I had a nightmare about Fanny Brice this morning. It was based on a scene from Funny Lady that I caught on TV last week in which Babs-as-Brice sabotages a synchronized swimming rehearsal by dressing as a grown-up-child and bumping into people and literally knocking the prima swimmerina off her pedestal. She does it not out of mean spirit, but a desire for attention and love; no one gets hurt, but I'm sure they're pissed off a little.
Okay so in my dream, I had to get from GodKnowsWhere to Ann Arbor in time to start classes on Monday, and I was supposed to fly but I hadn't packed anything yet. So then I was going to drive, but I wouldn't be able to get here on time, but I was excited to see states that I'd missed. I remember the trip would have involved driving through northern Texas and Missouri, but not where I was starting or why.
So then somehow I'm on a big diving platform and Fanny (played by Barbara) is there with some other statuesque white women. She seems desperate to get back in the spotlight, even though she's already in the show-- she wants more. So she's been surreptitiously plotting to injure the other headlining swimmer so they can't perform. There's an area off-stage serving as a long-term infirmary for women who've been injured, and the implication is that they're more like race horses than human athletes—if you get hurt, your career is over, no matter the severity of the injury in the waking world. All injuries are terminal in this world. One woman lying on a cot told me it was her shoulder (a strain, I believe); she'd gotten hurt 3 times, and now she'll never get back in the water, because she was dying.
[By this time in the dream I'm one of the background swimmers, and I know the routines and all.]
So Fanny is really being ruthless here. Even a minor injury can ruin a life, and here she is actually trying to hurt someone. Such is her desperation! I find out that she's already taken one woman out of the running, and she is in the infirmary, "healing", but essentially being bitter and waiting to die.
On the diving platform, stacks of ballet insoles are sewn in everyone's starting points. Some have more than others some in different foot positions. We start each routine by jumping off our insole-spots into the water. The stage managing people work very meticulously to make sure that each swimmer's insole-spot is the right height for their starting dive; some have 45, some 65, and generally the less important you are to the show, the fewer you have in your stack. If there's any error, the results could be deadly, as our dives are calculated to incredible precision.
Fanny removes a few insoles from the stack of the prima swimmerina and hides them in the garbage (not unlike Matthew Broderick in /Election/ with the ballots, but more carefully). We're ready to start the show. The prima swimmerina takes off her silver chenille robe and walks over to the platform. She's a total priss and looks down on Fanny, whom she considers to be a washed up has-been, but she doesn't deserve to die.
The music starts, we're all in place, and dive we do. Only somehow, it was MY insole-stack that failed, and my back is paralyzed the instant I hit the water. People scream and move out of the way, and somehow I get to the infirmary. In the dream world, now I'm both myself, the innocent bystander, and the prima swimmerina, the intended target.
In the chaos, we find the body of a tall man in a trenchcoat, apparently mugged and killed on his way to the show. And this is the deepest irony—he's one Fanny wanted to perform for, the one from whom she sought love and attention so desperately. She's distraught at the pain she's caused, which has now all been in vain.
And now I'M GONNA DIE and how I am I going to be able to drive to Michigan if I'm DEAD? And then there was something about Surya and then I woke up to /On the Media/, which was equally terrifying because they were talking about all the protesters who got arrested and tear-gassed at the RNC, and I was reminded that we live in a police state and the apocalypse is upon us, but we're too busy fiddling with our ipods to notice.