Dream Report: The Beach & The College

This is a partial dream report. The scene is joined-in-progress.

I lost some things at the beach.

Picture a relatively tall, modernly designed college campus. Along its straight, rear side is a beach, looking out onto what could either be a sea or a whole ocean. A bright sun lights up the beach scene, with no heat or wind do speak of. Just some wave sounds. Some peace.

I dreamed that I was walking near the water of that beach, casually clothed. I suddenly remembered that I’d set aside my belongings, wrapped in a towel, so that I could swim.

Or maybe I wasn’t swimming per se. More a sense of floating above the water. Like a helicopter skimming the blue-green coral seabed without causing a ripple. Quiet, dreamlike. People about, but not disruptive or annoying.

It occurred to me that I should be going, and remembered my bundle. I did not, however, remember where it was, relative to where I found myself on the sand. This was a panic. Within the towel lay my wallet, keys, phone, and perhaps most importantly my MP3 player.

The search was on. I navigated up the steep slope of sand leading up to the college. I weaved around many people, young and old. Looking left and right I felt certain my bundle wasn’t far off.

The beach was divided into four large sections, each sloping down to the ocean, divided by large, thin barriers of thicker sand. In retrospect these sections almost seemed segregated by social class. On the far left seemed to be the lower class people, the next two to the right a mix of middle and middle-upper.

The farthest right area wasn’t so much upper class as it was not even a beach, at least for a part of the dream. It actually became a modernized, almost indoor area, like a bar, with wood bleacher-seating instead of sloping sand, a big-screen TV, and rich young people drinking and dancing sloppy.

I couldn’t find the bundle. For a brief while I actually went into the college, navigating empty halls of staff offices. The architecture, simple and painted red-and-white-and-concrete, was more fascinating than any sense of purpose in finding my belongings.

Back on the beach I suddenly felt certain I should check the middle-upper class beach. Sure enough, amidst people packing their own things up to leave (wind and clouds were forming) I saw my blue/purple towel, partially strewn open.

Inspecting it I saw a tinfoil wrapping, curved at the edges like a lid, smeared with mashed potatoes and creamed corn. An upside-down plate was essentially some leftovers that I, in real life, am typically sent home with after dinner with relatives.

At first I didn’t see my belongings, and dread crept into my gut. Scanning the immediate, sandy area I found it all, one by one. My house keys, my car key, my wallet, and my MP3 player. With each item I smiled bigger, and with the music player I exclaimed, “YES.”

My sense of life restored, my ability to drive home intact, I went back to the college for some reason. Navigating the office halls for a short time I remembered I wanted to leave, and so made my way down a winding corner stairwell, partially encased in glass looking out at the beach.

At ground level I found I couldn’t get out. There were no apparent doors or gates, only high fences lined with barbed wire. After considering Jackie Chan-style parkour moves to somehow jump over the fencing, I instead walked along the barrier and found myself back in the school.

A shift in logic had me one floor up, and things were very dark. I found short stairs back to the ground floor, where light shone back at me from a cluttered area. It was some sort of help desk space, with books and pamphlets arranged on angled shelves. An old man tottered about, his desk area lined with pre-60’s era office supplies.

I felt I couldn’t leave yet. I also felt a connection, as if I wanted to be here and help. Or even that I was supposed to.

My first instinct, as always, was to organize something. Seeing what looked to be index cards in a dusty box I picked them up. The old men suddenly stopped me, friendly enough, assuring me it didn’t need doing. He then began telling a story, the details of which I don’t remember.

Another old man appeared across the room, loud and incomprehensible. He joined us, talking while the other man talked, both at me. They told their stories with diffidence and humour. Jokingly I put fingers behind each of my ears, leaning forward with a sarcastic smile. They saw that I was making light of the confusion and stopped, breaking character to laugh.

The louder old man went to attend to the angled display of pamphlets, accidentally causing a big mess. The other man went to help him, and my instinct was to as well (if only to enjoy the re-organizing). Instead I also recognized an opportunity to leave. So I did.

In the outer foyer I was suddenly not sure of how to exit the barrier’d campus again. The foyer doors seemed locked from the inside. Suddenly a real-life pro wrestler named Chuck Taylor appeared, coming into the building through the foyer doors. He spoke as if he had regular staff access.

At this point I woke up. I don’t think I left, one way or another.

What I can say is, I’ve been to that beach before. In my dreams. I’ve been to that college campus before, in my dreams. I’ve found that little help desk area, with the angled pamphlets and at least one old man and an eerie sense of familiarity. And discomfort.

I’ve seen that beach before. I’ve seen that old man. And it makes me want to call this a nightmare.

© 2018 Andrew Hall Writes

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