As I was waking up this morning, I dreamed I was out with a friend (B) and a former coworker (C) in Augusta for dinner. Except it didn’t look anything like Augusta. It was a college town where school buildings mingle with downtown buildings, more like Lexington. Lots of red brick and grass, though. Anyway, we were at this lunch counter type place ordering food. I had apparently been there for lunch and had a salad, so I already knew what they had available. C ordered a plate of peas (he’s a vegetarian but that seemed a little extreme so I said, “All you’re getting is a plate of peas?” and he said yes). I wanted peas too, so I asked if there were going to be enough. It’s here that things got wonky.
The girl at the counter started looking trough all the food trying to find peas. They didn’t seem to be anywhere. Worse, I kept spotting them and pointing them out only to have them seemingly disappear when she looked. “There’s some, with carrots,” I said, pointing, and she went to that tray and started pulling out grape tomatoes. I was so frustrated I asked, “You do know what a pea is, right?” She stared at me and I tried to make it as inoffensive as possible by blurting things like “You never know!” “In this day and age?” she responded mockingly, then sliced off a piece of specialty cheese for B and placed it in a bag. I wasn’t even sure when B had ordered.
The girl moved down to help some new customers. I still hadn’t ordered my peas, let alone the rest of my meal (I wanted a pork chop). Infuriated, I left.
I stalked down the street and into a courtyard near the corner. It was there that I encountered an odd creature that I’m pretty sure I’ve dreamed about before. It’s kind of like a deformed kangaroo, same height, same big legs and small arms, same tail for balance, but a stubby face wholly unlike that of a kangaroo. Still, “What’s a kangaroo doing loose in the city?” I asked aloud as it charged toward me.
The courtyard was filled with trees and corners, and for some reason, while I knew the kangaroo could and would hurt me, I wasn’t afraid. I simply backed into tight spaces where it couldn’t reach and started taking pictures of it. Soon the flash seemed to scare the thing off and it fled the courtyard. I watched it bound back and forth down the street outside, its movements punctuated by the screams of those who spotted it.
I cut through the courtyard to a perpendicular street and found a restaurant, where I got a table. I was settling in when B showed up and joined me. “If she comes back, I want water,” I said. “I need to use the restroom.” “I’d rather we wait to order until you’re back,” B responded. “And we’re having you pay for this.” I realized she must be mad that I left the lunch counter. “Okay, but I didn’t even order anything there. And the service was awful,” I said. “I seriously don’t think she knew what a pea was. I was so mad I couldn’t stand to stay there.” I went on to explain how I’d run into the creature. I was in the middle of describing it when I noticed B was stiff and pale. “Don’t worry,” I said. “It won’t hurt us.” There was no real reason for my being so sure of this other than my innocuous earlier encounter. “You’ve obviously never been bitten by him,” B said, sounding angry and scared. “A says he knows someone who has and it was really bad.” (A is B’s ex in real life.)
I didn’t know what to say to this, and I really did need to use the restroom, so I woke up.