“In dreams begin responsibilities,” or so they say. In my case it’s more like, “My responsibilities begin in dreams.” Despite being a kinda-sorta creative person during my waking hours, my sleeping mind has the personality of an accountant. Or a to do list.
Other people, at least some of the time, get to spend their evening hours riding atop unicorns or evading vampires. I get this:
So imagine my surprise when a few weeks ago I dreamed the season 5 premiere of Mad Men.
Let me clarify — I didn’t dream that the show was on, or that we were watching it. I dreamed the episode itself.
It opened with a slow, steady shot of 1980s (yes — 80s) New York City, closing in on a sign reading “Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.” Inside the building, young ad execs flitted around in snappy Reagan-era suits. The camera slowly moved towards a back office to find a now gray Don Draper and Peggy Olson. Peggy closed the door.
Peggy: They’re moving forward with the Adidas account.
Don: What? Those idiots.
(He pauses, then looks up)
They’re making a huge mistake.
(He reaches for the phone)
Peggy: (Places her hand on the phone to stop him)
Wait- they’re just looking for a reason to get rid of you. It’s not worth it.
Don: They’re wrong.
(He lights a cigarette)
After that, the focus shifted to a group of yuppie ad executives, and sort of morphed into Mad Thirtysomething. Peggy and Don (and Betty and Peter, too) were there, but they were marginal side characters. Don had long since married and divorced several times over, and was primarily known to the young staff protagonists as being “an old alcoholic.” Peggy had carved out a niche as a copywriter, surviving several rounds of layoffs over the years, but had never ascended any further up the career track.
Yeah…it was kind of a downer. But I think as far as dream scriptwriting goes, it wasn’t too bad. There’s something to be said for shaking up the ol’ plot a bit, even if that means trading Lucky Strikes for Lucky Charms.
Although I’m pretty sure if I was ever actually responsible for a geriatric Joan the masses would probably have my head.