birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Science Class

My anxiety usually keeps me up or keeps me from having a restful sleep, rather than sneak up on me while I’m unconscious. When I was in my twenties, I had three anxiety dreams on the regular. One was about the entirety of my future wedding day when I knew through the whole thing I was marrying the wrong guy but going through with all the pomp and circumstance anyway. The other two were remnants of high school: being late to Mr. Clint’s calculus class (he would close the doors and not let you in if you got there after the bell rang) and never doing homework or studying for chemistry class for the whole semester with finals coming up.

I’m in my early 40s now and it’s bizarre that the chemistry class dream has come back into vogue in my subconscious. It’s not recurring, exactly, but I’ve probably had it twice in the last year or so. I remember not particularly liking the subject, preferring biology, and I didn’t particularly like the teacher, which I thought was odd because he was a rather likable person. Anyway, I did study for that class and, though I don’t remember the grade that I got, I remember I passed. There was a class about AIDS which I decided to take as a GE requirement my freshman year of college because it was considered an easy “jock” class. It was so easy that I felt completely unmotivated to go to class or bother to look at the textbook. I knew I wasn’t going to pass after my strategy of marking “C” for all multiple questions on the midterm test didn’t work out so well so I took an incomplete. I have never been that unmotivated for a class. It’s clear that my subconscious decided to lump those two science together. I guess the dream was all about the fear of there being something I should be preparing for and I’m not. I haven’t gotten around to doing my taxes yet, so maybe that’s why I am having those science class dreams again.