My dream today is tucked in a classroom in Iowa.
I'm nervous in my dream, and self conscious, wondering who decided to let me in here. I remind myself this is a dream, and in dreams one is accepted to an elite writing program if that is her dream.
I find a seat.
Even though it's September Second and I know it's sweltering in Iowa, I pretend in my dream that my shirt is not sticking to me, where my messenger bag presses humidity flush with my flesh.
Today in my dream it is overcast and chilly. Just a little chilly, though -- Bailey, still-acclimating-from-California-and-needs-to-ease-in-to-the-chill chilly.
A Pumpkin Spice Latte warms my grip. I decided to splurge, because there is no credit card debt in dreams.
I feel a pang for Alex, hours away in the City of Angels, and I can feel his head's silky curls between my fingers.
I wear a scarf, the scarf of many colors that I found when I was conquering Vienna the summer before I found myself in this classroom. This sweet, sweet classroom.
I will only share my Austrian anecdotes if one of my future friends inquires about my variegated shawl. For now I will sit on my chattiness. I will bite my tongue, letting milky, artificial pumpkin soak over it.
Even my Words with Friends cannot tempt me to look at the phone in my bag.
Because here I sit with my Words with Friends. This is the real deal, Y'all, and you can bet your bottom dollar that I am scanning this corner of campus for a Robinson sighting, waiting for a greater thrill when I spot her than that time Rosie and I passed Mr. Romano hiking in LA.
(I will spot Robinson, because legends don't retire in dreams.)
These are my celebrities. The ones who make words speak our hearts' tugs. The ones who make me want to fight the good fight and string my own words to speak additional tugs. Because until this world sighs its last, we will always have tugs that need to be voiced.
I fish for a spiral notebook and fast forward to Labor Day (a daydream within a daydream, if you will), when I will drive to Kansas and see the Mom and the Dad and the cats. One cat, two cat, three cat, brat cat. The Dad will pour glasses of red and I will prattle as long as they will let me about all the feelings -- the nerves, the thrill, the happy -- that crowd my dream.
I will hunker in their living room, a grey furball for company, and I will write. I will wonder if I am any good. I will wonder again who let me into this dream.
My phone will buzz nearby, with inquiring texts from the best ever friends, and I too will buzz.
I will choose not to check the texts. Because I will find they are an alarm instead.
So I pull the blanket tighter round me, and buzz.
Warm and steady.
I'm not pressing the snooze button today. I want to feel that buzz and live out this dream until the cat begs so loudly for food that I must be roused to reality.