The Telling Nature of Nightmares

I had a very peculiar nightmare last night.

In the nightmare, instead of going back home to finish a master’s in computer science, I ended up at a university in Massachusetts, studying who-knows-what. This university required that all of the students live in dorms, but the dorm set-up was unlike anything I had ever seen. Instead of individual rooms, there were sleeping halls, which was an accurate term for them because you had to walk through the rooms to move around the dorms. There were at least ten beds per hall, all with their headboards along one wall, which was paneled in something that looked like brushed steel but was probably plastic. The closets and drawers pulled out of the strange brushed-steel paneling, and the bedspreads were all gorse-flower (mustard) yellow. There was no free wifi on campus–you had to take an O2 sim card and plug it in to one of the computers in the internet corners to access the internet. And there were kitchens, but only the freshmen could use them–where the upperclassmen and grad students were supposed to cook and eat, I have no idea. My hall was entirely filled with harpists and sorority girls, the latter of whom I had happened upon while trying unsuccessfully to find something. There were nine of them, three dressed in red shirts, three in orange, and three in yellow, sitting in three rows of three on some stairs in a courtyard. They did a song and dance number to convince me to join their sorority, and seemed unconcerned that I was already a member of another sorority and was therefore inelligible. They wanted to play ball games (which involved batting around a ball with the cardboard envelope that your class schedule came in) in the sleeping hall long after I wanted to go to sleep. And I was horrified because I was apparently enrolled in golf, harp, and choir, and nothing for my major.

It was a strange dream. I remember thinking at one point, how efficient the building was, because the elevators doubled as vending machines. The actual elevator part was less than twenty inches wide, so you had to sidle in sideways, pushing the buttons for Coke or Sprite or whatever to navigate to the appropriate floor.

Zack would laugh about this dream, because in an earlier and less coherent portion of it, an old harp teacher of mine appeared and told me how glad she was that I was in Massachusetts, then, and how we would be together forever and I would never leave again. The appearance of the harp teacher, according to Zack, makes it a nightmare for me. (And I have had plenty of harp nightmares, so it’s not a totally unreasonable assertion.) But the actual nightmarish part, the parts that really horrified me in my dream, were the lack of kitchen, internet, and privacy. At the end of the dream day, as the sorority girls’ stupid green ball whizzed past my head, I sat on the cold tile floor and wished desperately that I could go home.

I suspect that is very telling about my priorities. Kitchen, internet, and privacy–the three dealbreakers in my happiness.

The Telling Nature of Nightmares

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