My dream last night was quite realistic and oddly easy to remember. Along with my father, I was at a Breugger’s Bagels somewhere out in the world. He instructed me to order him something while he went to take care of something outside, possibly parking the car. It’s difficult to tell how old I was in the dream. I decided to order him a turkey sandwich on a plain bagel. I myself wanted ham. When the counter person, a woman roughly in her thirties, took my order, I ordered two plain bagels, one with turkey, one with ham, both with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion. She stopped me and I assumed it was because that was put too confusingly, so I started again. One turkey sandwich on plain, with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion… no, she said she couldn’t do that. Eventually, after failing to communicate a lot, I figured out she was telling me that she could not do lettuce, tomato,Â and onion — she could do only one of the three.
Needless to say, I found this difficult to believe. I asked to speak with her manager. I waited at the counter while customers came and went — it felt like hours — until finally a jovial, black Al Roker type poked his head out from the kitchen and said “Did someone need a manager?” I said I did, and he motioned me back into the kitchen. By the time I got there, he had been recast as a chubby, moon-faced white guy.
The manager asked me what the problem was. I told him the lady behind the counter had told me they couldn’t put more than one topping on a bagel sandwich — which I thought sounded absurd. He listened to me talk about lettuce, tomato, and onion, how they just go together, how I’m sure nearly everyone orders them together, and how I believed there could not be a reason for this woman’s intransigence except for some inexplicable animosity towards me. The man looked downcast, said he understood what was happening, and went to have a talk with the counter staff.
I went back to place my order again. This time, the new counter person, a younger woman, told me they had figured out how they could add more than one topping to the sandwich — the problem had been a technical one. There was exactly one button on the register for each topping, and you could only push one. I ordered my sandwich, began to wonder where my dad had gone, and the dream ended.