I need to face facts: I have strange dreams. I've had dreams about celebrities (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson eating giant bricks of Swiss cheese), dreams about non-celebrity celebrities (Kevin Federline whittling me a chair from a large hunk of wood and presenting it to me as a gift, after which I exclaim, "NO, KEVIN FEDERLINE! YOU CANNOT BUY MY LOVE WITH A CHAIR!"), dreams where I'm a lesbian (with girls from grade school, with my best friend, with complete strangers), dreams where I'm pregnant (and my dad corners the father in the produce section of a local grocery store and lectures him until I run to the freezer section to cry), dreams where I'm naked with a boy (my grandparents are watching and waving), and dreams about Minnesota people (Diana saying, "Sure, I'll go to the bar with you. Come over and get me. Give me five minutes. Oh, and don't mind the giant box of sex toys that's on my couch!").
That's why it shouldn't seem strange to me when I have more of these strange dreams. Even when it's the subset of dreams that involves students, past and present. That's not new. When I was in Minnesota, I was dreaming about students all the time. But this past weekend I woke up one morning and blinked hard at the things that were still hanging in that misty just-out-of-reach dream space in my brain. I could still see things from the dream, but I didn't understand them, and I didn't understand how I transitioned into that part of the dream.
What I saw was this: one of my students from this semester, a student I don't find all that good-looking (although I did admit to myself during conferences this past week that he's got good hair, nice jeans, and an artsy air that some girls would love). My student was wearing an outfit I saw on a student in an undergraduate poetry workshop I got to sit in on when I was down in Fredonia this week for a poetry reading by Lucille Clifton.
This is what the student did: he collapsed onto a bed, and I hesitantly came down next to him. "I'm not allowed to do things like this," he told me. In my dream, this student was super religious.
"You're just on a bed," I said.
"I'm on a bed with a girl," he corrected.
"And you're probably not supposed to do this either, huh?" I asked, and proceeded to raise one of his knees so I could sneak one of my knees between his, so I could make a knee sandwich.
"No," he said. "I'm definitely not supposed to touch knees with a girl."
And then I woke up.
I blame this on student conferences. I totally do.