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In class (even though school was out for the summer) my professor lovingly but disappointedly asked why I didn’t send that project letter in. I think I thought it was an assignment but I guess it was a bigger, more long term project. I told her I’d been very sick with a stomach flu. It was true but nobody believes a slacker. She asked my friend (not classmate) and I to write some notes on the board about the article we’d read. The article was well organized so it wasn’t too bad to write notes without having read it thoroughly. When we sat down for discussion our professor was gone. A less popular professor had stepped in in her place. A classmate was pissed and said she wasn’t going to stay for this since he’d only talk to us about Mit Romney. I asked her where the prof had gone but she was too annoyed to fully consider the options. I suggested maybe an emergency had come up and thought of unfortunate scenarios that might make somebody leave their class so quickly without a word. All the students took the opportunity for an early afternoon. 
There was a tray of free cookie samples in a bakery with too many choices to only take one. Like everyone else, I took two and tried to be covert about it. A large man behind the counter conveyed his annoyance of this but I forget how…just remember his smiling, angry, red face and loud voice. I put one cookie in my pocket, knowing I’d have to eat it soon or the chocolate would melt, while I thought of all the justifications for taking two. 

Maybe it was in Hawaii. After the day was over people wanted to hang out. They said they’d be up till 2 or so swimming near their hotel (which was an apartment complex).  I said a non-commital ok as I headed in the other direction. I passed by some food booths and stopped to see what vegetarian options were offered. I don’t think I got anything but not for lack of good options.

The next morning I was walking towards the conference center. I ran into a group of friends and acquaintances from my old department milling about in a courtyard. They were drinking and joking. I thought, “ah, this is why they are the way they are.” I enjoyed half a beer then went on to my class. I didn’t want to be late. Outside class a woman I barely knew said her friend had a friend, probably not from Jamaica, they were hoping I’d like to meet. I said I don’t like setups and she said to think about it. I had to work to squeeze my half beer into the already stuffed mini-fridge provided in the hall for class-goers. I was late to class.

In class they were playing a game. The woman who asked me to meet her friend’s friend was the teacher. There were tables set up front like an assembly line and students moving along them, doing something with papers at each table. I asked the girl I would sit by what I should know. She started to explain but it was very complicated. At one point the teacher asked a question and the girl said, “don’t make eye contact!” and she laid straight in her chair like a dead fish. I quickly laid down, too, on the side of her chair until it was safe. I sat next to her where there was a man to my left. I asked him a question which apparently upset the girl. She wouldn’t help me anymore.

I went to the next class where my long time mentor was teaching. She was walking back from the bathroom with my friend and said I should go to the bathroom. So I did. It was very busy. Instead of paper seat covers there were sticky paper overalls. They were hard to put on and the girls waiting were unkindly impatient. They opened my door as I was finishing, saying mean things about me to me and to eachother. I don’t know what their deal was. I threw my sticky overalls into the trash down the hall and headed back to class.

A friend (Carter Nix in American Crime) and I broke into an office on our local university campus. I was on lookout and don’t remember what we were after…maybe a pile of money but that doesn’t make sense to my wakened self now. A man came walking up to the window with a flashlight, Carter and I ducked low to the ground. We must have broken the window pretty cleanly because the man didn’t seem phased by it having no glass. He left, we resumed. There was a chocolate sheet cake on the table. We took some slices, at least a third of the cake. I think we only used our hands but the cuts were so straight and our hands stayed clean. We left through the window, between the blinds and the hole in the glass. We left campus, avoiding cameras. I put the hood up on my coat while we walked. Later in the car I said, “oh no! I bet it’s somebody’s birthday tomorrow and the cake was for them!” We felt bad but ate our slices, reserves in our pockets. Chocolate cake, chocolate frosting and filling. I hadn’t read the message on top. I went home. My mom wasn’t home and didn’t return until after maybe 11 which was out of character. She asked how the dog was. I’d forgotten to check so said he probably needed out.

I was riding my bike home in the daytime. It seemed like the first time I’d ridden in a long time because I wasn’t very coordinated. I rode into a shop I was unfamiliar with. There was a line, it seemed popular. There were bikes and clothes, mostly short shorts, and friendly associates. I wondered where the exit door was and found it was the same as the entrance door. Small shop. I went on my way. A nice young man, also on a bike, seemed like he wanted to chat. If I did, though, he’d learn i didn’t really ride much. I hoped he wouldn’t notice how uncoordinated I was.

Lots of trees had fallen after a bad local ice storm. Animals had been hurt, some killed. I was walking in town on a sidewalk between a park and a road. There was lots of grass around. I saw a tree limb down on top of a deer who didn’t make it. Just past the deer, at the next still-standing tree, I saw a little baby hippo! It was the size of a football and just hanging out there in the grass near the road. I picked it up and turned to see a tiny coffee mug sized baby elephant next to my foot. It was rolling around so happy and cute! I picked it up, too. It was so soft and sweet and climbed into my jacket around my back and snuggled in. I walked home wondering what to feed them both and how long it would take for them to get huge.

My friend was at my house, sitting in my kitchen. I said, “look what I found!” I put the hippo down on my counter. My friend was not impressed. I said, “wait, that’s not all,” and brought the snugly elephant out of my jacket. She could not resist such cuteness so I handed the elephant to her. It was so happy and wiggly and cuddled right on her. I fed the hippo a piece of lettuce that looked like celery.

The hippo looked ready to jump off the counter so I put it on the floor. It was a fast little runner for having such short legs! It ran upstairs to a door, which I opened. It sniffed around, found a spot, then peed and threw up almost simultaneously. I took it outside to my back yard. It ran so fast around the corner, I couldn’t get to it before it went under the neighbor’s fence where a cow was also passing through. The neighbor’s pig and dogs came out. The wiener dog was running along, barking, on top of the fence line. The rottweiler seemed ready to pounce on my hippo. The hippo didn’t know what to do so kept freezing. I couldn’t get over there and nobody heard me calling for help.

I woke up so upset, I had to make a half-awake alternate ending to get back to sleep. In that ending, the hippo and I went to PetSmart to get a pretty halter and leash.

Baby stuff

A friend came in to a class I was taking before it started or maybe during a break. She brought some things out of her bag, baby things. A tiny sweater she’d knitted with incredible quality. It was off white with a wooden button. So tiny. Another sweater was bigger, lighter, longer, pink. Then she brought out a doll that (only in the dream) had been mine as a child. I became very nostalgic and it made me think of my great grandmother. I told the people around me that I used to carry it around everywhere and call it ‘my baby’. The girl (a friend?) sitting next to me took the small white sweater and put it in her backpack. I wished she didn’t because I wanted it, too, for my real baby though I did wonder if it’d be too tiny. Nobody knew yet about my baby though so I had no grounds to object. I was grateful for the thoughtful gifts.


Though not far enough along to be confirmed, I looked in the mirror and my belly and breasts were protruding from pregnancy. At first I was taken aback. Then I was happy and proud.

This olive

I was walking through a busy courtyard pathway…maybe a University or a charming downtown…a park? Plants were lush, bright green and blooming. My former closest friend was a bit ahead of me. I think we were both coming from the same place but had different destinations. We weren’t walking together. There were lots of other people, too. Most headed in the same direction but some not. A very small boy in old-timey clothes was walking towards us. He looked at my friend who seemed concerned for his well-being but he shook his head at her. He seemed to be on a mission. I made eye contact with the boy and he held his hand up. I leaned down to see what he was holding. He opened his hand and said, “this olive” indicating that it was not ripening appropriately – it was hard on the outside with a soft pit. I picked the olive up to look closer and said, “oh, honey, this isn’t an olive it’s a snail.” I put the snail in a nearby garden bed. It came out of its shell. The boy walked over to verify and the snail, apparently still angry at being carried around and bitten on for too long, lunged forward toward the boy. The boy stepped back. We gave the snail its space and the crowd of onlookers moved on.

I came around a corner in a school hallway and saw a friend I hadn’t seen for a while. Super excited, I walked faster and went in for a hug. As I came near, the person turned away quite bothered and I realized it was a young autistic man whose space I’d just invaded. A lesson to slow down.

I walked with a group of friends (including the one I thought I’d seen earlier) across the parking lot to another building where a generally unkind, spoiled young man was having a (birthday?) party. While we walked, I described to my long lost friend what I’d seen in her dream: (oh noooooo, I remembered it so clearly 15 minutes ago!!) something about her playing with two really cute baby elephants…

I’m not sure why we were so bothered by the spoiled (birthday?) boy…something like maybe we’d planned to use the space for an important event and he overrode our booking last minute just because he could. When we arrived at his party we stood in the doorway (me at the forefront) and sarcastic heckles his way…the only particulars I remember are making fun of his quilted tablecloths (that were actually kind of sweet) and ending with something like, “happy ‘birthday’ or whatever.” In the dream I’d felt completely justified but writing this now I feel a bit like a bully. Lesson not to react loudly in the midst of disappointment.

Wedding Travel

I had a wedding to attend in California. A close friend’s family affair. Another friend – who seemed a little like my boss – was going to travel with me. We’d planned to go by car. We were younger than we are.

As we prepared (and putzed) at my house time got away from us. Neither of us were paying any attention to our phones either. Soon as I worried that our three friends who’d left before us would be mad we hadn’t left yet, they showed up at my house. I guess they’d turned around when they couldn’t get in touch, losing a couple hours of their drive. They weren’t angry, maybe slightly irritated but only for a second. They were used to our lolly gagging but wanted to check that we were safe and help speed up our process.

After consulting my friend whose family we’d be visiting, we decided it’d be best to stay in a hotel since we’d be arriving so late. I think our three friends had a different ultimate destination but we wanted to caravan far as we could.

My boss-friend rode in a van ahead with two of our friends and I rode in a van with the third other friend. I didn’t know him well but we got along fine.  We stopped for gas maybe and went inside to stretch out, get some snacks, and use the restroom.

Inside was a house party. I was first in line for the bathroom but others who came thought they were, too. I managed to get in anyway.  It was like a gas station restroom more than a house-type – concrete floor with bits of toilet paper skewed about, a metal sink with a foggy mirror above, un-fully-flushed toilet.  I kept putting seat covers on the toilet but each one would become wet as I put them down. A girl fussed with her appearance at the foggy mirror as I kept on with the seat.  It became a bigger non-bathroom room.

My friends came in, it was time to go. I heard a familiar voice. It was Seth Rogan but I mistook him for the drummer of my brother’s old high school band. I asked if he’d ever lived in my hometown. He said he thought so. I was perplexed by his uncertainty but my brother’s band mates said weird things all the time.

My very best friend & I went to New York City for the day. It was right across some hills from the Columbia Gorge. Our dogs were there, too. We found them in a scuffle with another big dog. My hand was nearly punctured trying to get the other dog away. This started outside but ended inside some kind of animal business housed in a house. We put the other dog outside the room & closed ourselves in. A man came back with the dog and said it needed the room back. As we were leaving, he said we owed $6 for the previous day’s rent. 

Once outside, we were a tiny bit lost. I tried to look up directions on my phone but it wasn’t working right. We asked a passing by couple for directions but the man just poked fun at us and kept on.  We went to a little market. My friend was talking to the clerk while I wandered. There was a shelf full of unbagged Cheetos and a couple that looked so delicious I almost couldn’t resist; I reached up to choose them but stopped myself. The clerk saw me & gave a glare. I apologized & resumed self-control.

Apparently we found some friends because we were suddenly in their car getting a ride home.  The driver accidentally was going 140+mph. He realized & slowed down. We heard sirens. He was worried but I was sure they weren’t for us. I think we were headed to a Costco.

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