During the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 2nd, I had a dream about going to work. I drove to a library that I had never seen before– it was at the top of a very tall hill, and the road up was steep and winding. When I got to the library, I was greeted by some coworkers I hadn’t seen in quite awhile (because I’m a sub, I get assigned all over the place, and sometimes do not see staff at a particular library for six months or more). They were happy to see me, and they opened the front doors– large, and mostly glass– of the library so that I could get in.
The architecture of the library was rather interesting– it was built entirely out of cast concrete and cinder blocks–all gray– and the furniture looked to be dark oak with royal blue upholstery. The main part of the library was circular in shape, and sort of reminded me of a beehive, although there was plenty of light, both ambient daylight and from well-hidden lights inside the building. The colors that impressed themselves on me the most were the soft gray of the concrete (which looked rather stonelike) and the blue of the upholstery fabric on the chairs, and it all seemed very restful.
In the dream, I started helping staff with the daily delivery– reserved books that patrons had ordered from other branch libraries– and after I finished this task, I was asked to take some withdrawn paperback books out to the recycle bins for trash pickup. When I went outside, I ran into a woman I had worked for prior to being hired at the library– I greeted her cordially, and we wound up walking over to the edge of the parking lot where the recycle bins were. From this vantage-point, we could look down the hill all the way to the bottom, and we both saw that there had been some sort of accident far below us. We were trying to figure out what had happened when I woke up.
As I was laying in bed, thinking about my dream, the alarm went off– I have to call in on days I am not on the schedule, and even though the earliest I had to be to work that day was noon (our branch libraries are all open 12:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays), I was still obliged to call in at 8:30 a.m. for my assignment. After I found out where I’d be going (the Linda Vista Branch Library, hereafter referred to as LV), I went back to bed for another hour, and promptly forgot all about my dream. I left my house at 11:30 to drive to work, and I was very happy I was working the early shift (noon to 5 p.m.) rather than the late shift (3 p.m. to 8 p.m.).
Now at this point, I had completely forgotten the dream, so I wasn’t comparing what I was doing with what had happened while I was dreaming. Because of where I live relative to LV, I am able to take surface streets all the way to work, but it is a bit of a circuitous route to get there, and I wind up driving between two large shopping malls and some outlying strip malls and restaurants on my way. As I came up to the main thoroughfare that I needed to take to get to the library, I passed a restaurant that I had been to numerous times when I was working for my previous boss– the woman I had seen in my dream, but I now did not remember I had dreamed about her– and I thought, “Wow! it’s been at least five years since I last went to this restaurant with everyone from Park and Rec… I wonder how everyone’s doing…”
At this point, I hit a rather bad traffic-snarl, and I began to worry about being late to work. As I turned onto the main drive, I saw what the hold-up was: someone had come off the freeway too fast and had run off the cloverleaf ramp, down a 50-foot embankment covered in iceplant, and their car was now stuck in a wide drainage-culvert at the bottom of the incline. A fire truck was on scene, and as I managed to work my way through the intersection, a paramedic ambulance also arrived. I made my turn, got into the lane that would take me further up the hill to the library, and went on my way, still concerned about possibly being late to work (and still not remembering my dream, either).
I duly drove up the winding hillside road to the library, and when I got there, I hurriedly parked, grabbed my stuff and went to the main doors, as I did not have a staff key for this particular branch. As I’m standing in front of the glass doors, I’m looking at the gray cast concrete and gray cinder blocks the library is made out of, and I’m still not recalling my dream. Staff lets me in the front doors, and I cordially greet several people I have not seen in at least six months. They are working on the reserve books that came in the delivery, so I stow my gear and pitch right in. As I’m working– taking the tagged reserves to the shelves where the patrons will pick them up– I notice that there is new furniture in the library since the last time I was there. Besides new chairs at all the reading tables, there are several great chairs in the central reading area, and all are made of wood that looks to be dark oak with seat and back cushions upholstered in royal blue canvas-type cloth… and, nope, still no dream recall.
After I finished the reserves, I was then asked to cull the freebie shelves, which is where we put all sorts of stuff that we give away to the public, like neighborhood newsletters and such. There were some new leaflets and flyers that had come with the interoffice mail, and they needed room for them, so I pulled all the out-of-date stuff, put the new items out, and chucked all the discards in the recycle bin… and still, no clue…
At 2:30, I took my half-hour break, and when I came back to the Circulation Desk at 3, there was finally a bit of a lull in the number of people coming in. I checked system emails for any computer-update or other flagged messages, and when I looked up from the computer, and cast a quick eye over everyone in the main reading area, I suddenly realized, “Hey… I’m in a completely circular room here…”
And then the dream replayed, in exactly the same way I had dreamed it in the early hours of the morning. I knew in a split-second that even though everything in the dream did not look exactly identical to where I was, I had dreamed all the major bits right– the accident at the foot of the hill, the winding road up the hill to the library, the circular main part of the library, the concrete and cinder blocks, the blue upholstery, people I had not seen in a long time, being let into the library through the large glass main doors– it was all there, including my old boss, because I had passed the restaurant she and her friends liked to go to on my way in to work.
It probably took me about a minute to really process everything, feeling simultaneously weirded-out and elated that I had apparently known in dreamtime exactly where I was going to be working that day, even though the assignment wasn’t made until I called in that morning.
I also think that if everyone had more chances to slow down a bit, and had a bit more time in the mornings to try to actively recall more of what they dream, we’d find out that this sort of thing happens way more often than most people suppose…