My Dreams Have Calvin and Hobbes Wallpaper
I was flying out of Buffalo recently and I arrived to the city way too early so I decided to kill some time walking around in a mall. I popped my sound canceling headphones on and was happy ambling around for an hour or two. During this semi-fugue state where I barely thought about anything at all, I walked into a J.Crew to look around, then a small record store, and then after a few more stops I barely remember I got back in my car and then I drove away. Once I got to the airport, I was looking for a book I had possibly left in the car that I could snag for some entertainment while I flew, I looked over to the seat next to me, saw a magazine, and realized that I had taken one of the J.Crew summer catalogs without even thinking about it. I leafed through it for a minute and took it with me. After a few more minutes going through it, I was enjoyed a lot of the looks and definitely thought about buying a pair of striped seersucker shorts, but even more so, I was taken by the feeling that the pictures and even more so, the collection, evoked.
I can’t explain the feeling very well, but it felt like a less melancholic version of the feeling I tried to describe in the Once Twice Melody review. Kind of like the sweetness of a Charles Dickens novel without the poverty. It made me feel like I wanted to live in a Hallmark movie or something. I don’t even know, fully, why I’m writing about this in the first place but it was just the strangest feeling. As someone who has always been really career driven and always wanted to work in a fast paced, competitive sector, where I would have a chance to work under pressure, the complete coup de foudre with that really relaxed, elegant atmosphere was surprising. I didn’t even know I could want something like that.
But now I keep having this image pop into my mind. A small, insulated store with gleaming wood paneling and at least one candle burning, with complimentary herbal tea and where the dress code is not really a concrete document but only the description of a fading memory of a feeling; think of the aesthetic of Guy Ritchie movies like The Gentlemen with the earnestness of Wes Anderson. The kind of outfits that feel like your brain is wearing a thin cashmere sweater in mid-autumn: faded oxford shirts and cream colored cardigans, navy corduroys and baggy cable knit sweaters. I wanted to sell books and movies and vinyl albums that I would be able to curate myself. And the store would be known for its music. Yo La Tengo, Belle and Sebastian, Slowdive, Mazzy Star, Spiritualized, Charlie Parker, Aphex Twin, and Bob Dylan are the first few names to come to mind.
In my dream last night the walls had Calvin and Hobbes comic strips as wallpaper and there is no checkout counter, just a big gleaming executive desk. Next to that is a mini fridge filled with ginger beer and rose-lemonade.I don’t feel super Freud-y and don’t think there is a huge significance in dreams, but I wondered if it’s my subconscious telling me that this store is like the life I really want. But honestly, I think it might just be my brain rebelling against the inauthenticity of stores like Urban Outfitters and indulging in some wild superiority complex because I think I’m so educated that it’s my job to tell people what media to consume.
I think I may have just written this hoping that someone will reply telling me that this is a normal thing to imagine once in a while but that it’s not serious and that I should continue chasing my goals academically and not sink more time into collecting and curating my music, art, and clothes. Or maybe this is just a dream I’m having because both my parents are librarians and I’ve been surrounded by curators for so long it feels unnatural to be without it for this long. It reminds me of a quote from the House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.
“I want something else. I’m not even sure what to call it anymore except I know it feels roomy and it’s drenched in sunlight and it’s weightless and I know it’s not cheap. It’s probably not even real.”
Maybe the dream is unimportant. The important thing is that we still dream.