dream date: sometime towards the end of 9th grade
I usually look forward to my dreams, and think of them as I drift off to sleep, but that night I had only one thing on my mind. My math test was the next day, and I NEEDED at least 7 hours of sleep to do well! So I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, willing myself to fall asleep–and dream.
But I couldn’t go to sleep.
For hours and hours, I lay in my bed with an exhausted body, but a panicked mind.
I’m going to fail this test.
If I stop worrying, I can fall asleep.
But I’m worried I CAN’T fall asleep!
And so the paradox continued–me worrying about not being able to fall asleep, and not being able to fall asleep because of the worrying. Finally, at 5am, I had had enough. I got up and sought out my mom, who was in the laundry room. She usually tried to get some chores done before work, and I was never awake at this time. Naturally, she was surprised to see me, and comforted me about my lack of sleep.
“You still have an hour or two to try and sleep before school. You can’t miss this test, sweetpea.”
I started crying, because I was pissed and tired and hated math, and stomped off to bed. Somehow, I managed to fall asleep.
When I awoke, I saw that it was 6:30am and that I had only slept for a little over an hour. Surprisingly, I felt fine! That was a relief, but I could only hope that my feelings of restfulness didn’t wear off by my math test. I jumped out of bed and saw my mom, once again, in the laundry room. But she was wearing a different outfit.
“Mama, I managed to fall asleep! I feel ok. But why are you still doing laundry? And why are you in different clothes?”
She looked at me, utterly confused, and asked me what the hell I was talking about.
I was now confused too, because I thought I had been clear. “When I got up to talk to you about an hour and a half ago? Because I couldn’t sleep?”
She shook her head and said patiently, “Cora, this is the first time you’re speaking to me this morning. I just woke up myself.”
And that’s when I knew! My brain was on crack and decided to convince itself it was suffering all night, when it was actually asleep in reality. My dream mother was so realistic that I ever once thought I was in a dream, like I do frequently in others.
Do I even have a math test today?
PICTURE CITATIONS: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Glow-Dark-Stars-Kids-Self-Adhesive-Glowing-Star-Decal-Children-s-Bedrooms-Glow-Dark-Star-Ceiling-Wall-Stickers-732-3D-Glowing-Dots-Nurseries-Kid-Room/233781981