Cloister Commentary, Day 261: English Teacher’s Nightmare

A dream with COVID nuances, so it’s relevant.

I was invited back to my old school to be a guest speaker (I thought). Turns out I was invited back to guide and introduce the guest speaker, who turned out to be the very last person on Earth for whom I would want to do those honors. I didn’t find that out until I was already on-site and walking down the hallway to meet him. His security detail was the actor Tom Hardy. I led them to the auditorium, but as we were about to enter, the guest grunted, “I have to take a dump.” He and Agent Hardy went into the bathroom and, figuring it would be awhile, I went on out into the auditorium, which was packed with students in groups of 10-15, but maskless.

Immediately one of the students ran up to me and said, “There is a big problem and you need to figure it out before the speaker speaks!” I asked him, “Are you in Literacy Seminar, because the key will be in that room.” He said, “Yeah, it’s right over here,” and pointed to an open classroom and bookcase situated in the front right corner of the auditorium. I hurried over, looking for my long-time colleague Jessica, but instead there were three very robotic co-teachers teaching the class.

I told them with great urgency, “I need to find a specific book that always worked with my kids, but I can’t remember the title, the main character’s name, or the plot–if I can see the title it’ll come right back to me.” My frustration with my own memory was vividly palpable in the dream, since I’ve been experiencing it while awake.

One of the robots said, “Well, sir, that’ll be a problem,” and gestured toward the bookcase: all the books were shelved with their spines facing toward the back of the bookcase.

I burst out, “How the hell do you find a book around here?”

The robot replied, “You have to know exactly where it is. We haven’t read a book this semester,” then giggled and rolled her eyes.

I craned my neck and saw The Guest and Agent Hardy emerging from the hallway, both with toilet paper trailing a shoe.

At that point, I broke out of the dream and sat bolt upright in bed, trying to remember the protagonist’s name, but finally realizing there was no actual book. In the dream, I remember thinking the author was Corey Hayden, but dismissing that; all I know is the hero was a young girl who had powers of divination. But I am so grateful I awakened when I did.

Dreams are boring-ass boring, but this one was so Kafkaesque I had to share it. It was my second return-to-Hickman dream in a week. I dedicate this post to my friends Rex Harris and, of course, Mrs. Lucas.

Streaming for Strivers:

When I think of dreams and music, I often think of this plectrist.

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