I dreamt about Kenya last night.
It's been a while since I've dreamt about Kenya and even longer since I’ve had a stress dream about being there. I think it's related to my blind friend-date from last week. I've been trying to come up with an angle to write about it and figured writing about my first friend in Kenya would be a good way to start.
But this dream wasn't about friends.
Like all my stress dreams, I was trying to get somewhere and couldn’t because of some stupid reason. Usually, I get on the wrong train or on the wrong freeway and can’t turn around until I’m miles away from where I need to be. And usually I am always wearing something that I need to change, which I decide to do on the train or in the car without taking my off shoes. And then I’m late, going in the wrong direction and stuck half in and half out of my clothes.
However, in this dream, I was in Kenya - a Kenya that for some reason had a subway system like New York. And I was trying to find my way back home but I couldn't read the language on any of the signs and I couldn’t figure out the coins I needed to get on the train. In my hand I had a mixture of American bills and bright green Kenyan coins and I stood on a very busy street corner trying to figure out what I needed while people pushed past me. Suddenly, my friend Rach - whom in my dream I knew as my cousin - came running by and asked me what I was doing. I told her and before she could tell me what coins I needed, she heard the subway and ran, yelling at me to follow. As I trailed behind her, I got a phone call from my father’s third wife who was very upset that I'd not told her I was in Kenya. There I was, running for the train, while trying to explain why I hadn’t called. Several twists and turns down endless stairs and dark smelly tunnels, and I finally reached the right platform. But, because I couldn't figure out which of the bright green coins in my hand was the 10-cent coin I needed to enter the gate, I couldn't get through. From behind me a bearded white guy in his forties spoke to me in English, offering to help me figure things out but when I held out my hand, he took all my money. Everyone on the platform yelled at him in Swahili – or what I know in my dream was Swahili - but he just laughed. Frustrated and on the verge of tears, I kicked him in the chest, grabbed my money back, found the 10-cent coin, slid it into the slot, ran through the gate and made it on the train…
And woke up. Out of breath, shoulders in my ears and hard as a rock and more than a little stressed out. And now I’m going to spend the rest of the day trying to figure it out, what each moment meant, where it links up to my real life and why I’m having Kenya dreams again.
My memories of Kenya are always tempered with a bit of fear and anxiety... Ah, who am I kidding? My memories of Kenya are a few cool animal encounter stories and a whole mess of dark icky fears and anxieties. I was white in a black world when I was outside of school and black in a white world when I was within the walls of school. And both worlds were cruel. I knew I didn’t fit in because they told me and because they showed me. I’m sure that the fact that I’m almost always the only “black” person in a room here that isn’t on staff, that I’m looked at like a novelty from both sides of race here, I'm sure that is figuring into a panic dream on a Kenyan subway and....
Yeah, this is leading to a dark deep place that I don’t want to particularly write about on this very beautiful morning. And all because of a blind friend-date I had a week ago that didn’t lead to an instant friend connection. Yet. So I’m pulling out of this post, and shaking off my stress dream and going out to chase the rabbit I can see eating my plants.
Because that I can pretend to control… well, at least temporarily.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me