Why My Dream About Harrison Ford was the Best Ever
I’m at a party. A Star Wars party, of course. But not the kind with fruit sabers or Vader-Ade, or cakes bearing the adage “May the Force be With You.”
It was the kind of party with directors, producers, actors, big time celebrities…
…and Harrison Ford.
I intentionally don’t categorize Harrison Ford as an “actor” or “celebrity.” The 73-year-old man who is in a constant neck-and-neck battle with Samuel L. Effing Jackson for the highest grossing paid actor in the HISTORY of film really can’t be pigeon-holed as an “actor.”
For Ford’s sake, the man has been the face of the world’s favorite space-pirate-scoundrel AND doctor-archaeologist.
But I digress.
Back to the party. We’re inside a room that is enclosed in large glass windows, and it’s probably about 8 or 9pm. The glass windows feed out onto an outdoor Patio decked out in mood lighting and posh, party atmosphere decorations.
I’m milling around. Hanging out, rubbing shoulders, patting backs, schmoozing the important Hollywood-types. You know, just doing my normal everyday thing.
*dusts off shoulders*
Of course my oldest daughter is there. All of her freshly turned 6 years old. In my dreamy state I don’t actually know where she is but I know she’s hanging out somewhere close by.
Something prompts me to turn toward the patio side of the room.
And I spot him.
That’s right. The man himself. The myth. Nay, the legend.
Harrison Ford. Walking by. Just being his legendary self, wearing his legendary face, walking his legendary walk.
He is legendarily wearing a white t-shirt with a pencil sketch graphic of Han and Chewie on it. On the shirt they’re being pals and posing in an epic “look at us bad-ass scoundrels saving the Galaxy” way.
THE PLOT THICKENS
As he walks by the glass wall of windows, he spots another child, not related to me, probably about 4 or 5 years old, playing with a Star Wars die-cast figurine set.
He becomes interested, and opens a small glass window inlaid into the window wall. And he starts to play with the child. He takes the Han and Chewie and shoots down the bad guys with extreme prejudice.
He’s genuinely enjoying himself, giving this little boy his full, undivided attention.
I immediately call my daughter over to me. I approach the scene cautiously, trying as much as possible to avoid giving the appearance of a die-hard, drooling fool of an uberfan approaching his celebrity man-crush, which is significantly more composed than I would probably ever be, should this meeting ever occur in real life.
I wrangle her over to the corner in which the Mythical Ford is leaning through a window to play Star Wars, and release her to go play with them.
Some time later (in dream land, this could be an hour or a few minutes), Harrison gets up to say goodbye and leave. My daughter runs back to me, since the show’s over, and stands in front of me.
THE MAGIC MOMENT
As he’s getting ready to walk away I whisper in her ear to say hi.
She says “Hi!”
I also tell her to “say ‘Thank you’ to Mr. Ford.”
She shouts out “Thank you, Mrs. Ford!”
His eyes go wide and he laughs, surprised, but truly joyful. I laugh nervously in return and explain that she’s still learning how to correctly use “Mr.” and “Mrs.” He nods, understanding.
He looks at her one last time, glances at me and says:
“She is just too cute; I could just shoot her.”
And then, in possibly the most inspirational moment of my life, my wit level goes Jedi Master and I say:
“Ha — ” (almost calling him Han) “… Mr. Ford?”
He stops and turns.
“What if I shoot her… first?”
As I say this, I know in my innermost being that I have the perfectly balanced blend of expressions on my face: deadpanned and a slight smirk.
I can tell that whatever he was expecting me to say, this classic conversational master stroke definitely wasn’t it, and he stops in his tracks.
It is a timeless moment, one in which the vast parsecs of the galactic distance seem to have stretched between us for an eternity, awash in the pure genius of my brilliant dialogue. I don’t know how much time passes…
…but eventually, his expression changes, and he gives me this look:
We stand there, in that moment of pure connection, the endless possibilities unfolding in my mind of what he might say.
So, in typical “I do what I want” Solo fashion, he says…
But he points, and shakes his finger subtly, in that knowing, sardonic, I-see-what-you-just-did-there way, and shakes his head, a slight smile creasing the corner of one side of his mouth.
And he strides away.
As he lumbers off, making me think he might be heading for some after-party in a small, cozy cockpit somewhere, he puts his hands in his pockets, and I can hear him muttering, shaking his head in good humor, about “being saddled with that joke for 40 years…”
I nodded, chuckled to myself and said, under my breath, “I know.”
And, as the star lines shrink back into stars and my wit drops once again into real-space, the edges of my vision blur, and everything goes dark.
And just like that, Harrison Ford walks out of my life forever. As I wake up more fully, I’m filled with a glorious sense of wonder that I was able to have this interaction, and make Harrison Ford laugh.
But I’m filled with an ever more powerful sense of amazement at the image left burned into my brain: The great and powerful Harrison Ford, Han Solo, Indiana Jones, Jack Ryan, etc. on his knees, playing with a four-year-old and his Star Wars toys.
That’s what gets me.
This was an exceptionally vivid dream. Normally my dreams aren’t remembered or are vaguely remembered for a few days, or forgotten altogether within a few weeks. But this one stuck. I opened my eyes, coming back to my celebrityless, void of larger-than-life stars life, the dark winter morning reached weekly through my blinds.
I saw the party. The scene. The conversation.
One of the wealthiest, most socially powerful figures in probably the world, playing with kids’ toys. Genuinely interested. Authentically engaged. Truly delighted.
I know. This is my unconscious fantasy, but think about it for a second.
If you had a choice about how you got to encounter your favorite icon, would you want to get in a line of a few hundred people waiting for a glimpse of that person on a red carpet, with flashing cameras and the world fawning over them…
Or would you rather witness a rare, candid moment of the unadulterated innocence of playing with a child…?
I think you know which one is more real.