When I was at high school, I used to have a few different recurring dreams. 

One that returned with increasing frequency as I got closer to the final exams in my final year was of being at school in the morning before class, and realizing that I was wearing these ridiculous pastal-4-tone pants that my mum had bought at Target, trying to ‘bring me some cool’. 

Damn you mid 80s pastals. Damn you right to hell.

So in the dream, I’m at school in these inappropriate pants, feeling kinda self conscious. Once that self-consciousness has it’s moment to completely wash over me and settle in, I realize that I’m actually not wearing any pants at all.

-> Insert frozen internal freak out moment here <-

I run to try find somewhere to hide, trying to figure out how I managed to leave the house pantless that morning. I mean, there would have been a 20 minute bike ride involved. I also usually bought an ice coffee from a shop run by an lovely elderly couple. And rode passed a girls school.

In one of those weird-but-cool dream scene dissolves I suddenly find myself stage left (it was always stage left - not sure what that means) backstage in the school’s Great Hall, now dressed in nondescript costume, clearly about to step out in front of a packed full house (our school had a 1000 seat Great Hall, including a huge balcony). I’m a actor in a play, but I have no idea what the play is and definitely not who my character is nor what my lines are.

I stand frozen for as long as I can, trying to weigh up the pros and cons of just stepping out onto the stage and making it up as I go along. As I play it out in my mind, I can’t get passed how much my improv could potentially ruin the show (confuse the other actors and leave them no chance to perform their rehearsed lines) if I miss catching or understanding the story of the play.

Then there’s the bright stage lights and momentary blindness from going out of darkness into bright light.

And that’s how the dream ends.

Published by Alastair Alquist