That Bitch Janice

That bitch, Janice.

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost three weeks since my last posting. During that time, I’ve gone through the final two weeks of school and the end of the year paperwork blitz, done a bunch of preparations for bargaining meetings because we are up for contract renewal, and mowed my lawn it feels like about every other damn day, gone to a send off party for my neice whom I believe is going to a hair school, completely avoided the awkwardness of going to any of my students’ graduations parties, gone on the end of the school year bender, and finally felt healthy enough for two workouts in a row.

None of any of that is striking any chords with me at the moment, but I had this dream last night with such a combination of images that I can’t get it off my mind. So I’m going to write about it.

The dream starts out where I’m walking through my elementary school yard with Janice. Now I do and have known several Janices of various spellings in my life. I currently work with one who helps our teacher’s union negotiate. I believe Janice was the name of the first girl I ever held hands with. I currently have a dear friend of the same name although it has been so long since I’ve seen her, I am starting to wonder if she were ever real or simply an imaginary friend I should have outgrown by now. I’m sure I’ve had at least one student named Janice in some year or other.

The Janice in my dream was different however. The Janice in my dream was the sister of Tony Soprano. The ultimate self-serving, self-deluding, leetch bitch of all time. Her character is so annoying, cloying, and dastardly brilliant in her own way, that I recently had to turn off the episode of The Sopranos I was viewing because I was having violent thoughts towards my television. I don’t know if she reminds me of the negative aspects of women I have encountered over the years or what, but I react to seeing her face on-screen the same way overly sensitve dogs react to a dog whistle. Either whining and hunched down on the carpet or nervously pacing around with a look of what-the-fuck?

Enough back story. Back to the dream. I’m slowly walking on a sunny afternoon across my elementary school yard. I’m a grown man. Sopranos Janice is 1/2 step behind me and close enough our arms brush as they swing. Once in a while I can feel her grabbing for my arm or hand and I ignore her. I vaguely have this feeling of regret. Like I did something bad. Although I can’t remember a single word Janice said, I know she is trying to convince me to stay with her. I don’t want to. There is some sense of guilt in that. The guilt either stems from the fact that I cheated on someone with her or because I deeply regretted rutting with something as hideous as Janice. I can’t tell which, but either way I feel like I am a less respectable man for whatever unknowns I did before the opening sequence of my dream.

I wish Janice would stop clinging to me. I wish she would leave me alone because I feel like I have to or want to go. There are other people around, but their faces are all blurred out like the censored private parts on Asian porn sites. Then the scene switches abruptly. (I kinda think something happened that I no longer remember between these scenes, but I was running too late to write this down this morning when it was so much more clear.) I am now in the foyer of the school standing behind my motorcycle. Janice is still behind me reaching for me. The freedom of the open road surges forward in me in an almost uncontrollable way. Y’know how when you really have to pee and you finally walk into a restroom and it’s almost like your bladder knows you are close to release and you really have to fight back that urge to start pissing before you even get your pants undone? Yeah, I know. I’ll submit that to the board of bad metaphors myself later, but that’s pretty much what it was like.

The promise of freedom almost makes my hands sweat and suddenly I’m tense because I’m so close to being gone that I’m not operating efficiently. Suddenly I see the motorcycle kickstand start to slide out from under it on the smooth stone foyer floor. I reach the bike in time and grab the back end and right it several times, but every time I tip it to allow the kickstand to get under it, the kickstand just slides out again when I lean the bike onto it. Finally, with much fucking around and with Janice’s voice still burrowing into my skull behind me, I lean the bike against myself and manage to shuffle close enough to my kickstand to see that there is a nut loose and that is why the kickstand isn’t holding. The odd part is, it was more like a bicycle kickstand and not a motorcycle kickstand.

From there I think I put the kickstand up and found something to lean the bike on. All I really know is the sense of the bike leaning on me is now gone at this point. I move farther forward on the bike and notice large hunks of chrome flaked off the forks. The forks also are not realistic to my real bike. Not only have large chunks of chrome fallen off, but the exposed metal beneath is all rusted like a large amount of time had passed since it had started peeling. It is nothing catastrophic to the mechanisms of the bike. I can still run it, but I also realize my nature won’t let me run the bike like that for long. I will take the forks off, package them, send them to a chromer, and pay large amounts of money for that service even though I know I don’t have the money to pay. Mostly I feel a sense of…here is something that needs fixing, but I don’t have a prayer in the world of coming up with the cash to do it. I’m even more dreading the time I have to put into pulling the forks off the bike and sending them out.

That’s about it for the dream. Some of the stronger images I’m still aware of in the dream were of the sun as I crossed the playground and again the sun coming through the foyer windows and falling on my bike. The image of that out of place kickstand stays with me as well as that rusty hunk of metal staring at me from under the missing chrome. Strangely, Sopranos Janice’s face never appeared in the dream. She was always behind me. I just knew it was her. There has to be something with time going on here. I’m an adult in the dream, but the setting is a place I last set foot on when I was about 11 or 12. The chrome flaked off recently, but the rust underneath required a passage of at least several seasons. Some sort of mid-life crisis kinda dream or what? Is Janice not a woman at all, but all my guilt personified? My bike, even though it is freedom to me, is it also a burden? So is this one of those, “Material things weigh you down.” dreams?

Fucked if I know. I’m still left with a sense of wanting to get the hell away. Away from that playground. Away from Janice. Away from the bike’s problems even. Maybe I’ll have the dream again tonight and I’ll have another whack at figuring this one out.

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