They slammed the door in my face

Claustrophobic.
I barely fit in this doll house
let alone a gymnasium,
too many questions.

Thank god for plastic,
just malleable enough
for me to squeeze myself past
judgmental inquiries.

Why’s it only me in
this Gothic nightmare of a place
with bright colors in confined space?
And now I hear that you’re

suffering too,
buckling under this chore,
screaming as I hunt for the door.
It’s a sweet sound, really.

***

Haven’t done a real dream poem in a while, mostly just because I haven’t had a dream interesting enough to do so in a long time. But this one was kinda cool. It’s a miracle that I even transcribed any of this because of how drowsy I was. I trimmed some of the fluff out too. So here goes:

I was in this gymnasium-like classroom with a bunch of other people (let’s just call them students). There’s like no ventilation, we’re sweaty as hell just sitting there for no apparent reason. Eventually this super chill teacher comes in with a huge chalkboard and writes a question on it big enough for everyone to see: what if you had a million dollars? Then he explained that he wanted us all to write down five things and I immediately started frantically trying to come up with anything not completely embarrassing. He passes out some sheets of paper for us to write on and keeps talking but I kinda zone out from the anxiety of the dreaded present-to-the-class exercise. So I don’t listen to what he’s saying.

After scribbling out like fifteen or so possible answers, in ink mind you (because why would I give my dream self a pencil), I had to get a whole different piece of paper from my bag, crinkled up and everything. The ink smeared all over it from the sweating but, after glancing up to see the teacher reading some of the other students’ submissions, I finally felt not entirely anxious about mine. So I got all the way up to the teacher to hand it in and suddenly all the sound came back into the room and I heard him reading aloud.

Totally blindsided, I finally realize that I didn’t hear the assignment correctly. Everyone else was playing a game, coming up with dumb ideas for what already rich people would do with a million dollars. My heart sank. But I was already up there. I couldn’t just run back to my seat now. So I gave him my paper, watched him add it to the pile, and trudged back to my desk. Thank god though, as I started listening to him read the others, I noticed that he was only really reading one off each page. It was plain to see when he got to my entry. Yeah, of course he made fun of that.

One of my things was “wear purple everything” or something to that effect. And when he read it out loud, shooting a glare in my direction, I hid my face as about half the class did the same, even more embarrassed because I was basically already wearing purple everything. So I sat there sweating my ass off for the next little while, my head buried in my desk.

After a while he had us file out a door leading outside. Naturally, I waited to be the last person in line, but by the time I go to the door, it had shut. I tried to open it and it was locked. I banged on it a few times but none of the others turned to open it for me.

It was at this point that I woke up and sloppily wrote that bit down. With it being 5am and me only slightly lucid, I passed back out, thinking intently about opening that door, especially since one of the students happens to be a close friend of mine. So when I found myself dreaming again, I was in a doll house, except I was too big for it. The hallway walls hugged my body as if I had tried to fit myself in one of those cheap plastic playsets.

I went from room to room. It was only in these rooms that I really had any space to move around. There was always some basic activity to complete in each one before another hallway would open up, and every time my anxiety would cripple me entirely. Though my spirit wasn’t broken enough to stop trying to get the hell out.

Finally, I came to the laundry room. The task here was to dry the clothes from the washer. Time consuming but I’d do whatever to escape at this point. Once I started up the dryer, this high-pitched ring screeched through the whole house. And with it came groans and cries from hundreds of unseen people, surely coming from outside. With nowhere else to go, nothing else to do, I stayed by the dryer, listening to the sound. Weirdly, it didn’t bother me. And for whatever reason, I remembered it fondly. Sorta like tinnitus only louder. And, I don’t know, I didn’t really keep looking for a way out after that.

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