The Hollywood Dreamer

I may not have the punch, but I’ve got the mouthpiece.

I had a dream the other night about picking up Julia Roberts. She’s not my favorite heartthrob, but I’m not complaining. She appeared. I drove her from the airport to her home in Venice Beach or thereabouts. It’s not far from where I grew up in L.A. I don’t remember what we spoke about, but there were serious flaws in my dream.

First, I was a taxi driver and not a Hollywood celebrity. And worse, I was wearing my mouthpiece.

Yes, my mouthpiece.

My dentist told me to wear it at night to protect my teeth from grinding, a reaction to the stress of deadlines, too much work and three kids. “You won’t have anymore teeth,” my dentist said. So in it goes every night. I can’t be a gallant without teeth. I can’t be Paul Newman vying for Katharine Ross in the movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” not like in the classic scene of them riding a bike accompanied by the song “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.”

But nor can I live such a scene with a mouthpiece in my mouth.

So I lie there in bed. There’s still three or four hours before I have to get up, and I’m thinking it’s no use dreaming about beauties. No, I’d best dream about being Rocky Balboa. At least I’d be more dignified with my mouthpiece. And I could certainly take a pummeling in the boxing ring without any damage to my teeth. Yeah, I think. It’s good to wear a mouthpiece. You just have to skew your dreams accordingly.

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