Sometime I have these dreams where I’m trying like crazy to get someplace. The setting is usually in or around a university. Either I can’t get to my classes or my dorm room or can’t find my car or leave my bag behind. I climb stairs that abruptly ends. I walk corridors long as roads, and enter doors that lead everywhere except where I need to be. Sometime I end up in restrooms with filthy overflowing commodes. I watch others enter and leave. I search for a clean stall but behind every door is a sight not for the meek of heart.
In one I’m desperately trying to get to my classes because my grades are on thin ice, but there’s nothing I can do. I see myself walking, feet striking the concrete, passing buildings, passing other students, passing classrooms filled with students, entering offices, stairwells that empty into yet more corridors, but none leads me to where I should be.
What does it mean? To find a clue, I look up the definition of dream? A series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep, is what one Google search turned up. According to that definition I suppose I could sum it all up and say my life is an overflowing sewer going nowhere. My frustration and the panicky feeling of running out of time are quite evident in these stories that vexes my dreams to near nightmare.
As if the classroom, dorm and restroom scenarios aren’t bad enough, there are times I can’t find my car. In these dreams, the parking lot is a huge island that includes parking decks and outside parking spaces neatly segmented, cluttered with vehicles. Again, I’m going to where I believe my car to be, but it’s not and thus begins the never-ending search. I swear in these dreams I walk my legs off without breaking a sweat.
In my last car search dream I meet a female. She’s short with black curly hair beneath a Carolina blue ball cap and she’s wearing this jersey that hangs midway on her chunky thighs. It’s chilly out. She’s wearing a dark denim jacket with that jersey dangling like a skirt. I’m standing in front of this huge old church that shadows the entire block. I’m heading up the steps hoping to find someone who can point me to a shortcut. I’ve strayed so far from that humongous parking lot it’s not even funny.
I’m eyeing the building and out of the corner of my ever-vigilant eye notices she’s watching me like some bird of prey. I thought I would be spared after she’d stated her case to a lady who’d shook her head and continued on to the daycare attached to the church. Before I can go in the opposite direction, she swoops. “Mam, mam,” she calls out. She’s in my face, not making eye contact but not hanging her head either. “I’m pregnant can you help me out?” My eyes glide downward but the getup gives nothing away. Still I dig a hand full of coins out of my slouch bag and give them to her. She’s in luck because in some of these dreams I leave my bag behind and have to go in search for it.
“Thank you mam,” she says, taking off like she expected me to ask for my money back. “Make sure you feed that baby,” I call and for the first time she looks at me does a little thing with her neck, almost like a turtle cringing toward its shell, as if to say you are lost. Who the hell are you to tell me anything? Done with me she enters a trail in a heavily treed park just a walk across the church’s asphalt and soon it swallows her whole.
The wooden medieval door won’t budge. A fire breathing dragon could’ve been behind there for all I knew. That’s how quick I high-tailed it from there. A cobblestone walkway leads up to more doors. Before I’d gotten halfway a man walks out to me. He says if I’m looking for the group that they’d gone for the day. I thanked him and stood in the shadow of that great church looking up. A cold wetness spatters on my forehead. A storm is brewing. I still myself against the elements and wonder which way to go. Then I wake up and relief floods out the frustration and growing panic because thank God it was just a dream.