I went to the woods seeking introspective reflection. I assumed this would take place during my waking hours, you know, hiking the trail and staying in its least touched frontier. However, we all know that anything that takes place in my life doesn’t exactly go as planned. In an effort to not force anything my mind stayed blank. Most of my time was spent fishing, gathering wood, and foraging using the little knowledge I have on the latter subject. This led my mind to wander freely after dusk.
I had a dream…well, I had a few dreams. Anyone who has spent time in the woods should know immediately what I speak of. None of the random stories my subconscience conjured up were pleasant… pleasant in the sense of flying/swimming through the air or fucking that girl you never had a chance with. The borderline hallucinatory dreams were mind-bending and complex in nature, leaving me puzzled every morning while I baited my hook and rolled my perique tobacco in Job 1.5’s.
I’ll spare you each night’s neuron projected motion picture show, and share only one: A pop-up dinner, in which I was a guest and not a cook.
I looked to my left. There sat my mom, next to my grandmother and across from my deceased grandfather, who looked rather lively and well. The interior of the restaurant was chartreuse with walnut paneling draped around an open kitchen with four chefs just finishing up their mis en place for service. They were Brad Farmerie, Chris Curren, Dave Beran, and Curtis Duffy.
It gets stranger…
As soon as I did a second-take at the line, Curren called me over. Our exchange, although brief, was to the point. It was an explanation of sorts of his addict-bashing behavior on twitter last Fall followed by an apology. He had a beard: a large, black beard. I returned to my seat confused. It was at this point that I knew something was up, that this wasn’t quite right. After a brief exchange with whoever was filling the server’s role in my brain’s manifestation of a pricey, uber-exclusive underground dinner, Beran approached the table with a greeting, not all that different from the greeting I’ve seen him give at Next. Except, it ended with a hug. At this point I knew that either I was in a dream or I had woken out of a coma only to be led directly to this event.
The grand finale of this delusion that ultimately gave me my “kick” back to my reality of a cold, damp tent in the middle of the wilderness of Maine was Curtis Duffy bringing the first course to the table. The Mochi Bomb. An orb-like serving vessel with more orb-like indentations, holding “mochi” filled with sake. He punctured both sides of said “mochi” with a straw. He began to “shoot” with my mother. I looked down at my place-setting, and there sat a heaping bowl of trout roe.
I returned to my waking life of three A.M. on the shore of the Piscataquis river on the Appalachian Trail.
What does it mean???
After discussing this dream with a friend, I quickly realized I was trying to pull some dramatically eloquent meaning out of nothing more than a random firing of synapses, sparking a pictorial video behind my eyelids whilst I rested. As much as I wanted to believe this meant something like my reconciliation of distraught times in Chicago, I have to accept it for what it was: nothing. Or do I?
Mado was painted chartreuse. Tribute was floored with walnut. During my dinner at Avenues on one of Duffy’s last nights, I was served raw alcohol in my dessert upon requesting the opposite. This was after Duffy had left for the evening, mind you. I still hold a grudge about what Curren tweeted at two A.M. that morning last Fall. Beran’s presence? He hired me, Achatz didn’t. After my departure from Alinea, I’ve always sought his acceptance and approval. The trout roe seems simple enough: slowly being digested inside me were six whole fish. Most importantly, I was never alive to see me my mother, grandmother, and grandfather all in one place before his funeral.
What was Brad Farmerie’s meaning? I have no fucking clue. Yet that is the piece to this puzzle that left me thinking this: maybe everything isn’t random. Maybe somewhere down the line Brad will have some role in my life. To be honest, I forgot about him after leaving NYC. Why would he make an appearance in a dream that I could trace every aspect, other than him, back to a legitimate time in my life?
Here’s to you, Brad Farmerie. We’ve never met, but if that changes you can be damn sure it’ll mean something.
“All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.”- Jack Kerouac