This was one of those dreams that I can’t decipher, and I’m not certain it really wants deciphering. I’m only posting it because in the dream itself I was so alarmed by what happened that I’m thinking perhaps has some import I’m not catching. Then again, we’re at the full moon right now, and Mr. Cardinal is outside my window singing loudly at me, so everything might be expected to be a little wonky.
I’m at dinner with a few acquaintances or perhaps business associates (no one I know in real life). It seems like we’re at some convention or something; the tables are big, and people come in, singly or in irregular groups, and sit wherever there is room, and leave when they’re done. In come three or four lively individuals whom I apparently recognize from their presence in earlier workshops or meetings, and I invite them to sit at my table. Immediately the noise level in the room rises, and they generate much laughter and enthusiasm.
At some point one of them asks if I had seen Harry’s magic cigarette pack. I answer with a “Huh?” and he gets out an ordinary pack of cigarettes and balances it on the top of something, like a wine bottle, sitting on the table. A few moments later it shoots off its perch by itself, hits Harry in the chest, and suddenly he’s sitting there shirtless. The shirt doesn’t come off, it’s just . . . gone. Everyone laughs, but I’m so alarmed by this that I scramble out of my chair and back away from the table to get a better view.
Harry then goes through a few more changes—a fedora appears on his head, then disappears; he becomes an animal of some sort, briefly; then he’s dressed as a lumberjack, then in top hat and tails, before becoming himself again—each for only a few moments, maybe seven or eight seconds. He did this to the great amusement and applause of the other diners, except for the attractive woman (who looks rather like Salma Hayak) sitting next to him, perhaps because one of these transformations makes him into a clone of her for a few moments. Finally he puts the cigarettes back into his pocket, and the transmutations cease.
I’m boggled. Was this an illusion, a collective hallucination? Was the magic cigarette pack actually doing the transforming? Was it projecting these images like holograms, or sending the images directly into our minds? Was Harry in control of these changes, or was he at the mercy of that package? His friends had clearly seen this many times before, and viewed it as some sort of parlor trick, and it seemed harmless enough—Harry came through it unscathed and comfortable. But the more I witnessed, the more agitated I became, both at the idea of a mysterious phenomenon this baffling (which everyone else seemed happy to let pass unscrutinized), and at the sudden and dramatic physical changes themselves.
The dream ends there, except for this odd little voice-over: “It was the time of blue tarps. . . .” For readers who don’t live in Florida, the blue tarps refer to the many, many homes whose roofs were destroyed in the hurricanes that hit in 2005—there weren’t enough roofers available, so one could drive down the street and see blue tarps covering house after house. I have no idea what this has to do with Harry’s magic cigarette pack.