I don’t harbor any secret dreams of becoming an actual writer; nevertheless, I do enjoy taking a few minutes now and again to scribble down some thoughts,
Whatever the reasons underlying my odd anxiety, I realize that the dreaming mind can do some strange things with just the slightest bit of stress, so the occurrence of my recent nightmare didn't really surprise me. Still, the bizarre nature of it had me a bit shaken.
I dreamt that I received a phone call from a number that I didn't recognize. I often let such calls go to voicemail, as just as often as not, it’s a telemarketer or an officer of the court attempting to serve a subpoena. As Fate would have it, I chose to answer …
Dead Acorn: Hello?
Faintly Familiar But Unplaceable Voice: Is this The Dead Acorn?
DA: Why, yes! Yes it is!
FFBUV: The Dead Acorn who “writes” on an eponymous “blog”?
(note: in dreams, I can actually see the quotation marks around words sarcastically spoken by unseen characters. It's kinda weird.)
DA: That’s me! Who’s this?
FFBUV: This is Mrs. McGillicuddy.
DA: umm … Mrs. McGillicuddy, my high school composition teacher?
Mrs. McGillicuddy: That is correct.
DA: It’s, umm, nice to talk to you, I guess … can … can I help you with something?
Mrs. McGillicuddy: You cannot. In fact, it is the damage you have done and continue to do that necessitates this call. Your incoherent ramblings have come to the attention of the school board here, and they have deemed the atrocities committed each and every time you put
pen to paperpixels to screen to be unforgivable, and in an effort to dissociate themselves from your “work,” they have summarily fired me.
(note: text strikeouts work just like quotation marks in my dreams.)
DA: Gee, Mrs. McGillicuddy, I’m sorry, but high school was over 25 yea …
Mrs. McGillicuddy: And as I too am unwilling to let persist even the slightest perception that my tutelage has contributed in any way to the unspeakable crimes against language that you sporadically commit, I have amended your grade, which has resulted in a revocation of your diploma.
DA: But … but … I already went to college, and even graduate school!
Mrs. McGillicuddy: Oh, trust me, they’ve been notified, as has your employer. All are in agreement; the former have revoked your degrees, and the latter has asked me to inform you that your “services” are no longer needed. Thanks to your “blog,” Dead Acorn, you have nothing left in life.
At this point, I sat up, drenched in sweat and gasping for air. There were a few moments of continued panic as I struggled to gain some sense of where I was, and then relief began to wash over me as I saw, in the dim moonlight streaming through the window, the familiar surroundings of my bedroom.
I got out of bed and walked to the kitchen for a drink of water to calm myself before trying to go back to sleep. It was on my return that I noticed my phone blinking … I had a new voicemail, from a number I didn’t recognize. I was unable to stifle the whimper that emerged from my throat, and I stared at the phone for what seemed like hours. “It was just a dream,” I told myself. “A dream, and that’s all.” Finally, I picked it up, and deleted the message without listening to it. I walked slowly back to bed.
“What was that, sweetie? I thought I heard something that sounded like a cry.” Mrs. McGillicuddy rolled over and softly stroked my cheek. “Nothing, Mrs. McGillicuddy … I guess I just don’t feel too good …” I replied. “’Well,’ sugar … you don’t feel too ‘well’. Remember that without the proper use of language, life means nothing.”
[UPDATE:] Several readers have emailed and asked that I not blog while so obviously hammered on cheap vodka. Umm, yeah ... I think that's doable. My sincere apologies.