For a college psych project, I was asked to record my dreams for a month; it was far too much introspection and it left me afraid to be alone with my own psyche.
The other night, as REM sleep ensued, I looked around a classroom at my school. I spend 4 hours a day in one classroom so when I choose to spend my dream time there it is rather commendable. I was sitting in the back of the classroom as I helped some students. They were playing a game that involved constructing sentences with word cards. Suddenly Penny-dog, a familiar entity to the readers of this blog, interrupted learning time. She had been in the truck for a few hours, but I had mistakenly left the window down. She had leapt out of the truck’s open window and somehow made her way into the building. To my dismay, she burst into the class where I was sitting, but no one else seemed to notice. I tried to give her commands, but in my dreams she listens about as well as she does in real life. My voice began to raise and she went into here avoidance and flight phase of our training sessions. She bolted out the door, and still, the class did not notice. She took off down the hall with me in hot pursuit. Taking a hard left down the administrative hallway, she sprinted by the principals doors as they were meeting. I was running out of school appropriate words to scream at her and started diving into my ranch-only-vocabulary. As she entered the sixth grade hallway, I began tossing sixth graders out of my way as she was picking her way through the crowd. She burst out the door at the end of the hallway as I chucked a final sixth grader into the library. Circling the school, she put a lot of distance between us. I did enter the parking lot as she high jumped into the open window that she had exited earlier. We exchanged words at the window and I headed back into the school.
The bell rang as I stepped back into the school. Word travels fast in a middle school. Who like’s who, who fought who, who is getting kicked out, this is news that seems to travel through walls. I am most often informed of happenings in the building by over hearing students. But as I entered the 8th grade hallway, not one person mentioned the insane blue heeler that entered a classroom, broke into an administrative meeting, and weaved through the sixth grade hallway. There were no locker conversations, no hushed whispers about the spectacle minutes before.
After working in a language arts classroom in the morning, my next assignment is in the lunchroom. Working in the lunchroom at this time is also, both Principals, our SRO, and our Athletic director; all whose offices reside in the Admin hallway and who witnessed the events of the morning. I braced myself for the odd looks and questions that would accompany my entrance into the lunchroom. Oddly, no one said a thing. It was as if it never happened. After 30 minutes of wondering when the chastisement from the leadership would come, I approached our Assistant Principal.
“So, about what happened earlier…” I started telling him. “I don’t know how it happened and it wont happen again.”
“What are you talking about?” he replied.
“My dog running through the halls, interrupting your meeting, causing a frakus in the 6th grade hallway; all of that.”
“I don’t follow,” he said. “I never saw any dog, but I did see you running.”
“You never saw my dog?” I asked him.
“No. We checked the video to see what you were running for and couldn’t find a reason. The bigger problem is ‘why were you shot-putting sixth graders?’”
“I was chasing my dog through the halls!”
“We never saw any dog!” I was taken aback that there was no video of my dog, but I did begin questioning my own sanity. I asked some of the sixth graders at lunch about it. They remembered me throwing them but not the dog. I approached our Head Principal, Ms. Tammy, who I have had numerous dog conversations with as she has two herself, and asked her about the event. Her reply, “You don’t own a dog.”
You know when you are having a bad dream and you wake up when it gets too scary: a split second before impact with the ground, just as the rabid dog catches you, or the clown arrives. I shot awake at the very moment that I was informed that I didn’t own a dog.
Two a.m., sitting up in bed, trying to figure out if I, like John Nash in A Beautiful Mind, had imagined and made up my best friend. I stumbled out of bed and looked on the floor and couldn’t find Penny where she usually slept. She was markedly absent. I searched the darkened living room for her and came up empty. I began doubting my own sanity as I searched for her.
My first words to my wife the next morning was: “Can you see her?” as I pointed towards the dog. Tricia’s look was all I needed to confirm the fact that I am loosing it. By the way, that night, Penny was hiding under her blanket…and that’s why I couldn’t find her.
So, all you dream interpreters, what does this mean?