Bonnie Henry

Ron Medvescek/Arizona Daily Star

I had the strangest dream the other night.

I know, most people hate it when someone starts up a conversation that way. Can’t help it. The kind of dreams I have beg to be shared. For I dream of cats who talk and dogs who meow, of breathless chases away from faceless boogeymen men, and the celebrities who save me.

Most of my dreams seem to be a mixture of black and white, along with color. One recent dream — a nightmare actually — was set in a Mexican restaurant where one of the female patrons was wearing pink rollers in her hair, encased in a hairnet pinched together with two pink plastic barrettes shaped like butterflies.

Alas, I’ve never had the sort of dream that led to unimaginable success, like that woman in Arizona whose dreams about vampires led to the “Twilight” movie blockbuster series.

My husband claims he never dreams. Maybe he’s right, or maybe he just has poor recall. Me? There’s hardly a morning when I awake when I haven’t had some sort of dream the night before.

Not all are dramatic enough to warrant some sort of interpretation by Sigmund Freud.

Many of my more prosaic dreams revolve around frustration of some sort or the other. I’m always trying to get somewhere or get something done, usually without much success. Those who know me won’t be surprised to learn that technology is often the villain in these dreams.

Anyway, the dream I had the other night that set all this off was one in which I was trying to call my mother on my cell phone — quite a trick since my mom died in the year 2000.

Of course, I did not know this in my dream. In fact, I often dream of the dead. In them, nothing is scary or out of the ordinary. They are just people who are no longer with us — except, of course, in my dreams.

Back to that dream: I was trying to get ahold of my mother but I did not have her number on my speed dial. So I tried a number I remembered from long ago, only to get the dreaded “The number you called is no longer in service” recording. (Say, maybe Freud would have something to say about this.)

So then I searched the closet where I keep old phone books, but all the numbers were of businesses, not residences. Then I thought of calling my mom’s longtime next-door neighbor, but for some reason that never happened.

Next, I turned to my daughter, who for some inexplicable reason, was able to get ahold of her grandmother. She was given a number to call back: 888-KIDS. But of course I had trouble translating KIDS to numbers. Don’t you hate it when you’re given letters instead of numbers? And then I woke up.

Now as I write this, the dream is receding, as they all do, into haze. But one thing still stands out, and that is our total dependence on the speed dial. If you put a gun to my head, I could not tell you my daughter’s telephone number, nor that of any of my friends or relatives.

Heaven help me if I had to make a call without my speed dial, considering that I own a flip-phone relic, unable to access any helpful information from the internet.

The only numbers I can rattle off the top of my head are my parents’ old phone number — no longer in service — and my husband’s, and that’s only because he and I share all but the last two digits, which are reversed.

I don’t know if there’s a solution to this. Maybe I’ll dream one up. In the meantime, sweet dreams to all.

Bonnie Henry’s column runs every other Sunday. Contact her at