The other night I had a crazy dream. Well, not so crazy in the sense that it had nonsensical or disjointed imagery, my dreams are very much like mini-films. First, they’re all in color. There appears to be a beginning, middle, and end (typically when I wake up), and they have sound.
In the dream, I had written an essay about Alvah Bessie and his book Men in Battle. Now let me back up a bit before I get into the details. In Julius, Corinne rereads Men in Battle when she finds herself in a quandary. For her, it’s a talisman of sorts. In the real world, Alvah Bessie had hoped that there would be a day that Men in Battle would have been made into a film, unfortunately that never happened for a number of reasons–the major one was financing. My hope is that once Julius is published that Alvah Bessie will get the recognition he rightfully deserved and that maybe there’s a chance that Men in Battle will be adapted into a screenplay and turned into a movie (I see Adrian Brody as Aaron Lopoff), and, of course, the big dream is have my favorite film director, Roman Polanski, make the film.
Back to the nocturnal dream. I’m living in Paris near Parc Monceau. I have a lovely apartment on the top floor. The decor is very minimal. It’s a gray spring afternoon and I am restless. I am expecting a visitor and keep looking out the window to see if he has arrived for a visit. My guest is Roman Polanski and it seems he had read my essay about Alvah Bessie and was impressed with it and wants to meet me. I’m flabbergasted that he would even take notice and also very nervous. While wait for him, I make sure that the place is spotless, I have food and coffee ready, the dogs have been told to stay in another room (surprisingly, they are very well-behaved). A final look out the window, and I see a black Mercedes drive up and Polanski steps out. Now I’m about to self-combust from raw, nervous energy, but I force myself to keep calm. Within minutes the doorbell rings; I open the door, and there he is standing right in front of me with this beautiful smile. I just stand there like an idiot, amazed that this is all happening. I note every detail from the black cashmere crew neck sweater and black jeans to clear blue eyes and a headful of grey hair. He’s tinier than what I expected, although he’s in his 70s, he doesn’t look like an old man. There’s a youthful energy about him. A few seconds later after I get my bearings and that star-struck moment has passed, I introduce myself and lead him to the living room, excuse myself and bring out the coffee and food.
We talk about everything and then he broaches the topic of my essay and tells me that he was intrigued by Men in Battle so he bought the book, read it, and agrees it would make a good movie and he wants to make it He even says that Adrian Brody would make a great Aaron Lopoff! But here’s the kicker…he asks me if I want to co-write the screenplay! After ten seconds of internal panicking, I accept.
The conversation turns more into getting to know you type of exchanges. I confess my crush and he teases me about it. During our conversation, Trumbo, the beagle, bays and he asks where are the dogs and I tell him that I put them in one of the back rooms (this is a huge apartment!) because they tend to get very excited when I have guests. He insists that I let them out and when I open the door, they charge over to him to get petted and just be general nuisances. He asks what’s the little one’s name and I tell him that’s Alvah. Then he asks if he can pick Alvah up and let him sit on his lap; I warn him that Alvah can get cranky and bit snippy. He shrugs, tells me he’ll take his chances and picks up the dog; instant bonding occurs. What’s the beagle’s name? he asks and I say Trumbo. He raises his eyebrows, laughs, and asks, “Where are the other eight?”
And that’s when I woke up. And if dreams come true, let this be the one.