I had an odd dream last night. At first I couldn't recall it (per usual), but I was waiting to be seen at a job interview this afternoon and I heard Ella Fitzgerald singing a Christmas song. The dream replayed in my mind's eye instantaneously.
That's right, last night I dreamt that I was stuck in a whale with Ella Fitzgerald.
This is some scary shit. It's hot. It's humid--and it doesn't exactly smell like febreze and cookies. Fortunately for me, unlike Pinocchio or Jonah, this is not real life. So instead of being slowly consumed by stomach acid and plankton I had the luxury of sitting on a sofa. It was almost as if we were sitting together in a sort of womb-themed waiting room. There was a television playing music videos (some of which Ella was in--this made me feel awkward, but she was very gracious), and a plate with crackers and fine cheeses. By the way, Ella doesn't care for Havarti.
In this room with us sat Ella's best friend from childhood, a blues singer by the name of Lena Chatanooga. Apparently they were inseparable as children. They would sing songs together, play double dutch and run all around the orphanage that they grew up in. However, Lena never made it as big as Ella and this led to some rough spots in their relationship. But the two stayed lifelong friends through and through.
Mind you, this is not historical accuracy, merely what's occurring in my dream. Today I did some research and found no record of a woman named Lena Chatanooga though Fitzgerald did spend some time in a Colored Orphans' Asylum as a child in the Bronx (something I didn't know about her until my dream). All in all, the dream was warm, maroon, bluesy and beautiful. Here I was sitting with two life-long friends eating good cheese and singing some of the best music America has ever made.
Last night my roommate and I were discussing what an orphan is. Well, we were talking about Goldilocks and I referred to her as an orphan to my roommate's disagreement. My only supporting evidence was the fact that she ate all that porridge and so did Oliver. Not to mention the fact that she was ransacking homes in the middle of the woods, probably on a school day.
When I was in foster care, court reports and official paperwork always referred to me as an "Orphan/Ward of the Court," a title that I found offensive. I was never an "orphan." I had two parents who I knew and loved. Just because I didn't live with them shouldn't warrant me being called an orphan. Hell, Ella lived in an "Orphan Asylum" and she had living parents who were unable to care for her at the time. I hadn't given much thought to the title until examining the life of Goldilocks last night.
I looked up whale and jazz in an online dream dictionary. The whale is an omen signifying protective influences around you and can also signify a desire to cry out about something (a pun on wailing). There was a definition for the dream symbol of jazz, but the dictionary warns that if one is a jazz aficionado that there is no symbol for the music in a dream. Oddly enough, the definition of the whale defines jazz for me too. Jazz is a warm, comforting and protective force that also allows one to cry out and wail through a smoky hall.
So why shouldn't three orphans find some comfort in sharing a song or two in the warm womb-belly of a whale?