Dream: Hosting ‘Countdown to Graduation’
The morning of April 3 I woke up to the alarm all sweaty and started laughing. Mrs. QC asked why. I told her about the dream I had been having. It was about high school graduation — we went to high school together.
I’ll get to the dream but first some basic differences of fact between the dream and real life. They’re not critical to the narrative but for the record:
- We (Mrs. QC and I) graduated high school on a Friday. In the dream graduation was on a Monday like my college graduation.
- We were in the class of 1974. In the dream I was in the class of ’84. (I don’t recall Mrs. QC in the dream.)
- Our graduation was held indoors in the afternoon. In the dream it was outdoors at 6 pm.
OK, come back with me now to a private day school, kind of fancy-shmancy.
I’m in a raised box, like a press box, with a crowd gathering in seats on the lawn below and in front of me. The premise is I’m the “host” of “Countdown to Graduation”, a prequel to the ceremony, in which I do a monologue on the PA system for the entertainment of the attendees while they wait for the ceremony to start. This is the third year in a row I’m the host, only this time I’m a member of the graduating class.
My choice of entertainment is reading articles from the previous day’s edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper. Now that’s entertainment!
So I start reading an article from the front page. I get to the second paragraph and read a sentence that contains the word “prostitute”. As that word goes over the PA, the thought crosses my mind that this particular article might not be appropriate for this audience, I stop reading. I realize that this article isn’t the one I intended to read anyway. I say, “I’m very sorry. That wasn’t the article I intended to read. I hope I haven’t offended.”
I decide the audience needs a time check — this is a countdown program after all. I look at my watch and the time doesn’t make sense. I um and ah trying to figure out the time. Finally I determine the problem is my watch is upside down; it’s 5:38. I announce, “Only 22 minutes to until the start of the ceremony!,” and then start reading the article I had intended to read in the first place.
As I read I quickly become aware of dentist office-style music playing on the PA. The volume of the music is slowly but surely increasing. I conclude the powers that be are trying to drown me out. Shrewd move on their part.
All of the sudden I find myself standing on the lawn behind a microphone, in front of the audience. The dentist office music is playing at full volume. There’s no sense trying to talk over it. I say to B, a colleague from my current day job (how did she get in this dream?), “So they’ve given me ‘the hook,’ eh? Let’s demonstrate that literally!”
I spot a set of fireplace tools on the lawn. One is shaped like a cane. I ask B. to get it. When she gets it, Mrs. K (pictured above), the craggy old school guidance counselor, realizes what’s going on. She grabs the cane/hook from B. and says “I want to do this”!
Mrs. K. comes over to where I’m standing, puts the hook around my neck, and tugs violently. I’m pulled sprawling from where I’m standing and fall on the lawn coughing and gasping. Mrs. K. says with disdain, “Oh stop hamming it up!” (My alarm clock sounds.)
I’m not going to try to interpret that dream. Readers are welcome to do so in the comments. I will say that for me and, I think, Mrs. QC, the funniest aspects are the premise of a Countdown to Graduation “program”, my choice, as host, of “entertainment”, and the prospect of a rather high-brow audience being offended by the mention of a prostitute.
It’s well known that dreams are a means by which the brain catalogs the day’s events, I’m able to draw a couple of connections in that vein. The previous day I had looked at
- my high school yearbook from the year I graduated.
- the MySpace profile of a friend — and fellow blogger — who graduated high school in 1984.
Plus, this is stretching it, my colleague B. attended a private high school.
Pleasant dreams, readers …