Usually Zembla is not home to long descriptions of dreams, but last night's was especially vivid, timely, and wacky, so here goes:
I was at my uncle and aunt's house in Atherton, though they weren't home. Mike Barnett and his girlfriend Jessica were there, as was Academy Award-winning actor Michael Caine. Michael Caine had an advanced case of SARS, and thus was confined to the study, where he tottered about in bedclothes and a surgical mask. In the dream, I was struck by how calm Michael Caine was, how bravely he faced his own mortality. He and I spoke a lot, primarily about the time when he had played Scrooge in our ill-fated Diablo Light Opera Company Stars 2000 production of "A Christmas Carol." I had worked stage crew for the show, but what impressed Michael Caine the most was how I had saved the technical rehearsal with some quick thinking and calm action.
I felt bad hearing Michael Caine lavish praise upon me, both because he was so sick and so brave, but also because I couldn't remember the show or the incidents he kept complimenting me about. Mike and Jessica confirmed that actor Michael Caine had indeed played Scrooge for a Contra Costa County teen theater production, and suggested my memory was faulty. After some time, I was convinced, both of Michael Caine's performance and in my own vaguely-explained role in saving the production.
Watching Michael Caine suffering from SARS began to make me very sad, and I think I may have even wept in my sleep. I wasn't weeping for the imminent loss of such a fine actor, which Michael Caine probably is, although I haven't seen any of his films since "Noises Off." No, I had always been impressed by Michael Caine the actor, but, as I told Michael Caine himself, seeing him battling SARS in my aunt and uncle's study had made me even more impressed with Michael Caine the man. I think we would have hugged, except for the whole SARS quarantine thing.
When I woke up, I felt terribly sad. We had lost a fine man, as well as any and all hope for "Blame It On Rio II." It wasn't until I was in the car driving to work that I began to question whether Michael Caine had really chosen to work with Diane Kamrin and the rest of the DLOC crew in a role he'd already pioneered in "Muppet Christmas Carol". ("Slightly less respectable than Stars 2000," Mr. Barnett remarks) Yes, it had all been a dream, and Michael Caine was still alive to make a bunch of critically-acclaimed films that I would never, ever see. The lasting goodwill I now feel toward the man is enough to make me rent "The Quiet American," except Brendan Fraser is in it and it's based on a crappy Graham Greene novel and I don't really want to have to picture Michael Caine doing it with a teenage Vietnamese girl.