Julie and The Rat Pack

Last night I dreamed about a dead rat. It was sort of cute, as dead rats go, white and fluffy with a pink nose and ears. It seemed to have gone peacefully, although who wants to be end up alone in the middle of a fancy buffet table that's been pretty well picked over?

In the dream, we'd gotten to the restaurant so late the flames had died out beneath all the chafing dishes. My brother-in-law was was doing a lot of complaining about the gravy being cold when he stuck his finger in it. My sister, meanwhile, emerged from a chat with the manager to deliver the happy news that the three of us had been comped, since there wasn't much food left, and there was a dead rat on the table and all.

I kept screaming for somebody to get rid of it, but nobody really made it a priority. They seemed to think I was being a tad overdramatic. It's not like it was a living rat for God's sake.

My sister was hosting some kind of a party, and the place was crowded with guests. We stood around the reception desk and shared some steaks they brought out from the back. This was better than what everyone else was getting, so I was supposed to be grateful and forget about all that trouble on the buffet.

The rat was actually gone next time I checked, but since this was one of those dreams where you know you're dreaming, I wasn't sure if I just kind of willed it away. The rat could have shaken death off on his own and made a run for it when it hit him that you can do that in a dream.

I got up and Googled dead rat dreams to make sure I'm not living in some freaky Twilight Zone episode where it turns out I'm the rat and that was my own funeral. I learned this could have been a good dream, provided I view rats as enviably intelligent survivors. Actually I find rats especially terrifying and utterly vile. Let's just say Ratatouille made my skin crawl.

Another expert advised I consider whether someone in my life is behaving unethically, a dirty rat, so to speak. Have I recently encountered anyone untrustworthy? Do I ever have the feeling of being caught in a maze? Yeah, hello, this is Hollywood?

Suddenly it hit me.  The rat is my half-dead career, which has been showing some spontaneous signs of life! The buffet is the unwelcoming bones of the industry, and the revelers are the others working in it who could care less if I arrive late, or not at all. I don't know where my future ran off to, or what'll happen when and if it reappears, but in the meantime, I should probably mind my own business and keep enjoying the occasional free steak.

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