July 19, 2011

You know that dream where you’re naked in front of a room full of people?

Yeah, I do too. A few nights ago. Even in the dream, I wasn’t really naked in the literal sense. But it was that feeling.

I often have weird dreams. Usually I can’t tell whether they mean anything or not. But this dream just has to mean something.

So, the dream.

I had been chosen to be on a reality show. Somehow my somnolent mind conflated Cake Boss, Cupcake Wars and maybe a little bit of Iron Chef into one very big deal of a TV show competition. One that I was very excited about the possibility of winning on national television.

We were to bake and decorate a fabulous cake, the theme of which was not revealed beforehand. That’s the Iron Chef part. The theme of my cake was New York. Not bad. I still have a mental picture from the dream of how I wanted it to look. Maybe I’ll bake it someday. But probably not.

First, I had trouble finding the studio where the show was taped. You know that feeling of panic, where you’re late for something important and you don’t know where you’re supposed to be? Yeah, that.

Then, when I got there, I was unprepared. Everyone else had it all together, but I was a mess. I had none of the decorations, no ingredients, no clue how to proceed. And no idea how to bake a cake without a recipe. Everyone else was rocking along and I felt the time slipping away, headed toward my eventual abject, miserable and very public failure.

I woke up, panicked, at the point in the dream where I was lost in a building and unable to find my way back to the studio after shopping for edible sliver glitter (do they even make such a thing?) for the skyscrapers that were to go on my cake.

It was one of those dreams that’s disturbing even after you wake up and realize it was a dream. It’s easy to figure that maybe I don’t have as much confidence in my abilities as I should. That a lot of times I get to the party and realize I have worn exactly the wrong thing. That I’m scared of falling short, of being exposed for what I can’t do and don’t know — naked in front of the room.

One of these days I’m going to try to bake a New York cake, complete with 3D skyscrapers and silver glitter. But don’t hold your breath.

What’s your weirdest/most disturbing dream?


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