Ever have one of those dreams where you think, “Come on, this just can’t be!” And yet there it is in front of you. This week has been a busy one in my dream mind. Early in the week I had just fallen asleep when I saw a dark line of ants walking at the junction of the wall and ceiling just above my head, with another black pool of them in my periphery. “Holy f$#@ing sh#$!” I sat up in bed and stared at the ants. My wife was sitting up reading and giving me that eyebrow-raise she inherited from her mother. “There are ants all over the ceiling…they…it could be black spots in my vision…okay…sorry.” And I went back to sleep. But she’s lucky, my wife, usually it’s giant spiders hanging from the ceiling like venomous piñatas, so it’s a good thing I’m always vigilant.
Yesterday I spent the day home sick, and a long nap did nothing to snuff out my wish for more sleep at night. Sometime in that dark confusing space, I dreamt I was starting school again, a graduate program at a major university. I had a class schedule but no idea what degree I was pursuing. But there was such a rush for classes and dorm rooms I hurried along with everyone else. In one class the teacher began to lose students’ attention, and a pair of rebellious girls in the back of class began to sing in harmony, a traditional song in Finnish or Hungarian, sounding like plainsong. Why? Why were they singing?
I left class and tried to navigate back to my dormitory, Pitt Hall, as I remember, and saw a group of construction workers at the far end of the quad. They wore turbans and thick black beards and a group of protestors was waving signs and yelling nearby. Evidently the turbaned Sikhs were being asked to change to hard hats for safety reasons and because, and here’s my WTF moment, their turbans had three stars on them but their rank as construction workers was only one star. Naturally at a college campus, affluent white kids were taking up the cause of the workers and protesting that it was racial profiling, anit-culturalism, etc. In this dream I played a quick card game with Shaquille O’Neal, then accidentally gave away a friend’s deck of cards. Why does my mind insist on creating such ridiculous juxtapositions? Dreams are the brain’s way to spin its own tale, rather than responding to the onslaught of stimuli from the senses and memory banks. So this is how my mind plays? Who knew I was so nonchalant about playing canasta with NBA stars?
This weekend may be, pending resolution of the deep-lung cough I’ve gotten, an outdoor work extravaganza. I will either be digging holes for new plants, or sprawled on the couch watching my new favorite show, House Hunters International. Currently my lungs make a noise like chowder simmering on the stove, so I’m not overly hopeful.