My most common recurring dream is the one where I suddenly realize I’m on the schedule to work at the video store this weekend and I have to find my uniform. I have this dream regularly — at least a couple times a week — and I usually wake up stressed out and needing to repeatedly assure myself that I don’t work there anymore. I’ve had quite a few jobs in my time, and I haven’t worked at the video store in nearly 15 years, but for some reason that particular work experience seems to dominate my subconscious. Sure, it was the best job ever — I basically just watched movies by myself for four years straight while the porn addicts perused the back room — but that was forever ago. Why can’t my mind let it go?
Then C-Minus and I were chatting the other day, and she revealed that she has the same recurring dream about her stint at the Applebees: she suddenly realizes she has to waitress this weekend and needs to locate her uniform. She wakes up thanking her lucky stars that it’s all just a dream and that she won’t need to go back to the endless refilling of Diet-Pepsies anytime soon. It is a curious thing, to both have the same recurring dream, especially since it was my most favoritest job ever and her least favoritest. What was the common connection?
But then suddenly we had a simultaneous epiphany: I never actually quit the video store — I just told them not to put me on the schedule for a while and then never called them again — and she had never really quit the Applebees — she just took herself off the schedule until the computer auto-terminated her. So the hypothesis is that this isn’t about being obsessed with the best or the worst job ever. This is about lack of closure.
And the dream has really been plaguing me lately. It’s become even more regular, and it even invaded my dreams while I was across the planet in New Zealand, where my subconscious should have been focused on more Middle-Earthy things.
So I’ve decided to put an end to it. And the only way I can think to do that is to officially quit the video store. Unfortunately, my particular mom-and-pop video store chain went belly-up over a decade ago, but I did find an address for an Adventures in Video on Google, which I think might be enough to fool my subconcious and to finally satisfy my need for closure. So I’ve drafted a letter:
To Whom it May Concern:
This is my formal notification that I am resigning from Adventures in Video as Shift Supervisor. September 16th, 1997 will be my last day of employment.
I genuinely appreciate the opportunities I have been given here, and wish you much success in the future.
Signed, sealed and delivered. It may confuse the hell out of whoever receives it, but it also might stop the madness on my end. As you can see, I even found my old uniform, so as to quash that part of the dream into pieces as well. It will be an interesting experiment, and I encourage C-Minus to do the same.
My second most common recurring dream is the one where I realize that I haven’t graduated from college, that I have one class left, and that I have forgotten to attend it for the entire semester. My recent epiphany about dreams and lack of closure has led me to believe that this dream is probably due to the fact that I skipped out on all the pomp and circumstance of my graduation ceremony and never even had a party. So if this Adventures in Video Termination Letter solution pans out, I might just have to stage a mock graduation or at least throw a party in honor of my graduated self in the near future. Maybe I’ll even hang my diploma on the wall. You gotta attack these things from all sides.
I’m still unsure of how to stop the dream where my teeth become loose, crumble and fall out. Unless I just go ahead and get them all pulled and replace them with some dentures. Perhaps I’ll wait for the results of this experiment before committing to that, though.