My Spirit Animal

Perhaps I am assuming a lot when I say that all of you out there who read this blog (which is an assumption itself…) have already read my short tidbit about my dream involving Dustin Hoffman and the Gourmet Cupcakes. (Future rock band?) Whether you did or did not, let me give more details.

I had a dream on Friday night that I was in Las Vegas with two of my best friends from A-Town. (In real life, Vegas is not my favorite place. I have only been there one time since I turned 21, and while I had fun, I still think the place is pretty damn weird. This is not to say I’ll never go again…) The two of them were all dressed up to go out, and while I’m sure I was dressed up as well, the dream was from my perspective and I couldn’t see myself. We were at some larger-than-life-caricature of a bar, and one of my friends kept telling me over and over again that she wanted a “Glucose-Free Pomegranate Martini.” True to my real-life values, the idea of ordering a “Glucose-Free Pomegranate Martini” sickened and annoyed me, so I went outside to take a walk. The city streets looked a lot more like Manhattan than that good ol’ cartoony Vegas strip, and I suddenly felt very comfortable. I crossed the street and decided to peek inside a gourmet cupcake shop on the corner. As I stood in line deciding what I wanted, I suddenly noticed that the person ordering in front of me was Dustin Hoffman.

“Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me!” “WE’RE WALKIN’ HERE!” “My dear boy, why don’t you just try acting?”

After Dustin Hoffman was done paying, he stepped to the side and let me order. I ordered a cupcake with blue frosting. There was nothing gourmet-looking about it. I paid, and when I turned around I saw that Dustin Hoffman was holding the door open for me. Yes, Dustin Hoffman had waited for me to complete my transaction so he could be polite. To me. As I walked through the door, he looked in to my eyes and said…something. I don’t remember what it was, but I do remember it was deeply profound. Zen-like. He closed the door behind us, and then we stood on the street corner together waiting for the light to change. When the pedestrian WALK signal appeared, he put his arm around me and we crossed the street together. He had his other arm around a small boy. The three of us walked together to the other side, and when we reached the entrance to the bar where my friends were enjoying their ridiculous nouveau health-nut cocktails, Dustin Hoffman turned to face me, put his hands on my shoulders, looked into my fucking SOUL and said…something else. Again, I don’t remember what it was, but I do know that what he said was wise beyond human comprehension. He was a fucking Jedi Master.

When I woke up the next morning, I felt (1.) disappointed that I hadn’t actually met Dustin Hoffman, and (2.) suddenly desperate for a creative outlet. What’d I do? I created this blog. Small, I know, but I needed to do SOMETHING. (I then went a little crazy and created accounts with several other internet networks, largely because they might help me find a job, but mostly because I wanted to link my blog to them.) When it became time to give my blog a title, Dustin Hoffman popped in to my head again. “The Graduate.” Perfect. I am, after all, a graduate who has no idea “what those four years of college were for.”

It’s been a year since I graduated, and while I can safely say that I’m done being a lazy ass kid with zero responsibilities, I still don’t quite know how to go about becoming a successful, autonomous adult.

This is something I talk about quite often with my therapist.

When I met with her today, I told her about my productive weekend — creating this blog, etc. She was happy to hear all that. Then I decided to tell her about my Dustin Hoffman dream. She listened, and then she asked, “How did the dream make you feel?” I said, “Well, I was bummed out when I realized I didn’t actually meet Dustin Hoffman.” She shook her head, and said, “Oh, but you did.” Then she asked, “What does Dustin Hoffman mean to you?” I told her that for the last several months I’ve been absolutely obsessing over the important movies of the 1970’s. Ya know, Papillon rules. She didn’t care to hear all that, really. She asked, “But what is it about Dustin Hoffman? What stands out about him?” “Well, um, he’s short.” “Uh-huh.” “He had no real plan to become an actor. It just kind of happened.” “Uh-huh.” I started running out of things to say, but then I said, “He’s a real artist. I know he’s an actor, but he’s really good at what he does, and he was at the height of his career during a time when everything wasn’t all so mass produced. He’s five foot five with a huge nose, and he was a leading man! That would never happen today. Today he’d be the short, funny sidekick.”

She cut to the chase: “How do you think all of this relates to you?” I paused, and then I said, “I would like to be like that.” “Future tense?” she said. “How about you are like that?” Naturally, I couldn’t accept this. “Well, I mean –” “Dustin Hoffman held the door open for you. He even walked you across the street. You have everything you need within you, and Dustin Hoffman is helping you along the way. But you’re there.

As of today, I now know Dustin Hoffman is my Spirit Animal. He’s a short Jewish guy with a big nose who went to Santa Monica Community College, and yet he’s still a leading man. An unlikely shining star. There’s just something about him, and it kicks ass…

…And somewhere out in the cosmos, he’s holding The Door open for me, ready to guide me across The Street.

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One thought on “My Spirit Animal

  1. >Love it :)You're so awesome, Steff.

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