Wacky Dream

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We go to Lowell Scott Middle School to meet with the rest of Blue Thunder and go on a band trip. It is about 1 AM and someone had left the milk out in the middle of the kitchen floor on a hot pad. Only one bus, and precious few people, are there when we arrive, so we park the Cruiser over at LSMS and get on the bus to claim a seat. There is no bathroom on board; I am concerned. Ryan gives me my omnipresent cup of ice water but the lid is missing. This also concerns me. We wonder if we have the time wrong, since so few people are there, but then we see several people inside the school practicing. Then the bus starts moving and next thing you know, we’re driving through the mountains with a half-full bus. We realize we didn’t lock the car doors so Ryan emails his LSMS colleagues to take care of it when they arrive at work. I am getting texts from students — real students from CHS, incidentally, and the texts are showing up on my phone in their handwriting — but every time I try to read one, my phone tells me I have the wrong phone number. Someone hands me a stack of Blue Thunder recruitment packets and I recognize the names of some of my seniors, none of whom are actually band kids — but they’ve all included gift cards with their applications. The bus driver apologizes for leaving early and says he just so excited to hit the road that he decided to get moving as soon as he had some passengers.

Driving along this road, I look out my window and see a beautiful farm or ranch with huge buildings and fields that back up to the highway. In the field are several albino animals: pure white moose, bison, and giraffes, including the biggest giraffe I’ve ever seen of any color. The buildings are white, too, and have decorative moose antlers attached. I say that I wish we could visit that farm. As we drive past, I see that the buildings are actually a massive farmers market with huge signs and a big parking lot. Much to my excitement, the bus driver obligingly pulls into the parking lot (since we’re ahead of schedule anyway) and I try to figure out what kind of strange place this is. We end up going into a building, but all that’s there is an abandoned roller skating rink, several shopping carts, and some bored employees in gray uniforms. I ask them what this place is so that I could come back and visit sometime, and they tell me it is the Universal Hotel. They laugh at me when I ask if the albino animals can be seen up close and tell me they’re just there to draw in the tourists…

I wake up, completely parched, with Kermie knocking on my belly button and my dog noisily bathing herself about three inches from my face. It is seven o’clock on a Sunday morning. I will not be able to fall back asleep.

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