In last night's dream, I kept switching from St. Clement's to Prendie. I was in my Prendie uniform, and I was in high school. But I was in St. Clement's schoolyard. I was leaving school and walked around the building and ended up on a corner of Prendie. And I had a bike with me, and I knew it was a Bonner bike, but it was black. So I parked it by a tree and went around to the side entrance of Prendie that everyone goes through in the morning.. And I was looking for Kara, but there were so many people there. And there was a boy who goes to Bonner, who always steals Kara's hat. And I thought I saw him, but when he turned around, it was just another stranger. So I went back and ended up again in St. Clement's schoolyard. And people were supposed to be here, but it was completely empty except for some teachers who were playing with students, an old man on the "8th grade steps", and a truck in the middle of the schoolyard, with another man behind the wheel. I sat on the steps and stared at the gates, until everything got quiet. And then I heard singing (I could almost remember the tune when I woke up, but I forgot it). A girl in a Prendie uniform (not the ones we wear) came next to me and sat down, and I asked her if she heard it. So she said yes and sang it. And she told me it was coming from Narnia. Haha.
Then I got up from the steps and was in front of Prendie's auditorium again. I walked home, but then hours later I remembered I left my bike by the tree. So I got my shoes on, but I couldn't tie my shoelaces. It was already getting dark outside, and I didn't want to go get it, but I had to. As I walked out of the door, I heard Evie say, "I wonder how long it's going to take her to get her bike back."
Nearing the end of my summer vacation this year, I decided to go driving around my neighborhood with my little sister after picking her up from a party. It was dusk when we got to my old house and talked with old friends, people I haven't seen in over 5 years. It was high time we caught up with each other in person rather than on Facebook.
After that, we drove to our grade school and walked around the parking lot. We tried to go inside the now-Baptist church, but couldn't get in.
I looked around me and saw the school yard where we used to play.
I went to that school for 9 years....
It's no surprise that I can subconsciously recreate every little detail in my dreams, down to the sunken feeling of steps where they were worn from so much use.
Standing in the parking lot that night, I felt the same way I feel in my grade-school-setting dreams: vulnerable, nostalgic, familiar yet foreign.... It was a bit surreal to be standing there.
Actually, the whole experience of setting foot on such places was refreshing and almost too much for me. Whenever I go around my old neighborhood, I pretty much just drive around to enjoy seeing things I grew up with. I never got out of the car to walk around since I left; that was the first time since 2004.
But anyway. About this dream.
In December of 2005, I was a Sophomore. Just from reading this Xanga post, I can tell that I was still going through a transition from one place to another. It was as if I was trying to decide which one I belonged to then. In the end, I seem to have felt resigned.
"I go to Prendie now...."
At the same time, I think I came to a subtle realization that I can belong to both.
And now at college, I can add yet another school to the list.
I read somewhere, before, that if you dream of the school you attended as a child, it means that some problem from your past is overshadowing the present.
Maybe if you had bad experiences at school and associate one with the other, sure.
But what if you loved your school as I did?
Or what if your grade school closed and you graduated as the last class with the heavy reminder that you can never go back, even to visit? That could be the whole reason I've never stopped dreaming of roaming the halls. I can't go back in real life, so I'll just live in my memories and build new ones.
I do miss it. The real thing.