"I've Got Chills": Dream acceleration a week out from top surgery

EXT. DAY. The set of the movie Grease, throbbing softly. SANDY sits on the incline of Thunder Road, hugging her knees and wearing six light pink capes.

SANDY: Sandy, you must start anew. Don’t you know what you must do? Hold your head high, take a deep breath and sigh – [the music swells] goodbye to Sandra Dee. [She does not move.]

SANDY [The music swells]: Goodbye to Sandra Dee. [She does not move.]

SANDY [The music swells]: Goodbye to Sandra Dee. [She does not move.]

SANDY [The music swells]: Goodbye to Sandra Dee. [She does not move.]

SANDY [The music swells]: Goodbye to Sandra Dee. [She does not move.]

In the background, DANNY crashes Greased Lightning into the overpass six times. The sixth time, he barrel-rolls out of the driver’s seat, jacket aflame and denying the risen Christ. A cock crows.

RIZZO [Bitterly]: Mere biblical reference is not the same thing as the establishment of a thesis.

FRENCHIE [Blithely]: What are you pregnant with, Rizzo?

RIZZO: A rag and a bone and a hank of hair.

FRENCHIE: Who’s the father, Rizzo?

RIZZO: Look for the guy with the pink slip.

PUTZIE stumbles and dies of heartbreak.

PUTZIE: I’m dying of heartbreak!

DANNY, still on fire, Sonic-rolls to a halt at SANDY’s feet, where there is a carnival.

SANDY [In tones of shy, erotic astonishment. It’s both a question and an exclamation. A sexual wince.]: DANNY?

DANNY [In the same tones. Also in a catsuit with red wedge heels.] SANdy?

SANDY [Now wearing a catsuit herself.] DANDY?

DANNY: HANDY?

SANDY: UNCANNY?

DANNY: DADDY?

SANDY: PANSY?

SANDY [In horror.]: I’ve got chills.

DANNY [Immediately hostile.]: I’m sicker than you are, or were.

SANDY stubs out her cigarette badly. DANNY stubs his out stylishly. RIZZO, behind them, starts coughing up their cigarette butts, and stares at her own mouth in amazement.

RIZZO: I get ill from one cigarette.

RIZZO rapidly sickens and begins to die. Kenickie, useless, passes out. He is ignored.

DANNY: It’s only a puppy cut, Riz.

And RIZZO, who does NOT die, turns into a small red-haired dog, and runs and jumps into SANDY’s lap.

SANDY: This is a catsuit, Rizzo.

DANNY: Rizzo must have become important. Let’s take her with us.

A CAR arrives. It’s terrifying. It idles with menace, power, and intention. SANDY and DANNY know instantly and immediately that they will have to get in, or spend the rest of their lives in anguish and anticipation. Please do not read that last word in Tim Curry’s voice, as he has proved very litigious in the matter of movie-based dreams.

PRINCIPAL MCGEE: Oh, stop blubbering, Blanche.

BLANCHE does.

DANNY: Did I take Phys. Ed?

SANDY [Trembling.] It was for a wonderful cause.

THUNDERBIRDS [In chorus.]: You can’t follow a leader all your lives.

BLANCHE [Blubbering again.]: Tell me about it.

DANNY: Stud.

The car door opens. “Cool Rider” from Grease 2 is playing on the radio.

DANNY: I better shape up.

SANDY: Goodbye to Sandra Dee.

RIZZO [Barking.]: Hey, everybody! Rizzo and Kenickie made up!

KENICKIE, still unconscious, is immediately transformed into a long-haired Scottish deerhound.

KENICKIE: Hooray.

The lovers enter the car. The door closes. The engine strains. The car begins to push off from the ground. All smiles are tight. All eyes are urgent. No one speaks. Frankie Valli tumbles out of the trunk when the car hovers about forty feet off the ground. Before dying, he sings “I solve my problems and I see the light.” The car vanishes. The set no longer throbs. The carnival that sprung up around Sandy’s feet is now cartoonishly oversized – think fifty miles long, two hundred miles deep, and slowly disappearing under a cloud of cotton candy.

A dreamer wakes, with a dog’s foot taking up more than a dog’s-foot-sized share of the pillow. It’s not Kenickie. Your second guess was wrong, too.