I Dream of Johnny
I had just dragged myself out of bed, and was heading downstairs to the kitchen, when I heard a knock at the door. It was only 6am, so of course I was immediately struck with a sense of doom, thinking something bad had happened to someone I knew and/or loved. I yelled out, “Hold on, I’m coming!” loud enough that it echoed through the entire first floor of the house.
I hobbled down the stairs as fast as my aching body would let me. When I reached the bottom of the steps, I could see the silhouette of at least 3 people through the curtains. This can’t be good, I was thinking. My heart was pounding in my chest. I was almost afraid to open the door because I didn’t want to face whatever bad news awaited me. I reached for the lock, took a deep breath to brace myself, and opened the door.
Almost immediately, a microphone was shoved into my face, and I could see a television camera resting on someone’s shoulders. My eyes blurred as I struggled to make sense of what was happening, and hear the words that the man holding the microphone was saying.
“You’re the winner of our contest! How do you feel right now?!”, he all but screamed at me.
“What contest? What are you talking about?”, I asked as I looked around, trying to focus on the faces in front of me.
Just then, a familiar face came into focus. I blinked a few times, rubbed my eyes, and felt my jaw go slack. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, much less what I was hearing as the man responded, “You’ve won an entire day with Johnny Depp!”
This can’t be true, I thought, this must be a celebrity look-a-like. Johnny Depp can not be standing on my porch, looking at me with an amused smile on his face. Then it dawned on me what I must look like – bloodshot eyes with sleep gunk in the corners, hair that resembles a rat’s nest, indents on my face from my pillowcase, wearing the same ratty clothes that I wore the day before, and no bra underneath. I screamed like I was a twelve-year-old girl, stepped back, slammed the door shut, and leaned my back against the door.
I heard laughter, then Johnny said, “Shelli, this isn’t a joke. I’m real, and I’m really here to spend the day with you.”
Oh my gawd, he knows my name! And he knows what a horrible first impression I make! I felt totally mortified. I turned around, pulled the curtain aside a tiny bit, and peeked out. I was staring right into his face. He was smiling at me, trying to reassure me that this was real. My knees started to feel weak. I held onto the door for support.
“What’s going on?!”, a voice behind me demanded. I jumped about a foot in the air, screamed again, and whipped myself around. My Son was standing there with a worried look on his face. “Look!”, was all I managed to say as I pointed to the door. He shoved the curtain aside, and looked out the window. His eyes were huge as he looked at me. He didn’t need to say a thing, I understood exactly what he was thinking.
Again, I heard Johnny speak. “Are you going to open the door and let me in, or are we going to spend all day like this? Time’s a’wasting!”, he said with a laugh.
Matthew gently pushed me aside, then opened the door. I could do no more than stand there with my mouth hanging wide open, unable to speak or move on my own. Johnny walked in, shook Matthew’s hand, then extended his hand to me. I acted on instinct alone, and raised my hand to meet his. He said, “Nice to meet you, Shelli.” I mumbled something in return, my brain still not processing what was happening.
Matthew told Johnny to come in and have a seat at the kitchen table. Four more people walked into the kitchen behind Johnny … the man holding the microphone, the man holding the television camera, a woman and another man. Johnny sat down at the head of the table. Matthew walked over to me, grabbed my arm, and pulled me to the table to sit down next to Johnny. I once again realized what I must look like, and quickly crossed my arms over my chest, hoping to hide the fact that I was not wearing a bra.
The man with the microphone thrust it into my face again, and asked me how I was feeling about winning the contest. I turned to him and said, “How does it look like I’m feeling?! I’m quite sure everyone in this room can see that I’m beyond shocked!” He then explained to me about the contest that I’d entered, and what exactly I’d won. Johnny Depp would hang out with me until midnight, doing whatever it is that I normally do on a Saturday. We would have any transportation provided to us, all expenses for the day would be paid, and a crew would follow us around to document the events of the day. Other than that, it was entirely up to me how to spend the day.
I had managed to gain some composure, and started to relax a bit. Then I heard another knock at the door. Matthew jumped up to answer it. My Amish neighbors had come to see if everything was ok. They had heard me scream, and saw the extra vehicles in the driveway. They thought something was wrong and offered to help if need be. I invited them in, and told them what was happening. Two of the teenage girls started whispering between themselves. They weren’t speaking English, but we all understood two words very clearly: Jack Sparrow. They obviously knew who was sitting in my kitchen, and all of us broke out in laughter.
My neighbor asked if we’d had breakfast yet, and of course we hadn’t. She offered to cook a huge breakfast for everyone, while I got showered and changed. I thanked her, and raced upstairs to do just that.
When I returned to the kitchen, everyone had a plate in front of them filled with eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, and fresh fruit. There was a glass of orange juice in front of each plate. I looked around, taking stock of who was in my kitchen, and I saw my Husband. I ran to him, wrapped my arms around him, and started talking a million miles an hour. He laughed and told me that he’d already been filled in on what was happening. Then he floored me by telling me that he had entered the contest in my name, which explained why I was so confused.
While we ate breakfast, Johnny asked about what plans I had for the day. We also talked about anything that popped into our heads. The conversation was light and friendly, and we just enjoyed each others’ company. When we finished eating, my Amish neighbor offered to clean up so we could get busy with our day.
The first thing on my agenda was to help my dad clean out my uncle’s barn. My uncle was selling the farm, and all the antique farm equipment was to be sold at auction the next day. My dad had a ton of family and friends meeting there at 8am, so we had to get a move on if we were going to make it in time. We all piled into the stretch SUV limo that was waiting in my driveway: myself, my Husband, my Son, Johnny and his four-person crew. We arrived at my uncle’s barn just in time. When we exited the limo, the faces of my family and friends were priceless! We made introductions, and then went to work.
The next eight hours flew by. Wherever I went, Johnny followed. He helped as if he was part of the family, taking everything in stride. At lunch, he helped me in the kitchen to make lunch for everyone. When the barn was cleared out, and everyone was leaving, they all came by to shake his hand and express their gratitude for his help. Everyone saw him less as a celebrity and more as a human being. I was anticipating the next eight hours.
We left my dad’s, piled in the limo, and came back to my house to shower and change. Johnny suggested that we go out some place nice for dinner, so we did. At the restaurant, we were swarmed by hundreds of people. I should have expected that, but after spending the entire day with him, it didn’t even occur to me that he was still a celebrity. To me, he was just one of us normal people.
After dinner, we went back to my house to watch a movie. We piled some large pillows on the floor in front of the couch. Bill sat in the recliner, Matthew stretched out on the couch, the woman sat on the loveseat, and the three other crew members walked around taking pictures and video. Johnny sat on the floor, propped against the pillows. I sat on the floor next to him, and laid back against his chest. While the movie played, he and I sat talking quietly. I couldn’t concentrate on the movie anyway, and the film crew was even more distracting.
I was terribly anxious about the day coming to an end. I didn’t want it to end! I kept looking at Bill and smiling. He was smiling right back, knowing that I was beyond happy, and that he’d made my dreams come true. I made the most of the two hours I had left with Johnny, just laying on his chest, talking.
At midnight, the crew packed up to leave. Johnny said goodbye to Matthew and Bill, and walked with me out to the vestibule. He reached out, took both of my hands in his, and expressed to me what a wonderful day he’d had. I apologized for putting him to work for eight hours, but he insisted it was fun to do something out of the ordinary for him. He asked if we could stay in touch. Of course I said yes! He released one of my hands, put his hand around my back, pulled me close to him and gave me a kiss.
Then I woke up. *sigh* I don’t know why I have such detailed dreams, or why I remember them so clearly, but in this case, I’m extremely grateful for that ability! This will be one dream that stays with me for a very long time. 🙂