I am sitting at a large dining table in a shabbily opulent room. I am wearing a wispy silk dress and stockings, but no shoes. Seated around me are a group of historical figures, who are talking animatedly amongst themselves. No one seems to notice that I am there.
Leon Trotsky is seated immediately to my right. I am impressed by this, and by the precision of his goatee. I think, “Really, he must be very sharp.” I also think, “I wonder where he got his eyeglasses?”
Frida Kahlo sits at the head of the table, wearing a riot of colour. From all appearances, she has already had several glasses of wine. I try not to stare at her eyebrows or her cleavage, which are both, in my estimation, considerable.
Across the table from me are Sartre and de Beauvoir. She is explaining the etymology of the term “lucide” while he flirts shamelessly with Kahlo. I am struck by his unattractiveness, as is she. “You are an ugly little man!” Kahlo exclaims, thrusting her wine glass in his direction. She then grabs his crotch under the table.
To their right is Marlene Dietrich, who is resplendent in top hat and tails. She is smoking Gitanes, which strikes me as odd. “The war must have ended,” I think. “How else could she have found Gitanes?”
Seated directly to my left is Glenn Gould, who is wearing a rumpled black suit and mumbling to himself. I think I hear him say something about Expo 67. “It’s going to be all the rage,” he opines. He then turns abruptly toward me and offers me a Valium, which I politely decline.
Suddenly, Allen Ginsberg emerges from the kitchen, a bright pink apron tied around his waist. “My friends, dinner is going to be late,” he announces. “Have some more wine!” He produces a bottle of Manischewitz from under his apron and places it on the table, then retreats back into the kitchen.
By this time, Dietrich and de Beauvoir are making out, while Sartre looks on approvingly. Usurped, Kahlo rises from the table and limps petulantly to the bathroom. Gould follows her upstairs, shaking his bottle of Valium like a small maraca.
Gallantly, Trotsky pours me a glass of Manischewitz and places his hand on my knee. “What do you think of the Five Year Plan?” he inquires. I respond, “It isn’t what it used to be.” He nods and slips his hand under my dress, which I take as a gesture of solidarity.
Ginsberg takes Gould’s place at the table and leans in close to me. “You know, it’s true what they say about Trotsky...” he whispers. I say, “Yes, it must be,” although I haven’t the faintest idea what he’s talking about.
Without warning, Emma Goldman bursts into the room and strides boldly toward the dining table. “No talking!” she shouts in a thick Russian accent, “Only dancing!” Dietrich retorts, “Bitch!” and throws a dinner roll at her.
Unfazed, Ginsberg rises to his feet and declares, “The soup is on!” Sartre follows him into the kitchen, and the two men return with a large cauldron of tripe. Sartre garnishes the meal with the ashes from his pipe, and proudly exclaims “Bon appétit!”
Then, I wake up.