff, but this obviously isn't one of my multi-sensory dreams. I smell nothing. Continue to drink in details. What she is wearing. What the irises of her eyes look like, the pattern of them. What the person next to her is wearing. What their smile looks like. I ask her for her message, and she pulls something off of her teapot, and hands it to me. It's a piece of paper.

The next day, I serve an Israeli woman who is basically one of the most beautiful being I've ever laid eyes upon. That kind of beauty that God created eyes for. Total epic. I almost choke up, and stumble over the specials. I can't take my eyes off of her, even when I'm inside. I have a full section of people, and I keep making my way back over to table 23. The man next to her thinks I'm flirting with him, but I'm not.

I go home that night, and think a lot about my racist tendencies. I know where they come from. They are the bitter remnants of my Grandfather, and of his Grandfather before him, and his Grandfather even before him. They are not mine to associate with. They are not mine to own. We are humans, in skinsuits. And they all look different. But essentially, we're all the same.

I think on this deep to the point of an intense cry and a plea for forgiveness. I feel like something has resolved itself. Tonight, I had a table full of Asians and I didn't cringe at the thought, and try to pass them over to the other server. I actually had a really good time with them. And realized that maybe I'm just scared they won't understand me, or that I won't be able to banter or whatever. But I talked to them just like they were any other table, and totally joked with them and everything. They left me a gigantic tip, and I even bowed to them all as they left the front door. It was cool.

...

10/16

Lorelei dreamt last night of a room full of people. She said she recognized a ton of our more difficult customers/clients. She had feelings of overwhelm... that same theme of everyone wanting something from her, and feelings of being unable to provide. She remembers something about people all trying to pay at once.

Last night, my dream was about five dollar bills. I was searching through my pockets and bag for blue bills to give change.

Tonight, the two of us will be serving a huge group who all wants separate cheques. I am betting that they'll all pay with $20's since it was payday yesterday, so we'll probably be needing those fivers.

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