A Facebook friend posted the other day that he had “that dream” … the one where he is back in college and realizes that he has not gone to a certain class all semester, surely has missed tests/projects, and is totally unprepared for the final.
This seems to be one of those near-universal dreams. And as someone who’s had it numerous times, I am still surprised how frightening and upsetting the dream seems, like your entire life is in shambles because of missing this class. But I assume it feels like that because of what your state of mind would have to be if this happened in real life.
For you to go almost a whole semester just “forgetting” you had a class, it would mean you were kind of losing your mind, right? And that you couldn’t account for/explain how something had happened. It’s not like you made a conscious decision (in the dream) not to go to the class. You just forgot you were supposed to. So you’re thinking (in the dream), “What is wrong with me? Am I going crazy?”
One of the scariest dreams I ever had was when I was working at a newspaper in Tennessee (right out of college, where I never actually had forgotten I had a class) and was a tad stressed. I was only 23, and looking back now at how much I had to get done in a shift, especially for Sunday’s paper, it was absurd. I didn’t realize that then, though, so I worried about it constantly.
One night, I had this dream that I came home, and all my laundry was done. It was folded and stacked on my couch. Why is this scary, you ask. Because in the dream, I had absolutely no recollection of having done my laundry. I was living in this little duplex then that didn’t have a washer/dryer, so I had to go to the laundromat.
Aside: Incidentally, whatever is the exact opposite of an endorphin release … that’s what I always get the second I step into a laundromat. Which, luckily, is never these days. When I was a kid, we didn’t have a dryer and it was too cold to hang clothes outside in the winter months. So about every other Sunday, we’d have to go to the laundromat, an inherently depressing place. Adding to it, somebody used to leave these hellfire and damnation religious pamphlets in there. I guess my parents never looked at them. But I did. They had the reverse effect of what they apparently intended. They didn’t make me wary about hell. They made me (more) wary of people trying to scare me about hell. Alas, I was already on the way to being a Sunday School dropout anyhow.
So back to the dream … I was standing there looking at my folded laundry, realizing there was no way I could have gone to the laundromat (where as an adult, I would read Stephen King novels while waiting) and not have remembered it … unless I was … LOSING MY MIND!!!!!!!
I woke up in the typical cold sweat and clearly, the dream has stuck with me. So here I am, admitting it. One of the scariest dreams I ever had was about laundry.
But … the stress dreams I most often have as a sportswriter tend to be variations of this: I’m at a game, but can’t actually “see” it. For instance, I’m at the Final Four, a game is going on, but I can’t find my way inside to the playing floor. I’m out on the concourse, I can hear the crowd inside, but I can’t find a door that opens to let me in.
Or I’m on some press row in the rafters that is so far from the court and has such an obscured view that I have no idea what is going on in the game.
Or sometimes it’s that I’m trying to find the interview room after a game, but I can’t locate it and miss the press conference entirely. And then I also can’t find the locker rooms to talk to anybody.
So … last night, I had a dream that I was covering what I thought was the Final Four, except the arena was really small and there weren’t many people there. I was like, “Oh, jeez, where IS everybody?” I walked past a section and there were three Louisiana Tech fans there. They told me the rest of their traveling party went home after Tech lost. I said, “When did you lose? Did I miss that game?”
Yeah, it was in the first round, they said. Then why are you at the Final Four, I wondered. And suddenly, as happens in dreams, I realized I wasn’t really at the Final Four. I was at an early-round site. But I had no idea what was going on at that site, except apparently it wasn’t good for Louisiana Tech.
Then, I looked out on the court, and North Carolina was there. I thought, “Of course, Louisiana Tech fans went home.” Considering the history (1994, Charlotte Smith, .7 of a second) you couldn’t expect Tech fans to stick around and watch North Carolina. Still kind of painful. But then I thought …
Who is North Carolina playing now? Where is the other team? What arena is this? What city? How do I not remember what went on in the first round? Wait a minute … I don’t even remember anything that happened this whole season! What’s going on?
About that time, I woke up, and it took me a minute to determine why I felt so out of sorts. What a relief to realize that I had not actually missed the entire season.
But if Louisiana Tech does play North Carolina in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, I’m going to be a little weirded out.