What Dreams May Come

The disturbing, unsettling dreams continue.

About a week ago, I dreamed that I went back to school. Not just any school — I went back to Ouachita Baptist University, the place where I spent/wasted 5 1/2 years of my life. Yeah, Ouachita. All I remember was that I was riding in the back seat of a car, there were something like 5 other people in the car, and we were on our way from Austin to Arkadelphia. Upon arrival, I make my way to my new room on the third floor of Daniel Hall South, where I had a room at one point. The room was on the front side of the dorm. I remember looking around and seeing how everything, though familiar, had thoroughly changed. Even the students had changed into Abercrombie and Fitch models with more clothing and more praise to the Almighty. Feh.

So, I’m there in my room, it’s overstuffed with people, and I’m sitting in the doorway next to the hall talking to who? My Mojo’s friends. Weird. So both male and female friends are there with me, we’re talking and trying to keep our voices down, and one of the girls laughs a little too loudly. This gets the attention of the Resident Assistant (both of them, actually — seems OBU had started putting 2 RA’s per floor instead of 1), and they kick her out of the men’s dorm (OBU is a Baptist university, so of course there’s no in-room visitation with the opposite sex). I walk out after her, make my way to the end of the dorm and the base of the footbridge, where there’s still tons of people, and I take off towards the woods behind the dorm, first at a full run, then after not being able to run (it’s a dream, after all), I settle at a rushed jog. I wake up before I reach the woods.

That dream, scary as it was, really is just my memory kicking in. Earlier that evening, I was talking to friends online and dragging up memories of when I was in school. Later on in the evening, I was at Mojo’s, and the place in the smoking section, where I sat, was packed and crowded. These experiences and memories sat and stewed all night until *pop* they form a dream. And that dream scared the shit out of me. So, not only did I go back to school, I did so at the loss of all that I’ve come to rely on for support. I left my job, I left my car behind, I left pretty-much everything behind to go back. I didn’t even have financial aid. I just went. That disturbs me the most. Freaky, creepy.

Fast forward to this morning. This weekend, since Friday night, I’ve been sick with another case of sinusitis (the second case in three weeks), so I’ve been sleeping a lot. This morning, the final dream that carried me back to the conscious world, was another “Going back to Ouachita” dream. This one was a little different, though.

I dreamed that I went back, and this time I took my roomate Patrick with me. I knew that, like me, he had to finish some schooling and get a degree. So we went, and we were roomates there as well. This time, things were different, though. I drove the both of us there, from Austin to Arkadelphia, in my car. All our stuff was in my car (don’t ask me how). Our room, as you may guess, was also on the third floor of Daniel Hall South, front side. At first I was thinking it was an old friend’s old room, but it was actually two doors down towards the middle of the hall. And instead of getting there at dusk, like my previous dream, we got there mid-morning, so the sun was beaming through the blinds (now that I think of it, that makes no sense at all, because the front side of the dorm faces the west). Whatever.

So, the dorm is different, again. Carpeting in the hallway. Brown carpeting. The room has been renovated: the closets are gone. In their place is a set of wood-framed bunkbeds. There were no closets anymore. The whole room was carpeted as well; when I was at OBU, only a small few of the rooms in Daniel Hall had any shred of built-in carpeting, and those rooms were half-carpeted, at that. I found the new campus ethernet ports in the corner; I remembered looking for them (they didn’t exist until after I had left that school). Everything was spacious, open, and empty; 80% of the rooms were still sitting with doors open, waiting on the students to come back. There were no RA’s. Just me and Pat, and our first load of stuff.

We paid a visit to the student center, I showed him the post office, the bookstore, the grand stairwell, some of the classrooms. I remembered talking to some of the students who had made it back early. We were there, we were older than everyone, we were smokers, and we were there at Ouachita Baptist University. The sun was shining bright and warm, things looked hopeful (kinda), but we were still there, without degree plans, without financial aid, without jobs, with nothing but our stuff.

Ok, interpretation time: the shining sun in the window is from the fact that currently my bed is beneath the window of my bedroom. The window faces south, so the sun comes in every day, almost all day. It was shining bright and warm on me as I slept in today. But why Ouachita again? I don’t quite know yet, but I think it may have been related to finding a text file on my computer outlining my student loan debts and how much I owe to whom. That may have kick-started the neural memory mass again, or something of the sort. I’ve also kinda, and I haven’t thought this through completely yet, I’ve lately been thinking about driving back to Arkadelphia, for real, to go back to the place where I had my first cigarette and ceremoniously undo everything by having my last at that spot. But why was Patrick there with me? Why was I dragging his ass back to OBU? I really don’t know. If anybody would be bad fit for OBU, he would, hands-down. I really don’t know.

So, this thread totally scares me. I don’t want to go back. I can’t go back. I know I won’t go back. The thought of being surrounded by Arkansas’ finest spoiled uberyouth with high-minded religious intentions to bang each other’s brains out in motels creeps me out. The thought of having to sit through another Chapel session frightens me. The thought that I will know absolutely no one there save the few professors who still have tenure makes me freak.

Please, make it stop. Gah.

Published by Shawn

He's just this guy, you know?