Last night I dreamt of a tall house with a porch and no bannisters. An old home, with nice but not opulent rooms; the furniture is a few steps up from Ikea, the floor pale hardwood. In the dream, I’m walking onto the porch. It is wide and then narrow unexpectedly. Every time, I walk out of the house, onto the porch, to look out across the lake which laps nearby. I keep my eyes on the lake’s intersection with the sky letting my feet guess unsurely whether I’m inches or feet from the drop.
In my waking days, I’m planning my summer, and after that the next half dozen years of my life. Thinking of time outside of university feels like someone’s taken the bannisters, the rails off of a comfortable old home. There’s no free food if I forget to go shopping, no comfortable chairs I always know are vacant, no celebration of failure as learning.
Life after college will be without rails. I look forward to it. I worry also the comfortable supports of college to not only hold me up, but hold me in. In my time as a 5th year, should I saw them off early, go into the world without using student as my excuse, or abide within them for my remaining time here and enjoy their enclosure?
While my waking mind mulls my future choices strategically, my dreams will be crowded by a house without rails.
“All the things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams.”–Elias Canetti