This time at the start I cannot get my grey locker open (sometimes there is no locker at all, but this dream’s locker is big–James-and-the-Giant-Peach big). I need the locker open because of course, my schedule is inside, tucked away in some wayward folder or binder. The schedule that will tell me the exact time and place of my math class. I need to get to the office, any office: there must be some place, some central intelligence, someone for the love of, who can tell me where to go.
I move like molasses through an endlessly long corridor until the corridor ends. Friend- from-high school-Amy Shaw appears–Hi, Amy!–(note to self, call Amy since we haven’t talked in a while), but I am in college.
And the math class is Calculus. And the professor has white hair, sometimes a mustache.
I often see the class from outside looking in. The students do not miss me. If I get into the classroom, the professor is never mean, but I have an inkling that I may be invisible by then.
The crescent shaped, wooden elevator that I’m in, the one shredding splinters in all directions moving upwards at a rickety speed has shifted sideways.
I am a Chickasaw at Camp Tockwogh. T-shirts and shorts drip water from a taut clothesline reaching across an empty field. I wonder as I walk through the dark where the ropes of the lines attach–there are no trees, no cabins, nothing but open air.
I wonder as I awaken, why are the clothes dripping? Who does laundry at night?
Caroline is moving around a bit in her room. I head in with my cup of coffee, my favorite sip–the first—fresh on my lips. She looks contemplative. “Mommy,” she says. “I want to ask you a question.”
“What is it?” This sounds serious. I wonder what kind of a number her subconscious has worked on her through the long night.
She stares at her ceiling, collecting her thoughts. “If we were royalty, how would we address our Christmas cards?”
She stares at her ceiling, collecting her thoughts. “Is it true you can make a house out of jello like in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs?”
Alternate Ending #2:
She stares at her ceiling, collecting her thoughts. “I think I was talking in my sleep last night and I’m not sure what it means.” I ask her what she was saying. “I think I was saying labradoodle over and over and over again.”
“Hmmmm….” I say. “That’s a tough one. I’ll have to think about that one.”
Lexi pipes up from her side of the room: “We need to get a dog.” Easy as that.