Friday, June 22, 2007

Dreams of the "Past"

I don't have recurring dreams per se, in the sense that the same thing happens over and over. I do have recurring themes, or elements. One is school. Another is flying (though not for a long time). Otherwise, I dream wildly disparate stuff, often very complex and richly detailed. The longer I go without working on a new book, the more complex and detailed and exhausting my dreams get.

The last three nights, though, have been doozies. I keep revisiting my past. This happens a lot, mostly with the "I'm back in school" dreams, usually where I realize I've missed class all semester, or I don't know where my locker is. I was in new schools a lot (though not as often as some, and only once after the term started), so that might be why that is. But usually, I'm a different version of me. I'm the me I was back then, or if older, at least pre-wife-and-mother. Or an alterna-me, where my life as I know it hasn't happened. This time, I have been revisiting my past as me now.

Tuesday night, I was in an educational setting. It was a really old school, like a magnificent college. It was some kind of entertainment-oriented program. Megan was in the program, too, and we were maybe second-years. Nathan Fillion was in it, too, about to finish. The early part is less clear, though I remember he was warm and funny and I hung out with him a lot. The end part is very clear. He was teaching a final class before he finished the program, and he gave an assignment to us. I spent a long time flipping through my notebook, looking for a clean piece of paper that didn't have notes all over it. No, not those kind of notes. Notes Megan and I had written back and forth in class. Don't know where that comes from. We don't do that in chapter meetings at all. I was working hard at writing a very complimentary essay about Nathan that would cause him to come find me after the term ended, touched by my words.

Wednesday night I dreamed I was back in my old bedroom in Brady Village. We lived in Brady Village when I was in fifth through eleventh grades. Then we moved to New York, and I started college, and my parents moved to Connecticut, and the summer after my freshman year I worked at Blockbuster Video (also, during winter break, in a different store owned by the same people and managed by a guy I'd trained the previous summer, Scott Ritter). In my dream, I worked at Blockbuster but was in the apartment I hadn't lived in for nearly two decades, and some of the old crowd was there. I don't think Peter (Bonitatebus, in case he Googles himself) or Vince (Scarpetti) were in it, which is weird, because they were my best work friends that summer. Instead, while I spent the bulk of the dream searching desperately for the phone number for the store because I didn't know my schedule that day, two guys from PERG or something were there, all excited that I was back, and trying to get me to volunteer again (I never did before, I contacted them but they were pushy and obnoxious). They wanted me to do social work kind of stuff, which I vehemently refused (I'm so introverted!). So while I was searching, I kept finding all these bits of memorabilia, the detritus of everyday life. But no phone number. I was really relieved when I woke up and realized I wasn't late for work.

Last night's dream was the lightest. I dreamed first of my friend Lainey. I was picking her up in some hotel and griping that she had seven suitcases for a two-day stay. I don't know what happened there, but the dream changed and I was back in Agawam, the town I left when I was 16. I was at the apartment of an old friend, Jeanne, and she still lived there after all these years. We were getting into my car to go to lunch and I said something about gosh, her daughter must be what, five now? And she said three. And that's really funny because she's really, like, 20. I asked where she wanted to go to lunch, and she was all gung-ho about Burger King and their awesome chicken sandwiches. Not liking fast food even in my dreams, I let Vicki pick. Yes, a friend from now was in my dream of being back home. She knew of a great restaurant, despite never having been in Agawam in her (real) life.

I wonder what tonight holds for me.

Out of curiosity, I Googled my old friends. Peter is a Ph.D. working in cancer-related nanotechnology. He owns patents and arranges bike rides for charity. Very intimidating. I hope he doesn't Google himself and find this blog (and really, someone that smart and important couldn't be bothered, right?)

Vince appears to be the principal of an elementary school. I only found one small picture, but it does look like him, 18 years older. And it's totally something he'd be. I can see him as one of those sweet guys who knows all the kids names and keeps them all in line because they don't want to disappoint him.

Scott is probably not the former United Nations weapons inspector, but his name is less uncommon than the other guys'.

Jeanne could be a floral designer/author, a federal judge, or an X-Men fan 'zine editor. It's more likely her name has changed and I'll never find her. That's kind of sad.

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