It Was All a Bad, Bad, Dream

A return to fiction.


I’m at school. To be completely honest, I don’t remember how I got there. I mean, I assume it was the normal way—taking the streetcar from my house to the subway, then from the subway directly to school. Maybe this routine has become so monotonous for me that I rarely remember the nuances of my trip anymore (by nuances, I mean things like subway delays, amazing or terrible passengers, overcrowding, etc.).

As far as I can tell from my notes, I’m sitting now in a psychology lecture. Only my usual professor isn’t there. Do I recall hearing about her breaking her leg or something? That might have been her. Anyhow, this professor is really, really engaging. He actually asks all 65 of us our names and makes sure to try to remember at least a few of them.

He starts putting up his PowerPoint slides. As I read them, I get a familiar sense of deja vu. Haven’t we learned this stuff before? I could swear we’d learned about some of the Freudian theories that this professor was now teaching as if it were new. I wanted to raise my hand and say that we’ve already learned it, but I was a little fearful to do so after “ruining” class for some of my friends in previous years when teachers lost the metaphorical page.

So I sat through a lecture entirely composed of material I already knew. I at least had my laptop with me, so while I pretended to take notes I browsed Facebook and crap like that. I couldn’t help but notice that everyone else was absorbed into their note-taking. None of them had even the faintest idea that they were repeating material?

The lecture over, I get up and am about to walk toward the door when someone taps my shoulder. I look behind me and see Jaycelyn. I take a nervous gulp. I’ve only ever said a few words to her here and there and here she is, seeking me out to talk to me.

“Hey,” I say, raising my hand for an awkward wave.

“Hey, Tyler,” she says. “You’re still on for coming over tonight, right?”

I freeze. What the fuck? When did I ever arrange this? Oh well, if it means getting closer to her…

“Oh, yeah, of course,” I say.

“Great! See you at 7,” she says, and then speedwalks out the door, since, if I recall correctly, she has a class on the other side of campus immediately after this one.

I realize that despite my playing along, I didn’t ask for her number or address. What an idiot.

I feel like first thing I need to do is call my best friend Ben to let him know what has just transpired. I look at my phone directory, and as I’m scrolling through the list I stop for a moment at the J and see “Jaycelyn” as one of the entries. I press it, and not only is her number there, but so is her address. When did I get so smooth?

I move along and call Ben. “Ben, you’ll never guess what happened!” I say, rather than saying “Hi, it’s Tyler” first. But I figure Ben will know it’s me, and he does.

“I don’t know, what?” Ben asks.

“I’m going over to Jaycelyn’s house tonight!”

“You’re what? Dude, that’s awesome!” Ben says. He’s genuinely excited for me, I can tell.

“Yeah, I don’t know how I managed it.  I don’t know how I got the courage to talk to her!” I say. I don’t actually know, but I don’t want to let Ben know that.

“So what are you going there for, anyway?” Ben asks.

“I don’t know. Hanging out, I guess?”

“At her house? Dude, amazing.”

“Alright, well, I just wanted to share the good news and all,” I say. “Talk to you later, man.” I disconnect the call.

I go and eat lunch at a nearby fast-food place, then head home and get my readings done as quickly as I can. When I see it’s 6 p.m., I figure it’s about time to leave. Nothing wrong with being early.

As I leave the house, I notice something just out of the corner of my eye. At the house next to me, a pretty nice detached unit, I see a flash of red cloth disappearing behind one of the corners. I shake my head to try and get the image out, but it’s no use, so I walk gingerly over to the detached house and look around the corner. No red cloth to be seen.

Confused, I decide to just head on to Jaycelyn’s. My trip to her house is a little foggy to me. I vaguely recall getting off at a subway station I’d never heard of before, then taking a bus that drove through a kind of deserted area that was slightly overgrown with vegetation. Vegetation? In Toronto?

Anyways, before I know it I’m knocking on Jaycelyn’s door. She opens it almost immediately and engulfs me with a hug. She’s a pretty thing girl. but she has some major strength when she goes in for a hug. I wrap my arms around her in return, even though I’m still slightly confused as to when we got this intimate.

“Well come on in,” she says. Her house is beautiful. She’s got a keen sense of style, as I figured by the way she dresses every day. The whole house seems to have an elegant black-and-white theme. I don’t understand how she can afford something like this as a university student. My guess is she had loaded parents, but I don’t mean to broach that subject for the time being.

“Well get your coat and shoes off,” she says. “I don’t want you making marks on the floor, now.” I nod and do as she asks. Once I’ve hung up my coat and doffed my shoes, she grabs my hand and leads me upstairs.

I follow with still a bit of hesitation. She leads me into her room.

“So what–” and before I can say another word, she pulls my face towards hers and presses her lips to mine. I’m surprised, and so I resist for just a moment, but eventually succumb and try to return the passion. Before long, my hands are slowly pulling up her shirt, and she isn’t resisting at all. I can feel my heart pounding.

And then her shirt is all the way off, as is mine, and we’re lying on her bed now, and then…

I wake up.


  • Course material familiar
  • Different professor
  • Vague idea of methods of transportation
  • Intimate relationship with Jacelyn
  • Non-existent areas of Toronto
  • “Flash of red cloth”



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