Math Haunts My Dreams

I never failed a math or science class in my life, but lately it seems I’ve been struck with math-related nightmares.

Last night I dreamed I’d been ill for a month or so and had missed many of my assignments. My 7th grade math teacher, Mr. Nelson, took me aside after class and told me I could still get a C if I made up all the work I’d missed.

It was horrible.

It was even worse than it should have been, objectively speaking. Dreams can invest ordinary things, situations and people with tremendously intense emotions, often inappropriately.

In college, I had a terrifying nightmare about a young child being in my dorm room, looking at me. That was it. That was the whole dream. A small child looked at me and I was so frightened that when I woke up, I just sat in bed for a while, shaking. I knew the child was dead, in my dream, and that’s why it was scary, but the kid looked like a healthy, normal child, and made no threatening gestures or moves at all. There was no reason to be so scared.

Then there’s the dreams where you’re saving the world from some impending disaster, and in the dream, you’re totally confident and never have the slightest bit of doubt that everything is going to come out all right. Lava is flowing down the mountain, the river is rising, the undead have come out to play, but you know exactly what to do and you do it, and it’s no problem at all. Why is everyone else so worried? And in these dreams, there is every reason to be scared, and yet you’re not.

And then there are the dreams that everyone has, but I can’t remember ever having before in my life. I’ve dreamed I tripped and was about to fall on my face, but I’ve never dreamed I was falling from a great height. I’ve dreamed I was failing school, but I’ve never dreamed I was naked in school. Supposedly most people have those dreams, and I haven’t, that I remember.

While I don’t like the tripping dream, usually that one just makes me think that I’m about to skin my knees.

It’s not nearly as scary as math… which I never failed.

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