Thursday, February 01, 2007

Recurring Dreams

This post by Bitterroot made me think of an odd series of dreams I used to have during the four years I worked at this grocery store.

My dream was always the same:
I am stationed at the cash register on the end, closest to the frozen foods section. I am swiping groceries over the electric eye, beep! beep! beep! And I realize that I am tired. I wonder how long it will be before I can take a break, so I look up to see how many more customers are in line.
The line is long.
The line of people and their shopping carts extends past the candy and magazine racks, backs up against the health and beauty aisles, and winds around to the frozen foods where it disappears around the corner.
I keep swiping and swiping, and I realize I will never get to the end of this line.
Beep! Beep! Beep!
And I wake up tense and unrested.

Now, sometime during this four year period I heard that, if you try, you can change your dreams as you are dreaming them.
So, I tried to think of some solution to this dream, some way to change it so that I could get some rest from checking out customers.

I decided I would try to put up my "Lane Closed" sign.
So, the next time I realized I was having that dream, I grabbed the sign and placed it behind the customer I was serving.
It sort of worked.
The line behind her disappeared, but she was buying area rugs. I tugged on the rugs, looking for the scanner code to swipe. Tugging and pulling, over and over...
In the morning, I woke exhausted with all of my blankets and sheets piled next to my pillow.

One time, I tried to just walk away. But that made me feel guilty.
Another time, I tried to imagine my supervisor coming to take over so I could take a break.

Each time, the dream would end, but nothing seemed to make the dream stop coming back the next night.

UNTIL...

One day I was working at the store (and no, this is not going to be a goofy thing where I surprise you at the end and say that I'd been dreaming the whole thing... this actually happened), I was swiping swiping swiping, beep! beep! beep! when I realized I was getting tired. So, I glanced up to see how many customers I had before I could take a break.
And as I lifted my head, I saw the line extend back and back until it wound around the frozen food section and disappeared around the corner.
Oh my god!
And yes! I was at the cash register on the end!
Oh my god!
It was my nightmare! For REAL!

What the hell? I thought. It's never going to end! I'm going to die here!
I ducked my head and swiped groceries as if my life depended on it.

Just then, I heard a voice:
"I can help someone at this register!"

Another cashier had arrived.
Half of the customers in my line left.

And I never had that dream again.

Is that wild, or what?

3 comments:

Rave said...

Did you think, in your dream, that you were the only one working? heh- I would definitely have 'shared the wealth' with my co-workers!

Bitterroot said...

Ugh! I hate 'working' dreams... It happens to me just about every time I start a new project - I work on it all night long, sometimes night after night until I find my 'comfort zone' with the project I'm working.

Yup, hate 'em...

Oh, and thanks for the ping! ;)

StreetPizza said...

Ack! That just wears a person down. I was so stress at being a waiter early in my life that I found I had slept walked into the kitchen thinking I was carrying a plater of food to a customers table.