Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dream Log: Big Honkin' Library, Long Hair On Me

Very often I dream about walking around on university campuses, often within buildings on those campuses which are unrealistically large, often getting lost in those huge buildings, walking past row after row after row of offices and laboratories and archives and lounges and so forth, unable to find an exit, with an ambivalent feeling: on the one hand, I feel very comfortable in such surroundings, and I'm very appreciative of the work which is done there, but on the other hand, I'm lost and I can't find an exit.

And on the 3rd hand, I don't belong there, and if I asked directions it might become clear that I didn't belong there, and that might be awkward. In real life, I haven't been a paid, official member of academia since 1992, and I'm not officially an academic in these dreams either, which, when I pause and consider it, is somewhat strange inasmuch as I was an actual academic once, and I quite frequently dream about having all sorts of jobs I've never had in real life.

In real life, I have browsed the stacks in many a university library. In many of those libraries, it was against the rules for me to be there. I know of one university library in which anyone can cone and browse, and one more where the general public can not only come in and look around, but also anyone with a library card from the city's public library can check out books from the university library as well.

Otherwise, as far as I know, if you're not a student or a member of the faculty or staff of the university, you're not supposed to be in their library. In some cases, this is effectively enforced by security checkpoints at all library entrances, where university ID's are scanned. Other libraries do not have such checkpoints, and although de jure only those officially associated with the university may enter, in practice, anyone who doesn't cause a disturbance is generally tolerated.

Last night's dream's unrealistically large academic building in which I got lost was the main library of an unspecified university. The lobby of the library was quite particularly unrealistically huge. In particular, the lobby's ceiling was unrealistically high, well over 50 feet high.

At the back of the lobby were huge staircases leading to the stacks and offices and special collections and archives and so forth, and all of these looked like their real-life counterparts in university libraries, except that, as often happens in my dreams, there were very, very many of them, and soon I was lost. Many of the doors of the offices etc which I passed were wooden with glass in their top halves, and after a while I noticed my reflection, and that my hair was very long. I had tied it up to some extent in one big braid, but some locks had come loose and were hanging as low as the middle of my back, while others stood out at odd angles. After a while I just gave up on trying to get my hair tied back up again, and shook it all loose, and it was very unruly and pointing it all sorts of directions. And in the dream I liked the way my hair looked and felt. (In real life my hair is very unruly except when it is very short, and at the moment, as it happens, it's less than a quarter-inch long. I've had a very great variety of hairstyles, from very short to very long, from very conventional to downright Cubist.)

That's pretty much the whole dream: being in a huge university library, finding the surroundings pleasant except that I was lost, and having very long hair. (And enjoying having my hair so long.)

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