Dream of: 29 July 1996 (3) "Headed To Class"

It was early in the morning when I awoke at the House in Patriot. I walked into the kitchen/living room area where several members of my family were sitting. I noticed that my pet Dalmatian Chaucer and my pet Dalmatian Picasso hadn't been let outside yet, and that they needed to relieve themselves. I immediately went to the door, let them out, then walked over to the window to watch them. I could see Chaucer squatting down, and I commented to the others that he was out there "peeing a torrent."

Looking at the clock on the wall, I saw that it was already 7-8 minutes after 8 o'clock. I knew I usually woke up around seven in the morning, so I must have overslept. This was now going to cause me a problem because I had somewhere I needed to be at 8 o'clock this morning: an exercise class.

It was Wednesday and I had just started taking the classes on Monday, so I had already only attended two classes. The class only lasted for a half an hour in the mornings – from 8:00 to 8:30. The first two days of class had gone just fine, without any problems; but now I was obviously going to be late for the third class. I thought about simply skipping the class, which was being taught by a strong slim man (probably in his mid 30s). In truth the man hadn't actually taught me anything yet. He had just put me in a room alone for a half an hour and I had been left to do the exercises on my own. Nevertheless I respected the man and I thought he knew what he was doing. Therefore I decided I should go ahead to the class, even if I were going to be late.

***

I was in my car, headed toward my class. I was in the dark brown 1988 Lincoln Continental which my father had recently given me as a present. I still found driving the car a bit awkward, and I missed driving my BMW. The Lincoln was too large for my liking, and I had trouble both with the steering and with the brakes. It seemed as if I had to apply an extraordinary amount of pressure to the brakes before they would catch. This almost proved to be disastrous as I suddenly saw that all the cars in front of me had come to an abrupt stop. With all my might I stomped on the brakes, trying to stop the car. Seeing that I was obviously not going to stop in time, I jerked the steering wheel hard to the left. The car spun around so that I was going sideways down the road. Finally, just inches away from the car in front of me, I slowed to a complete stop.

The traffic quickly began moving again, and I steered the car back around straight, embarrassed that someone might be looking at me and seeing what a close call I had had.

By now I was near the building where my class was supposed to be. As I approached the parking lot, I thought again how I really didn't like this car. It had been a good car for my father because he traveled a lot, and this car was fine once it was out on the open highway. But I did a lot of city driving, and the car just didn't seem like the proper city car for me.

I finally reached the gravel-covered parking lot. It was getting later and later, and I kept wondering what my instructor was going to think. Did someone else come in to exercise at 8:30? How did my instructor keep track of who showed up and who didn't? By now I really dreaded even going inside. I just didn't feel like exercising today. The first two days had been fine, but now I felt tired. I wondered if I had strained my muscles so much during the first two days that it had caused me to feel tired now. I didn't know. All I knew was that I was tired and I definitely didn't feel like exercising. Nevertheless, I felt as if I needed to go inside anyway. I had noticed that often it was precisely when I didn't feel like doing something, such as some kind of work for instance, that I needed to do it the most. It was as if there was no gain when I did something when it was easy, but only when it was difficult.

Again I had trouble with the steering as I pulled into the parking lot. Plus there was some kind of construction going on in the street, which made it even harder to drive. And when I finally did pull into the parking lot, I couldn't find my parking place. I recalled that my parking space was number "8." My instructor had specifically assigned me that parking spot, and had even given me a small silver key that was somehow connected to that parking spot. But now, in the place where I remembered number "8" to have been the last two days, was a sign which said, "Manager." Unable to find my spot, I backed into another spot, and almost hit a wire mesh fence. I stopped the car and looked around, now completely puzzled about where I should park.

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