I have this type of dream a lot, where I am back in school repeating the past, trying to get it right. It's always grammar school or high school, never college, and I am way too old to be in either of these places, but no one seems to notice, in fact the students around me are as old as I am as well.
I am in grammar school, but then it switches to high school, argh. Anyway it would have had to be the most beautiful school in California because the entire campus is beach front property in Santa Monica. I am standing on the grass looking at the white sand and the ocean and thinking about how beautiful it is, and how lucky I am to have my school right here. The sun is shining on the waves and the air smells salty and warm.
I know I am late for class, really late, and I am worried about it. My least favorite teacher from the real world, Sister Catherine, my eighth grade teacher, is my homeroom teacher in the dream. I am afraid of her. I don't want to go to class because I know she will be mean to me. She was always jealous of me for some reason, maybe because I was smart or funny, and always looking for a way to humiliate me.
(I remember I used to get so bored in her class. She was such a dry, uptight teacher, and I was always looking for things to do to while away the time. Things she wouldn't notice that would keep my mind busy because her lectures sure couldn't. For a while I would secretly put glue on my hands and wait for it to dry, then try to peel the whole thing off in one piece. It was kind of challenging, like peeling an orange in one long spiral. When I finally managed to peel off one whole hand, I pressed it in my book, to flatten it, then I forgot about it. When we next took out that book, it slipped out of the pages and fell on the floor. She zoomed over to it and held it up with the tips of her fingers, at a great distance away from herself, as if it were some horribly repulsive thing, and said, "Eeeeeewww what's this, your sssskinnnn?" Then of course everyone laughed and she kept making fun of me about it, and I was deeply humiliated in front of the other kids. I've blocked most of it, but unfortunately that's what happens if you are different in Catholic school. Now that I think about it, weird though it may sound, it might have been a cool jumping off point for a lesson on individuality or the anatomy of the hand and how all of our fingerprints and lines are different.)
In the dream I am standing just outside her classroom. I know I should be in there, but I am late and I have missed every day of class since school started four days ago. I am so afraid of what she will do to me. I start to walk towards class but realize I am wearing roller skates and that would really single me out of castigation. I go back outside and ask the nicer teachers and students what they think I should do. They say it will be all right to leave my skates outside, and that they don't think anyone would steal them, especially since they aren't even in-line skates.
There is something about another student, a girl who is making trouble by throwing up on things. She has thrown up in the AIDS art gallery, and the teachers and students rush off to see what they can do about this.
I go back to Sister Catherine's class and try to sneak in and sit behind another student where she won't see me. Everyone is taking notes. She has drawn some very beautiful, way too intricate and detailed for a quick teacher's sketch with chalk, buildings on the blackboard. They say things like cottage and shack above them. They are very Oriental in style. I try to copy them. She is reminding us to study our notes because she is going to give us a pop quiz very shortly. I feel that I will never be able to catch up.
I like the guy sitting next to me. He is kinda sexy and cute. He is friendly to me and I am grateful.
Class ends and I am trying to sneak off but Sr. Catherine spots me and says that I don't belong in her class, she is going to assign me to the "shallow" class across the hall. I know this is her way of putting me down and getting rid of me. She says this in front of the other students. I ask, "Shallow, as in not deep or not smart?" and she says, "Well, I think it would be better suited to your level of intelligence." I get really angry and tell her that I am smart, that I belong to Mensa. I tell her my IQ, and she doesn't believe me, she asks what i got on my SAT's and I tell her, then she is chagrined. I tell her that I have ADD and that I can't help being the way I am. I think that if she were kind or compassionate, or a good teacher, she would know that, and that it's not my fault I have such a hard time concentrating. I tell her that when I'm in class with her I feel like I'm looking through a paper towel roll.
I break down and am sobbing, I can barely stand. My old friend Mimi Renda is here, she puts her arm around me and supports me and we walk outside together. Even though I am really upset, I feel triumphant, I told off Sister Catherine and showed her to be the uptight, insensitive, non-compassionate little creature she really is.
Somehow I am on a motorcycle going up a really steep hill. All of the other women on motorcycles in this part of the dream are trying to get up this hill as well, but it is very steep, there are a lot of sharp curves and a powerful wind. They are carrying monkeys or big black birds on their shoulders. The other women have all fallen over and wiped out. It seems that I will not make it but I won't give up, I keep trying and finally succeed. The monkey-birds are my friends and are helping me.
We are in a road rally of some kind. We are in Thailand. I am so excited about this race. I win this lap. People are getting off here to go to the bathroom and take a break. My little creature friends fly off me and I worry they may not come back. I walk around a little bit then join some of the other women in this bath house. A woman in traditional clothing shows me to a bathroom stall, but it is more like a shower room with a sink filled with water. She motions to the sink indicating that that is where I can go pee. She stands in the doorway but I want her to go away so I can have privacy, I feel shy about this. Finally she understand me and pulls a fabric piece across the door.
Later I am trying to figure out how much to pay her. I know that she is poor and I want to be kind and generous, but I don't understand the money at all. I can't find my things either. I have this huge wad of foreign money in my hands and I walking around with it. There are desperate and greedy people here and they are trying to snatch bills out of my big ball. There are some things I would like to buy, unusual tiny souvenir type things. There is this one thing in particular, it is a sort of sewing or pinning kit, meant to pin layers of silk fabric together in a kind of sari-like way, but without all of the folding and tucking. It has these little metal bits, like the things you wedge into the backs of picture frames, and they are wrapped in bits of turquoise and blue fabric. This is the thing I want to buy. I wish I had more time to buy little unusual gifts for my friends back home, but the racers are leaving and it is a very long journey to come back this way again.
A little while later, out on the streets, I wander up towards the residential part of this tropical and unusual foreign city. It is so beautiful here, the colors, the plants, everything is so unusual, so exotic. I want to take pictures and then realize that I have my camera with me and am grateful.
There is a really beautiful woman ahead of me, she has long black hair and dark skin, she is framed by this tree covered in peach blossoms. The sky is peach, and the sun is shining in the cool air, and it seems like such a wonderful picture.
Later, back at the road rally area, I am eager to get going and a little worried I may be too late to join the race. I decide to call my mother and tell her where I am. She doesn't believe me so I make the long distance operator come on and tell her. I feel independent and like gloating about the fact that I am so far away without having asked her permission. I like the feeling of having taken myself far away from her and from home, and it being a fait accompli at this point, something she can't stop me from doing.
She is talking to me about her friend Jani, saying that Jani hasn't been nice to her, that she never keeps her end of agreements they make. Jani has bought a scooter and won't show Mom how to use it. She thinks she is too old to ride it. I don't think so. I tell her it is really simple. Mom tells me that she always introduces Jani to new people, helps her make friends and connections, and then Jani won't keep her end and teach her or include her in things.
Well, that's the whole dream, or at least the part of it that I can recall when I'm in a rush, ack. I have an appointment with the rheumatologist to talk about Fibromyalgia. I'll check in with you guys later.
Big huge dreamy hugs,