(I had begun to think I was exempt from having weird dreams when I was suffering from terrible sleep deprivation. So much for that.)
I was at high school graduation practice in a strange brick building that looked nothing like my high school. My favorite high school teacher, Mrs. Davis, was directing everyone to line up alphabetically "by first names," even though everyone somehow knew she meant "by last names" and organized themselves correctly. Everything was just as I remembered it. Funny how my subconscious mind still knows the alphabetical order of everyone in my senior year homeroom. I was standing next to my friend Heidi Holz in line, and everyone was whispering about who they thought the valedictorian was going to be. I kept looking at them strangely, because I couldn't believe they didn't know. Apparently I had travelled back in time or something: I was the only one sitting at high school graduation practice with the perspective of a third-year college student.
Everyone filed into line correctly the first time, though a couple guys in the class thought it would be funny if they messed up the order the second time. Mrs. Davis got exasperated and told us to all break for lunch. I went outside and saw Chris's mom going through my car. More evidence that time was all screwed up. In June of 1998, I had yet to meet Chris or own a Mazda Protege.
"Hi Laurie," Chris's mom said as she tore through my glove compartment. "I just know that Christopher took a secret road trip to Montreal this year. I can prove it if I find a map of Canada in his car."
I was going to mention that the car was MINE, and I was also going to ask why she had come to Georgia from Rhode Island just to search a car, but I kept quiet and sat in the passenger seat, waiting for her to leave so I could go get some lunch. I tried to organize all the contents of my glove compartmen, but she kept messing them up again.
Apparently the only people who were caught in the world of June 1998 were the people in my high school class. Chris and his mom and I seemed to be normal as far as perception of time was concerned. Chris said he'd meet me during my break from graduation practice, but when I reached the spot where he said he'd be (a plain classroom: off-white cinder-block walls, blue indoor-outdoor carpet, no decoration except a brown table and a wipe-off-board with a few stray red and blue markings), I found myself alone.
When he finally appeared, I was crying.
"If I tell you where I've been, you'll get mad at me," he said.
"I know I will," I said. "Tell me anyway."
"Look, I'll just give you some hints, and then you can guess."
He got out a piece of paper and started drawing lines on it. They looked arbitrary at first, but I finally saw that he was writing parts of letters but leaving some parts out (like an "M" without the first line on it). He seemed to be spelling out two names. One of them was "Amanda," while the other was a name I had only seen in an online journal I read once every few months (again, strange what my subconscious remembers).
I said, "You went out with two girls?"
He nodded. Then he lifted his dark green sweater over his head to reveal a t-shirt that said "New York Snowboarding 2000." I started crying even more. "You went *snowboarding* with two girls when you knew you were supposed to meet me for lunch?"
He nodded, though he didn't try to comfort me. I was sitting on the floor crying when he started trying to justify his actions. He said *I* had driven him to want to go snowboarding because I had asked him to come visit me over New Year's.
"That's prime snowboarding time," he said. "I would have never been able to use my new snowboard if I hadn't gone now."
I only cried harder and told him he'd broken any number of promises he'd made to me. I finally got sick of trying to make him see what he had done wrong. So I went to the grocery store.
I don't remember much about shopping, only that I had a basket instead of a cart and that a lot of the products had retro-looking labels on them. I headed up to the cashier with my basket of groceries. The cashier was a smiling old woman who knew my name.
"Would you like to pay your past due grocery bills?" she asked me after she had finished scanning my items.
I said, "I have past due grocery bills?"
She nodded, and I handed over my debit card. When I got my receipt, I found that I had just paid $1500.25 in groceries.
"I have really, really overdrawn my account this time," I said to myself.