n for nightmare

The first part of last night’s series of dreams had the same recurring theme for a month now. Always the same people, albeit in different places and situations.

The second part of the dream, I found myself in Oxford University. In the state of dreaming, I was aware that I was there as a student, that I’d gotten accepted and was starting my first day there. Before I continue, I’d like to emphasise on how vivid and realistic the entire sequence of this dream was, because upon my arrival at Oxford, I remembered details about my flight (and even wondered how I’d survived the flight alone without any anxiety attacks) and tweeting about my entire journey (where did I get the wifi/data? I don’t know. These things don’t always make sense).

I was at a deserted open-aired corridor filled with empty round tables, and I was waiting for my law tutor to appear. A peculiar thing I noticed was how modern and new the building I was in was, which wasn’t very Oxford-esque at all. In the dream, I even suspected I had ended up at LSE instead. When my tutor arrived, I excused myself to go to the toilet, and went down a really dark corridor that turned left into what was presumably the toilets. There was a counter there manned by an Indian woman dressed in a sari and she was pointing to a sign that indicated I needed to pay to enter the toilet, but all I saw was a string of letters that made no sense to me crudely painted across the sign. It wasn’t legitimate currency, but I understood it was currency all the same. I paid her and entered what I thought to be the ladies’ room, but it turned out to be a huge lift that people used for loading boxes and stuff. There were two Asian girls in it, one that seemed to be my age and the other one in her early teens. I asked them where the toilet was but they didn’t say a thing. The lift descended and when it opened, the younger girl passed me an umbrella and pointed at the place I was supposed to put the umbrella at. But. The thing was. The lift opened into a giant freezer. I took the umbrella from the girl and walked straight ahead and turned right and placed the umbrella on a freezer (a freezer within a freezer, how poetic) as indicated by the girl, all the time gripping my phone in my other hand in case I had to make an emergency call and desperately hoping that the two girls wouldn’t abandon me here. Thankfully, they didn’t. When I turned back, the younger girl was waiting for me outside of the lift and I felt so grateful.

When I entered the lift, the lift changed into a smaller one, the usual kind you find in apartments and other tall buildings, and the two girls were gone. I remembered that I had to get back to my law tutor but I didn’t know which floor that was but I had a feeling it was one of the lower floors. I didn’t press anything as the lift was going up and there were other people in the lift. Gradually, the lift emptied as the lift ascended and even in the dream, I could feel my fear of heights tingling at the back of my mind. The lift started to fill up with people again as the lift started going down and I pressed Level 2. Right before I reached my level, there were two people left in the lift: a boy and a girl, both Caucasian. Before I got out of the lift, the girl turned to me and said she recognised me from Carousell. I was pleasantly surprised and could only afford a smile and a nod before the lift doors closed. I then realised that I’d gotten off the wrong floor. This wasn’t where my tutor was, and it was already night time (this floor was open-aired too). There were, however, long tables in the middle of an open space area and seated behind them were four really pretty girls dressed in long gowns and then I realised one of them was Emma Watson. I went up to her and she said I had to buy some kind of booklet to get her autograph and so I went up to a different table where someone was selling the booklets and I realised that the seller was also Emma Watson (This is all so wild I cannot possibly be making any of this up. Although technically dreaming is making things up…but not consciously so).

After getting Emma Watson’s autograph, I decided it was time to return to my residence. I took an escalator down one floor and as I did so, it just dawned on me how alone I was in this foreign country with no one I could rely on. I brought my phone screen up and I didn’t have service nor wifi and I couldn’t call my parents or even go online to tweet or something that at least gave me a feeble semblance of company. At that moment, I felt a surge of loneliness and sadness so strong and intense that I woke up with my heart hammering against my chest and my palms sweaty. My clock in my room wasn’t even working so I couldn’t even tell what time it was (although I guessed it to be around 5am because it started getting brighter quickly from then on). All I knew was how relieved I felt when I realised I was in my own room at home, and I got up to write down what I could vaguely remember from my dream in my journal so I can write this ridiculously absurd post

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Michelle Teoh

26-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

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