The details sometimes vary, but the structure of the dream is always the same. I am struggling in a body of cold, salty water. I struggle to get out of the heavy clothes I'm wearing and break to the surface to breathe air. I somehow make it to the shore, where sand crabs stare and the rough turf of the beach scratches my legs and chest.
A man in a pair of khaki shorts that look like they've been worn for at least thirteen weeks in a row greets me. He looks familiar. Like a game-show host from some second-rate music channel. He hands me a Budweiser beer and gives a knowledgeable explanation as to why product placement is so necessary to make a successful television show. Thirsty, I take the beer and drink deeply. Something squirms in my mouth and I spit it out. The game show host had slipped me a bottle full of puffy beetle larvae. I run away.
A crowd of people stops me. They circle around. One of them, a craggy woman who has the demeanor of a professional truck driver, whispers to the others, "We should leave 'im out for da vultures ta pick at 'im." A Ken Doll of a man who looks none too bright winks at me and says, "Hey, man, I'm not an actor, but I play one on TV." There are more than a dozen of them -- dirty, smelly and unpleasant. They begin to part as one man, his face in shadow, approaches me. I try to stand, but my legs fail and I am on my knees. He comes forth, turns, and drops his shorts. His large, hairy ass looms large, blotting out the sun, blotting out all that is real. His sphincter is playing the "do de do dee do dee do" opening strains of the Survivor: Season One theme. The ass approaches me, pulling me in to its hairy orbit.
That's when I wake up screaming.
My therapist, (played by Lorraine Bracco) asks me what I think the dream means.
"Every time I think I've gotten away from this show, it keeps pulling me back in!" I cry.
"Confused. Frightened. I still have nightmares."
"Maybe you should confront these fears. Go back to the island, as it were. I have a friend in the entertainment industry; he sometimes has access to home videos as they appear on the market. Are you familiar with the DVD version of Survivor that's just been released?"