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    Dream Journal Day 45: Night of Tuesday 23.04.2024

    by , 05-02-2024 at 10:33 PM (81 Views)
    I'm climbing a staircase - I quickly realise that I'm in my primary school. The steps are smooth, angular concrete, and so are the walls - I remember that in reality, they were brick walls painted white. There is no artwork on the walls as I climb; the stairwell is cold and empty and my footsteps echo off the walls. It rises up a great shaft through the square school building.

    I step onto a landing and turn to a set of grey double doors with small windows, to the nursery. They have no frame and are flush with the wall. I push open the doors and enter the nursery. Straight inside the door is a narrow hallway, the staff bend over tables on both sides of the wall. The space feels narrow, crowded and chaotic.
    I make my way through them and the hall opens into a much wider, clearer room, lit up brilliantly from all over. Half-height bookshelves double as partitions between different areas of the room, coloured beanbags are scattered about and children mill throughout the room. I'm not sure if I'm one of the children or not.

    At the back of the room is a wall of narrow cubbyholes. I search for mine; I know whereabouts it is, but someone has let their coat hang out of their cubby so that it covers mine. I fumble around for a bit before finding my cubbyhole, only to discover someone else's stuff inside. I pull it out: it's a black drawstring bag, almost empty so that the fabric sags when I pick it up. I'm wondering what to do with this when I feel a tap on my shoulder.

    I turn around. The girl standing behind me is someone who went to my school, but left before Sixth Form. We used to chat from time to time. "Sorry," she says, "that's mine - I'll take it. I just left it there for a moment." I hand her the bag and notice that her hair is darker and shorter than I remember it. "Did you get a haircut?" I ask. When she fully turns to face me I'm stunned to see that there's nothing left of her hair but sparse, thin and wispy curled strands; I can see clearly her near-bald scalp. I know she sees the shock in my eyes as she looks away with a regretful smile. She tells me that she was diagnosed with lymphoma ("lymphomatic") recently and is being treated. I don't know what to say. A crowd throngs around us of girls trying to collect their belongings.

    I leave the nursery. As the doors fall closed behind me, something compels me to open them and look inside once more. Every teacher in the hallway snaps their head towards me, terror in their eyes. Each wears a plain dress, a crisp white apron and a cloth bonnet, and they bend over to tend to babies wriggling and squirming on the tables. Left speechless by their reaction, I slowly close the doors again and leave.

    Then I am on the train, going home. It's cramped and I am squished against the wall of the carriage, arms clutched to my chest. The light down here is cold and dim, occasionally flickering. The train rattles as it rushes through the tunnel. I feel tired of the monotony, my eyelids flutter.

    Soon I am walking down the high street away from my station. I compulsively check my belongings; touch my backpack strap, check. Feel my coat over my arm, check. Then I feel around under the coat and on my shoulder, but I can't find the tote bag that I always carry.
    At the realisation adrenaline bolts through my body and I almost feel sick. Where is it? At school? Then I have to go back. My wallet, phone and keys are in there, not to mention library books. What a pain... I'm already dreading the thought of getting back on that train.

    As I'm figuring out what to do I clench my left hand and feel the resistance of something hard. It's my phone. That should be in my other bag, and it's here - but the bag isn't. All these different trains of thought and lines of reason swirl into a whirlwind of confusion. I stand stock-still in the middle of the pavement, mind racing as I begin to feel worse and worse.

    Ugh I am not having a great time on the site recently... Every time I visit I get to spend much more than a few seconds 'verifying you are human' which then repeats itself after a few minutes and in the process logs me out and deletes the DJ I am editing. Drives me mad!

    Long dream this time!
    Gejoh likes this.

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