I never know what’s going to happen when I wake up. I’m a sleep-talker, sleep-walker, sleep-eater, sleep-uuhhh-fucker (yes, that’s a thing). So, after I typed this post, my husband asked me if I remembered anything about my dreams last night. I explained to him the story I posted below. He got this strange sort of look on his face with a quirky smile and said, “No. No. Ohhhh, no. You laughed. Yep. You were laughing at me. And you turned to me and said “I’m gonna stab you in the FACE!”
Ok. Now, you may continue reading what is apparently only a very small glimpse inside the mind of a sleep-murderer……
I worked for the post office along with an old friend of mine from high school. Our job was delivering packages, so of course, for some reason, we had to ride in the back of the post office van with the packages….. while naked.
And then the nightmare happened. I had to deliver a package to my old high school.
Just the memories of high school already give me panic attacks. The last time I entered a high school was to sign my boys up for a driver’s ed class. Even then, as an adult woman, the familiar smells of cafeteria food and pencil shavings, and sounds of the dull moan of fluorescent lights and squeaking chairs, gave me the sweats. I expected some hulking teacher to come around the corner any minute and give me in-school suspension. I had to go into the office to ask for an enrollment form for homeschooled kids to take driver’s ed. I was sure they were going to send me to the principal for not adhering to the dress code or for just…. generally…. being weird. That’s what happens when you are generally weird and are forced to live and go to school in a backward southern town. Even now, people I knew in high school are coming out with their own stories of the bigotry and hateful religious hypocrisy they were subjected to over 20 years ago. These are people I never thought I’d hear these stories from. On one hand, it makes me sad for them. On the other hand, it makes me feel validated for the disgust I have when I think back to that time in my life.
So, I suppose it’s no surprise that the typical “showing up at school naked” dream would slither its way into my unconsciousness. No song this time. I just woke up with a fear that lingered for several seconds that I was going to have to repeat high school. It took me a while to realize that I am a 40-year-old woman, and especially that it is ridiculous for me to continue to harbor such deep-seated resentment toward SCHOOL, of all fucking things.
At the right place, the right time, and with the right type of personality, some kids clearly flourish in a school environment.
I was not one of them. Even now, whenever we talk about it, my mother frequently says she wished she had homeschooled me. My sister did well. Emotionally and academically, she was perfectly fine. She went to the very same school I did, and even had many of the same teachers. She was fortunate that her innate personality allowed her to fit in, even in an environment where she did not subscribe to the religious zealotry that permeated the very walls of that place.
But I railed against it. I fought back. I fought hard. I will admit, I did everything I could to make sure everyone knew how much UNLIKE them I was. I couldn’t hide my contempt the way others could. I didn’t know how to simply ignore it, do my school work, and get on with things. Part of me wishes I had known how to do that.
The other part of me, even at 40 years old, still wants to go burn that fucking place to the ground.