Saturday, June 25, 2016

Back to school

I am living in Brighton, Massachusetts, as my own grown-up self, and attending Brookline High School. I board the T and ride down Commonwealth Avenue. As we approach the Harvard Avenue intersection, I see heavy traffic. I get out right before Harvard and walk, thinking I can get back on the trolley after the traffic clears. Logic, right? Sometimes a pedestrian can outpace a traffic jam. I dodge cars at the intersection like William Shatner in the Twilight Zone episode “Nick of Time”.

And then I stop into a bookstore, not Brookline Booksmith but a bookstore in a bright and airy old house with white walls. I find two hardcover books to buy. Their dust jackets remind me of E. H. Gombrich’s A Little History of the World: serif typefaces in black and red on white. I’m supposed to be at the high school at 9:00. The clock says 10:00, but I’m not worried, because I know they haven’t turned it back yet. At the front desk I talk with the owner about my having lived in Brookline in the 1980s. As we talk I realize that I have no idea where the high school is. But I’m not worried.

This is the fifth school-related dream I’ve had since retiring from teaching, and the second in which I’ve been a student. And here, I admit, not a very good student.

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