Bloody murder

Last night, I had a nightmare that caused me to cry out and wake up Rob. It was a mournful wail: “Noooooooo.”

Because Halloween is coming up, I’ll share the terrifying tale. Here’s what 31-year-old women have nightmares about…

My sixth-grade English teacher returned some papers to me with horrible grades. D- and F, and the like. I was ashamed, but I didn’t want to read her comments in class because I didn’t want anyone to look over my shoulder and see how badly I’d done.

I wasn’t in the sixth grade, though, because I’d already been working for a while. I wanted to tell her, “Lady, I’ve been a paid writer for several years now.”

The dream had the character of one of my recurring dreams. That I’d never finished high school and had to go back in order for my bachelor’s and master’s degrees to count. In this case, I didn’t know what I’d done wrong. I thought the papers were good. But both the teacher and my mother (whom the teacher had called, even though I’m 31 years old) thought I must have blown off the assignment.

I returned to my room, and tried to shut the door, but two kids from my junior high burst in. (Mischa and David. They went through a goth/punk phase in 9th grade and my friend Barbara used to draw caricatures of them saying, “Fuck da world.” “Yeah, fuck da world.”)

They started rifling through my stuff, looking for the English papers, which they were then going to show everyone in the class.

This is when I cried out “Noooooo,” waking up Rob and myself.

Maybe the dream was inspired by the birthday candles Rob got me: A 3 and a 1. I flipped them around and said I’d much rather be 31 than 13 again. Nine though 15 were pretty rough.