My sister, Tricia, is almost eighteen, but in this dream, she was acting much younger. She was still in the Girl Scouts, with my mom as troop leader, and she and the rest of the troop kept going to this very noisy and crowded theme restaurant to play some sort of game in a synthetic tree. Tricia called it a video game, but it was far from one. The game involved climbing up and down the large plastic tree and finding animatronic woodland creatures that would give her clues as to where the next creature was.
I went up the tree with her to help her out in finishing the game. The last clue was at the very top of the tree. It was so high that we couldn't even see the people in the restaurant from the top "branch." I knocked on the branch and a talking woodchuck came out. He told me where the last creature was, but I didn't understand what the clue meant. Tricia told me to slide down to the middle of the tree. I did, though I almost fell. When I was back in earshot of the restaurant, I couldn't believe that Tricia spent so much time here, climbing this fake tree among all these people.
Soon I was back at home. I don't think Tricia ever finished the game. However, my mom suggested that I go to school with Tricia and sit in on her English class. I wasn't sure why, but I obeyed my mom. I took a bunch of extra shoes and socks with me. Then I boarded the school bus. It only picked up the kids in her English class. There were TVs hanging from the walls of the bus that showed the covers of the books the class would be reading. One of them was The Catcher in the Rye and the other was Our Town. Another TV showed the cover of Variety magazine. In the front of the bus, one kid and turned all the TVs so they showed different sporting events. I told myself to imagine they were displaying book covers instead.
We had to switch modes of transportation to get to Tricia's school. From the bus, we took a subway, and then an above-ground train. Finally, we reached the school. Her English class was taking place in a gym. Everyone was wearing gym clothes and playing volleyball. I wondered why I needed to bring extra shoes and socks. Tricia was talking to her friends instead of to me. I found one person near my age to talk to -- it was Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future mode. He had his time machine in another room next to the gym and had created some new fuel injection pump that was apparently going to revolutionize the way cars were made.
Back in the gym, I sat on the bleachers while everyone played volleyball. We only did one English-related activity the entire time: we had to recall as much as we could about a poem the class had read. The teacher called it an "Eastern philosophy poem." I remembered that it was called "Aero the Bird." I figured that I, college English major, would be the only one to know this. However, the kids around me remembered more of the poem than I did. One boy started laughing at me and saying he knew more than I did.
The gym instructor came out and announced the schedule for the rest of the month. Everyone would be playing basketball instead of studying poetry. I got on the train to head home, but I ended up in a dim train station. The inside was tinted orange and was lined with convenience stores. Most of them had gas pumps, but I wasn't sure why; there was no way you could fit a car in the train station. I watched as a guy bought a small sandwich for ten dollars at one of the stores. I was going to get a Subway sandwich, but I decided it would make me fat.
I came upon my roommate Laura and her new boyfriend Mike. They were sitting at a picnic table, eating a Subway sandwich together. Laura had ordered a half sandwich, but it looked to be about two feet long. She had folded it over until it became a one-foot sandwich. She let me have a bite of it.
Laura was on her way to one of her summer school classes, but she and Mike were making wedding plans. They said they were going to be married in three weeks. I didn't want to tell them they were crazy. I told Mike I would throw away his sandwich wrappings. I picked up his Subway bag, and it felt heavy. I noticed his wallet was stuck to it.