he J-doramas are starting to take over my life, I think. I not only look forward to them, I think they are affecting my dreams as well. Last week, I had some very vivid dreams, but since I didn’t write them down, I forgot about them. I even told M about them too, but I guess it doesn’t matter who has the dreams, everyone forgets them after a few hours, and certainly after a day or two. Sooooo…
In an attempt to log my dreams for posterity’s sake–if not for my own peace of mind–I will tell you about the dream I had last night, as well as I can recall it. Text in italics refers to my thoughts after I woke up. As is the case in most dreams, it just starts…
I find myself at a Japanese poetry conference on some deserted island. I know a couple of people there: Haruo Shirane of Columbia University is the chair of the conference and more interestingly, Sayoko, colleague at the think tank I once worked at in Tokyo who I hadn’t thought of in maybe ten years until yesterday when I ran across an old Christmas card from her during my unending endeavor to clean up my work area.
During one of the presentations on poetry written in Chinese, I was asked if I had something to say, as Profesor Shirane knew that Jakuren–a poet I am interested in–made reference to this poem through his own poem. Embarrassed, I was unable to answer any of his queries. I went straight to my room and went through my suitcase only to find Jakuren’s poem quickly along with some old paintings of Jakuren because in dreams, I’m always prepared with things that I need.
I return to the presentation with the appropriate material and show the old portraits to the ooos and aahs of those in attendance. But before long, it is time to leave and Professor Shirane tells me to take the stuff home and to be sure that I return everything to its appropriate place, especially the stuff that’s supposed to be returned to Maryknoll, the elementary school I attended. As I gather all the books and artifacts, someone gives me a gift to take home as a memento of our time on the island: a plastic toy shark. I say thanks, shove it into my back pocket and I finish getting my things together.
I then find myself climbing narrow stairs at Maryknoll. I must return the items borrowed from my old elementary school and the storage room is on the top of the auditorium. While the building is that tall, it seems to get higher and higher as I climb the stair. Not only that, the staircase becomes narrower and steeper. But I finally get to the top. I walk across the flat roof to the storage room, open the door, and take a whiff of the musty air inside as I place the old paintings on wooden crates scattered here and there.
I walk across the roof again back toward the stairs and notice that there are trees lining the roof top. But they are not potted plants. I look over the ledge and realize that they are actually trees growing up from the ground, very slender, white, naked with leaves at the very top right at the edge of the roof. They remind me of the weird trees depicted on Dragon Ball Z. I take four or five steps down the staircase when I realize that it is not a staircase at all. It’s a ladder!
Holy shit! Have I ever mentioned I have acrophobia? Am I descending a ladder facing forward? I grab onto the ladder in a death grip and slowly descend, confirming every step with my butt–right foot, left foot, butt settled on the next rung. When I get to the landing, I find that it’s as narrow as the ladder itself and I can’t swing my way around to continue my descent down the next flight of “stairs.” I begin to squeal like a girl.
“Help! Someone help me! I can’t get down!”
Thankfully, I have lungs an opera singer would be proud of, and the fire department arrives. Sturdy firefighters race up the stairs to my rescue. I feel like a cat who had climbed a tree but couldn’t get down. “But that’s okay. I am a cat person,” I think as I watch my rescuers ascending the final staircase. Suddenly they themselves start screaming and running down the stairs.
“Hey, I’m still here! What are you screaming about?” Then I make out what they’re screeching, “Shark! Shark attack! Everyone out of the water!”
“Huh?” I look around trying to figure out what the hell is going on, when I realize that the shark toy I received as a gift is still hanging out of my back pocket. “Hey guys! It’s only a toy!” I scream but to no avail. Stunned, I don’t know what to do, when I realize that it’s not me up there. In fact, it’s a TV drama, “The adventures of Onigiriman,” and I’m on the set as a consultant. I look up to the sky and see that the person playing me at the top of the building is actually an actor, Namase Katsuhisa who plays the Vice Principal at Takakin High School in the drama Gokusen (That’s him behind Nakama Yukie)
This is when I wake up…
Whew! What a nightmare! No, it’s not the conference or the stairs that scared me. I am more disturbed by the fact that I am played by Namase. I mean no offense to Namase, but couldn’t the actor playing me be GTO’s Sorimachi?
I mean, even Kinpachi sensei played by Takeda Tetsuya at least sorta looks like me, and he plays a great teacher. Why Namase who plays a weasley vice principal?
Anyway, hope I didn’t bore you too much. I just needed to set down my dreams so I won’t forget them.