For the majority of my sleeping life, I have had incredibly vivid dreams ever since I can remember. I've always wanted to start a dream journal, but I've always seemed to have lost the energy to write as soon as I got out of bed or I just simply didn't have the time. When I was in college, I had a Psychology assignment to log my dreams (if any) every day for an entire week. After that project, the desire to start a dream journal really kicked in, but it just never stuck. I have a physical notebook that is a sort of diary but I rarely write in it; it has entries that are weeks, months, and even a year in between and a handful of them mention parts of dreams I had.
Well, anyway, I said all that because I don't know if this will become a regular thing on this blog. It is a pretty personal topic, but I had a dream last night that I feel comfortable sharing. I am no writer, but maybe sharing the details of my dreams will help me to become a better one?
In this particular dream I had last night, I imagined myself to be in my twenties. In my waking life, I remember that time of my life as my "peak". My physical fitness was the best it has ever been. I weighed about 160 lbs. at a height of 5'6" with lean toned muscles even though I didn't look it. During that time in my life, lots of friends and family would joke with me about when my modeling career would take off. My hair was long, down to my waist, a much lighter brown than it is now with auburn highlights because I always fancied myself with redder hair.
My dream started with me sitting in a modular school desk, the kind where the desk-piece is floating attached to the chair via the arm on the right side. I had my head down on the desk with my arms and my long hair blocking out the light. I peeled my right cheek from the cool plastic surface as if I just woken up and I find myself alone in a small, beige Berber carpeted classroom. I was in the row closest to the door, whiteboard and teacher's desk behind me, tall wooden storage closets in front of me. To my left across the room and maybe 5 or 6 rows of empty desks was a large window spanning the entire wall with a view of a field through a few maple trees next to the building, and right beside me a wall with a much smaller window. It's funny now that I think about it because the desks in the room were facing the back, the closets, not the whiteboard.
I stood up from the desk and looked around the room for a clock. I didn't know what time it was exactly, but by the light of day I guessed it had to be only about 8 AM. I exited the room to a rectangular courtyard surrounded on all four sides by classroom buildings (very much like my middle school's 8th grade section, the north-western most part of Ida Price Middle School in San Jose, if you ever want to look it up for a better picture). The room I had just left was directly across the courtyard from my next class, so I walked into the courtyard just out from under the hallway's overhang and more classrooms to my right. I could hear the wind rustling through the trees in the planter boxes and the occasional scraping of dry autumn leaves on the cement. I walked, pausing every now and then to enjoy the fresh air as if I had all day to get to my next class.
I was only about twenty feet away when I saw two griffon vultures perched like large decorative gargoyles atop the overhang of the hallway in front of my class. I had a light grey Jansport backpack hanging off my right shoulder and I pulled it around my chest slowly to look for my iPhone in the front pocket. I wanted to take a picture of the birds who I thought for a moment were simply statues until the one on the left moved to re-situate itself. Both vultures were about 4 feet tall, like twins, and I'm guessing they were both male because their plumage, brown, grey, and black, was just beautiful if you can imagine that about a vulture. Their heads were fluffy and white and their beaks were grey. They were both facing me until the right vulture craned its head toward the left and just stared as if communicating on a telepathic level.
After what felt like days of searching through my backpack for my phone, a sudden fear of being late washed over me. I stopped searching, and completely forgot about the vultures. I ran to the door of my class, stopped to catch my breath and pulled up my cargo capris since the quick sprint made them shimmy down a bit uncomfortably. I hiked up my backpack and untwisted my black ribbed tank top as a last effort to look like I wasn't rushing. I knew class was already in session and I had no excuse for my teacher to explain why I was late.
I opened the door and thankfully class was preoccupied with some kind of art project. Everyone was broken up into groups and busy planning, cutting, getting up for supplies from the storage closets... But my teacher. She was glaring at me from her desk at the back of the room. I walked into the room and headed for my seat, but someone else was in it working with their group who had turned four desks to face each other. I walked past the group and just sat myself down in an empty desk by the window in the back of class and waited for my teacher to come scold me.
Still glaring at me she scooted her chair out from her desk and stood. But instead of walking my way, she turned and went to the whiteboard and made a bulleted list of random things. Napkins. Paper plates. Plastic forks. It looked like we were going to have a party. When she finished the list she addressed the class and announced that we were going on a field trip.
As dreams go, I was suddenly in another place. I was standing in a large, dimly lit shopping warehouse sort of like a Costco. The smell of packaging and warehouse dust filled my nostrils as a classmate ran by giggling. My classmates were still in groups running around the store gathering party supplies. Everyone was laughing and rushing as if we were being timed, racing to see who's team could gather everything on their list the fastest. I stood there at the starting end of the aisle I happened to be in front of and just stared, confused for a minute or so because I had no idea who's team I was on nor what I was supposed to be looking for. A guy friend that I had a crush on in real life during my middle school years skipped up to me smiling, grabbed my hands, and asked me if I'd be ok. His name was Eric. (Not that his name is important, it just makes the story easier to tell.)
He could tell by the dumbfounded look on my face that I needed instruction and then he just laughed. He scoped the store in either direction to make sure no one was watching us. Still smiling and holding my right hand in his left, he looked me in the eyes and got awkwardly close. (Mind you, I have no idea what Eric looks like in real life nowadays, but I guess I imagine he'd look tall, dark and handsome if he was in his 20's. Heh.) :)
He said as he spun me around and lead us down the aisle. We ran and didn't let go of each others' hands. It felt like he was playfully dragging me as I regained my bearing after that little twirl.
As we ran I noticed I had a dot of something rust-colored on my left index finger. I rubbed it between index and thumb. It felt oily, not something I wanted to wipe on my pant leg. So I slowed my pace and asked him to hold up. We happened to stop in the paper goods aisle and I spotted a bag of napkins that had been rudely opened by another shopper. It was missing about half the stack and the top one was pinched as if it was slightly used. I showed Eric the oily smear and motioned toward the opened bag of napkins. He laughed again, let go of my other hand and jested, "Isn't that like stealing?"
"I didn't open it and it's already a loss." I shrugged and smirked. I looked around, still no one in sight but Eric, and wiped my finger clean on the napkin while removing just the one from the bag. The crumpling sound of the plastic was loud but I wasn't worried since no one could hear it over the happy noise of everyone rushing around the store and having fun. I folded and shoved the napkin into my pocket and Eric and I continued running. His hand somehow found mine again and I felt my blood warm my cheeks. As we reached the end of the aisle, he slowed down and peeked around the corner to the left.
He turned to face me, pulled me in chest to chest and wrapped his left arm around the small of my back. I felt uncomfortable, not for me but for him pressing my tank top against my back since I knew he'd feel the dampness of my sweat through it. The sudden warmth and blood rush you feel when stopping after a good run was making my head pound but after a moment I started to wonder if it really was the run or if it was instead the romantic situation I suddenly found myself in.
He leaned in to kiss me, I even felt our noses touch and his breath on my mouth, but before our lips made contact I woke up.