Last night I dreamed that my normal students had turned into characters from The Wire. Marlo Stanfield was there in person, but the rest were sort of versions of my usual group, only transformed.
So I was teaching English to a mixed group of drug dealers and cops. Keeping my game face on. Cheerful, as if nothing was wrong. “Great, guys! So… What are you going to do this weekend?”
After this dreamy class, I went to the bar with a friend. He started making out with a waitress. I noticed the payphone in the back was ringing, so I picked it up. It was the Director of Studies, who started with something like “The students aren’t really happy with your method. Here’s what I’d do!”
I shouted into the payphone, “Are you out of your goddamn mind? I’m sitting there with a bunch of cops and dealers for an hour, doing the best I can… What do you expect?”
It was kind of a metaphor for my life in Spanglish.
Just as an aside, if you haven’t seen The Wire, what have you been doing?
“I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase. It’s all in the game, though, right?” Omar is my favorite character on The Wire.
I have other strange dreams, on a recurring basis. In one, I’m at my high school back in Arizona, sitting in Physics class and thinking “There must be some mistake… I thought I had finished high school!”
I go to the office to explain myself but I can only do so in Spanish. The secretary just gives me a blank stare and tells me to go back to Physics class.
I try to tell her I finished high school over a decade ago, that there must be some sort of test I can take to get out of this. She doesn’t understand me.
It’s another metaphor for my life. 10 years in Spain and I’m a bit confused about who I am. At least while I’m asleep.
See also: Bill Bryson visits New Mexico.