Last night, I took quite a long time to get to sleep, and when I finally did I kept flickering in and out of consciousness, struggling with my blanket, which was tangled around my feet instead of covering them.
Between that, the vivid dreams I had, and the persistent blinking of the little red light in the corner of the room, I feel like I didn’t sleep at all.
I think I dream a lot. But what makes last night unique is that I remembered the dream, almost fully. I remember experiencing strong emotions quite clearly. I don’t think I realised that I had been dreaming till morning. Which isn’t the same as saying “till I woke up” since I didn’t sleep at all. In a sense. Which is exactly what made it feel so real, and consequently, so scary.
I was walking with my family, up to a large building on a hill. I was walking in front, vaguely aware that they were there because of me. It somewhat felt like the first time I walked down the jetty to Pulau Tekong. It was morning, and we walked along unhurriedly.
We entered the building, which had but one huge room with a staircase spiralling around the room’s perimeter. We joined a long queue of people as they made their way up to a higher floor.
As we climbed and climbed I peeked out and upwards. The queue was long, snaking its way up 3 floors worth of staircase.
The middle of the room was a library with wooden bookshelves and wooden furniture. Ah, this is Reed College, I thought to myself.
Turning back to the queue I suddenly realised (as you tend to do in dreams) that this was the queue for new students’ registration. I became aware of the fact that there were limited vacancies, and that with the queue snaking upwards ahead of me I was not in a good position.
The moments of anxiety before we reached the top were not as harrowing as the despair of sitting in a classroom with about 10 other prospective students, listening to placatory consolations offered by a frumpy old Dean.
The Dean would not say if Admission was based on first-come-first-serve or on merit.
The worst thing for me: not knowing if I would have “qualified”, had I come earlier. I looked at my watch, it was only 8am. we must have arrived at 7, I thought to myself.
I remember saying, frustrated, to my family, “the worst thing is that I don’t even know!” as they sat there watching me, silent and mute, as people in dreams tend to be; there, but not there.
When I finally did come to consciousness the despair lingered on and it took me a while to realise that I did actually have a guaranteed place on hold for Admission in Fall 2014. It’s 11am as I write this and I still feel a little unsettled, because of how real it felt, how vivid it was, and the fact that I have not been thinking about College at all in these past few days.
I feel like the faith that I have that Things Will Work Out is shaky to the point that I’m not even sure if it’s there at all.
- Josh: Alright just gimme a moment and we're gonna get you all set up.
- Denise: Ok. So just to clarify, the incoming calls are free?
- Josh: As long as you are in Edmonton, yes. Someone from outside Edmonton can call you, and it would be free for you. Doesn't even have to be within Canada. You could get a call from space, it'll still be free.
- Denise: Wow, that's great!
- Me: Yep, I'll be sure to tell all my astronaut friends that!
— Danny Han
but sometimes I feel like maybe I should be wearing an emotional straightjacket so I don’t hurt anyone except me.