I detested “Ally McBeal.” The TV show about lawyers in love, starring Calista Flockhart — is that for real? — turned my stomach. It was all the rage in the late ’90s, of course, embraced by the same female viewers who probably creamed their pants over “Sex & The City” — another detestably shallow show.

However, one episode stood out, the “In Dreams” episode from season 2. Gawd, I loved that episode, the one time Ally McBeal was shown thinking and caring about someone else, other than a hot man, for a change.

A client preferred her parallel dream life to her waking one. I think she was either overweight or lonely or both in real life. But in her dreams, ah, her dreams, she had a man who adored her, maybe even a family and a full life.

Oh wait, here’s an IMDb summary from a napierslogs:

“Ally’s favorite teacher from high school is dying, but she has a wonderful dream life which she would like to remain in. Ally decides to get a court order to force the hospital to put her into a coma….”

I totally identified with this episode, even more today.

It’s not that my real life sucks. My real life’s quite wonderful, a hard-working, devoted husband, a kick-ass son, a typical, busy life in the suburbs, a few good friends… I even got a handle on this weight thing (for now, LOL).

It’s just that my dreams are so much better. I don’t have just one parallel dream life, either, like this high school teacher. I have several I return to.

Oddly enough, I’m never married in any of them, although I have plenty of suitors. Sometimes, it almost feels as if I’m living out another ’90s hit show, “Quantum Leap.”

Two weeks ago, I happened to look down and, wonder of wonders, did not instantly wake up. (Try it sometime; it’ll either wake you up or make you lucid af.) I also saw that my bare bosom wasn’t mine. For one thing, my nipples aren’t brown. For another, my breasts aren’t that narrow or small.

It wasn’t me. Well, it was and it wasn’t. I walked into the body of someone else, a younger, Indian woman.

Another time, I dropped in the middle of a group of people rushing from one court building to another, surrounded by flashing cameras — or maybe they were angry hordes shoving me to the guillotine — holding a woman’s hand tightly, my lover, the woman I planned to marry. I loved her more than my own life, more than any of the other women I’ve had, but I knew I would soon leave her when they took my life, rules were rules.

The recurring dreams are the ones I enjoy most. In one, we are continually adding to this crazy large mansion of an unfinished house. In another, I’m a young, pretty, yuppie Chinese girl up North, fresh out of college and making my way. There is a long bridge I cross to meet the slightly older man who lives in a cabin off the beaten path. He’s a musician, and he loves me very much. I know this because his eyes light up several rooms at the sight of me in the distance; he has this forever searching quality to his pale-blue/hazel eyes buried in a mass of hair.

I also bring the energies of people I knew or know into the forms of other people in other lives. Best of all, we don’t speak. We don’t need to waste our energy on languages when we can communicate with our intent, our thoughts. It’s much faster and cooler.

This morning, I woke up from a fairly nice dream where I was tending to a bunch of kids — not mine — and cleaning up after this widower who reminded me of two guys I know now (both happily married and completely friend material). He would look at me in such a way that I’d never been looked at before, as if I saved his life.

It’s the look I rarely if ever see, as me. It’s a look that startles me into delightful forgetfulness when I do see it in a fleeting moment that I must’ve been mistaken about. It’s a look that gives off a mood some songs can replicate, like Christina Aguilera’s “Obvious” or Elton John’s “The One.”

I wonder what all of it means.


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