Two Dreams on the Final Day
I’m headed into the dining hall for lunch. I’m hungry and need to find a bathroom. But in looking around, I begin to realize that it’s weeks into the semester and I haven’t been going to any of my classes. I can’t even remember what classes I’m taking. A wild panic rises within me. This is terrible. It’s Tuesday, do I have an afternoon class today? I don’t even know. I’m so far behind in everything, how do I get myself out of this mess? What can I do? I am truly lost. Is this really happening? I’m not a student anymore am I? Maybe this a dream?
I wake with a start. It’s five a.m. and I’m lying in my dark bed. I slowly realize that my terrible situation is just a dream. It takes me a few moments to fully wake. I am deeply relieved.
So the final day of the year begins with this familiar fear. Forty years after college, I’m still in school and suddenly realize that I haven’t live up to my responsibilities. I haven’t done the reading, written the paper, prepared for the test. I feel a sense of dawning panic and shame. I think I am doing fine, then come to realize that I’ve been fooling myself. I’m actually in a terrible situation with no way out. I’m a mess.
I wonder how to live into this dream in a new way? Maybe I need to withdraw from my inner college—to take a semester off. I think I’ll do that. Just go tell the Dean of Students that I need some time off to get my head together.
I’ll hitch-hike to the Baja and live by the ocean. Every morning I’ll walk the beach as the sun rises. I’ll learn to surf and fish. I’ll build an easy life around the incoming waves. The water and the sun will be my teachers. Lunch and dinner will be my courses. I’ll get tan and learn to meditate.
Eventually, I just disappear into the waves.
‘Where did Dave go?’
‘Oh, he’s out there with the waves.
Way out. Way, way out.’