I had this dream about a week ago, and it’s stuck with me. I think it would make a great, if not creepy, short story, but I don’t think I have the heart to write it. But I’ll tell you about the dream, because dreams can make great story fodder.
I think the only background you need to know going in is that my parents had a dog named Cooper, who died just about a year ago.
It was dark out. That time when the sun has set and perhaps there should be streetlights on, but there weren’t yet. I headed up to my parents’ house for some reason, not realizing that they weren’t home. I unlocked the door to their sunroom, and then walked into their living room. Cooper, my parents’ little bichon, sat on the ottoman in front of the couch. He barked in excitement. I talked to him and asked him (rhetorically, of course) where my parents were. There were no lights on inside, and I couldn’t see super clearly. I was going to go home, but Cooper was so happy to see me. So I sat down in my dad’s recliner and pulled him onto my lap. I sat there and talked with him, gave him scratches and rubs, and it felt like we were having a good moment.
Then I saw my dad’s headlights shine through the window. I set Cooper back on the ottoman and went out to say hi. My dad was opening the tailgate of his truck as I walked out. My mom stood next to him, crying. As I asked what was wrong, they pulled Cooper’s lifeless body from the back of the truck. He was already stiff, for whatever reason. I recoiled in shock.
How did that happen? When did this happen?
My parents didn’t answer, and all I could do was stare.
It’s not possible! I blurted out. We were just hanging out together in the living room.
I gestured towards the house and peeked into the living room, which was empty.
In the end, I decided that Cooper must have come to me to say goodbye.
The other night I tweeted about a weird/awesome dream I had:
The velociraptors were actually pretty easy to get along with — they mostly kept to themselves, eating ground beef and occasionally poking their heads into the kitchen to roar at employees and customers. They figured out pretty quick that if they didn’t eat the humans, the humans would feed them, I think. Also, they were reproducing in these Taco Bells, but they were doing so at a sustainable rate.
I love my subconscious.
Last night, I dreamed I was in college again, walking around the halls of one of the main buildings, when I realized I was not wearing pants.
Not this again.
Luckily, I was wearing an oversized jacket that I could awkwardly pull it down to cover my nethers, allowing me to act perfectly natural while I was interacting with friends and professors.
Then I met up with some friends and noticed something — none of them were wearing pants, either. Like me, they were relying on their jackets, hoodies, backpacks and books to obscure this fact and allow them to act perfectly natural. I felt less stupid when I realized I wasn’t the only pants-free person on campus.
When we finished our conversation and parted ways, I noticed something else — no one on campus was wearing pants. Every single person I saw was awkwardly hiding their junk and trying to pretend like everything was normal.
At some point, everyone else noticed the overall lack of pants and silently agreed to pretend like nothing was up, immediately cutting the tension that had previously filled the air.
I’m sure there’s a way to spin this as a deep meditation on the human condition — how all of us are vulnerable and exposed, merely pretending everything is fine and hoping that no one else notices. Perhaps the world would be a better place if we were more open about our flaws and more willing to give others a pass for harmless mistakes.
But I think the real takeaway here is that pants are oppressive.