If we were having coffee, I’d tell you how annoyed I was to wake up sick yesterday, given that I’ve been in bed all week recovering from oral surgery.
As soon as I opened my eyes at 11am, I knew something was wrong. My throat was aching and I was chilled (I’m one of those people who is always too warm, so it was jarring). I went downstairs to start making a bowl of ramen to hopefully ease my throat and warm me up. I felt so faint that I had to sit while the water was boiling, and the thermometer showed a subnormal temperature, 97.1 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ramen didn’t magically cure me, so I took three Advil and tucked myself back into bed, freezing under a fleece blanket and my comforter.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about the fever dream that ensued.
I was back at the place I worked teaching reading and math for three years in high school. The entire staff had called in sick, and I was filling in even though I knew I had a fever.
I was assigned to help a new student with math, but she had no motivation. I kept viciously snapping at her–I got in her face, and almost hit her–until my sister, who was also subbing, told me to back off. I yelled, “HOW LONG DID YOU WORK HERE, HUH? I WORKED HERE FOR THREE YEARS, I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING!”
But I didn’t know what I was doing. I had assigned students to tables way too small for them, and I was devastated that some of them had only barely progressed in the two years I’d been gone. I couldn’t do anything right.
Then the girl’s math packet disappeared, replaced by tons of miscellaneous stuff, including every single coat and bag I own. I started tossing everything on the floor next to the table, desperately trying to find her classwork. I flipped through folders of reading packets, but nothing matched her assignment. I got hotter and hotter as the piles of stuff grew out of control. Eventually I gave up, and marched to my boss’s desk to tell her that I was feverish and honestly more of a liability than an asset to the team.
She told me I couldn’t leave. I told her I could, that I needed to, and I forced myself to wake up. I was absolutely drenched in sweat, and I threw the covers and my sweatshirt off me to cool down and calm my heavy breathing.
I took my temperature. 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I can analyze exactly where that dream comes from.
The not-doing-anything-right panic comes from my anxiety that I won’t get the job I’m applying to for next year.
The vicious yelling comes from a local scandal in which my high school’s basketball coach got fired for verbally (and sometimes physically) abusing his players.
The drowning in clutter comes from reading a minimalism blog that reignited my desire to get rid of everything I own but don’t need.
I don’t usually think every element of a dream has a deeper subconscious meaning, but the connections in this one were too obvious to ignore.
Then, as always, I’d ask what you want to discuss over coffee, although you’d probably cut our coffee date short to escape my germs.