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Love in the Afternoon:
The Continuing Saga of a Lucid Dream Serial
PAGE 3
Art by Sven Richard Berg
Now change the channel.  While awake back in the early days of my lucid dream exploration, I composed the plots for a series of fantasy novels about lucid dreaming, the main characters of which I envisioned in the likenesses of actors I found attractive.  Not surprisingly, these characters began showing up in my dreams.  Having already gotten the basic process down with Huey, I went about setting up these fellows in the dream version of my town as well.  First came Aaron, who was inspired by Daniel Pilon, a French-Canadian character actor typecast on a number of real soap operas of that time period as a suave rich guy with criminal tendencies (perhaps you remember him as Renaldo on Dallas).  Aaron began his career in my own dream soap as a vampire in the house across the street (OK, so I watched Dark Shadows as a kid!), and after I managed to cure him of that condition he moved out to fend for himself.  Another character from the novel, based on the young Anthony Hopkins, a Welsh-born actor whose distinguished career has included memorable portrayals of disturbed individuals like Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, then began appearing in the role of a dream spouse named John in another local building.  A writer and house-husband himself, he resented my perforce sporadic visits to our home.  One day I found the apartment barricaded and combed by police, who informed me that John had been reported missing.  He had, in effect, walked out on me.
Not to despair.  After a chance dream featured an older version of Anthony Hopkins in the role of a director making a movie nearby, I recast him in a new starring role in my dream soap.  For this part he used the name Tony, which Hopkins usually goes by in the real world.  (He even corrected me once when I absent-mindedly called him John!)  Tony moved into an apartment near my house when finished with the movie, where despite taking frequent trips he remained for a long time as an affectionate if often moody companion with a fondness for cats and kittens.
Anthony Hopkins
Our enterprising heroine had, meanwhile, discovered Aaron again, now a successful fashion designer in an imaginary exclusive hotel.  This lay so far away from my house, however, that I had trouble getting there in my dreams before waking up, so I had the reformed vampire move back to the house across the street.  After he and I married on the show, he joined a design firm in New York and got involved in international art smuggling.  This activity resulted in his being accused of smuggling security secrets as well, so he had to go underground to escape the CIA and the secret police of several nations. Eventually he reemerged to head a mob of his own, ousting several neighbors from their apartments to make way for his operations.  I finally talked him into turning states evidence against his underworld cohorts.  First a virago parole officer guarded him, then I established a local house as a center for criminals in the witness protection program.  Conflicts with the other inmates prompted Aaron to escape, and when I rescued him  from a  hit  man  he  took  off  for  New  York.  When  he  returned, he had cleared his name and started a trading company with offices on the corner of my street, dealing in patriotic souvenirs and novelty cards.
Did the plot ever thicken then!  Suspecting that I had betrayed our marriage, which was ironic considering that I was always resisting Tony's advances, Aaron now had some of his minions harry and kidnap my friend.  Angered, I freed Tony and hired one of the men jailed by Aaron's testimony, now out on parole and keen on revenge, to investigate suspicious evidence found at the office implicating the company in doctoring its shipping records to undercut import tariffs.  Suprisingly, the evidence itself proved fabricated.  In an unforeseen twist it became clear that a powerfully placed employee, agent of one of Aaron's enemies -- possibly Tony's adult daughter, who had been on the movie crew  -- had tried to undermine the business, manufactured evidence of my infidelities, and led me to blame all problems in Dreamville on my estranged husband.
Daniel Pilon
To make matters worse, a mental barrier between my two storylines, the Huey Lewis plot and the Aaron and Tony plot, spontaneously broke down around this time.  Suddenly I could remember about Aaron and Tony in the midst of my Huey Lewis dreams, which for whatever reason had usually not been the case before.  A thorny romantic tangle resulted, and when I ended up choosing Aaron over the others, poor Hugh nearly died of a broken heart and Tony expediently moved away.  Aaron and I reconciled and he turned his attention to civic activities and arts patronage for a time.  But old habits die hard, and before long he was engaging in various plots to take over the town, and our ever rather distant dream marriage ended in a dream divorce, contending over the stocks I owned in his company, which I believe he was eventually thrown out of by the board.  This dream stuff had all gotten very intense, with attempts on my dream ego's life even (indestructible though I was!), and it was particularly hard to manage when I went through some emotional difficulties in waking reality.  So it was just as well that I finally got a life and a real husband, who doesn't mind that I still come across these characters in my dreams now and then two decades since it all began (and yes, they have aged, like their originals).
How Did You Manage to Pull All This Off?
Someone Wake Me Up When It's Over