Occasionally, I, and I assume many others do as well, have recurring dreams. Some dreams standout fully. Some dreams just snippets here and there. I’ve not had any vivid and outstanding dreams for a while and certainly none recently that are recurring. But, as we made our way to the canyon we were hiking to, our conversation shifted, ebbed and flowed, to that of dreams.
From Carlsbad, our hiking spot was an hour or so through dirt and gravel roads with signs that read “If Light Is Blinking, Toxic Gas Present. Do Not Enter,” which was a sign similar to that on Hawaii’s Big Island as my brother, stepfather, and myself made our way across the lava flow with stop signs peeking out of the lava rock and other signs telling people to turn back as they will be breathing in glass fragments and carcinogens. We did not turn back then. We don’t turn back now.
The trail was well marked, at least it was until the trail ended, and we made our way down into the canyon for a lunch of trail mix, hummus, and cheeses. As we chat, I discussed one recurring dream I had growing up.
It is a take on the whole suddenly-aware-you-are-naked-in-public dream. Only in this dream, I am wearing a giant white T-shirt with a smiling orange on the front of it. I don’t go into all of the details about the dreams, but I get the gist across.
I remember dreams where I am in middle school wearing the giant T-shirt and nothing else and trying to be nonchalant about it. Or, where I am riding a giant wheeled old-timey bicycle across my hometown with only the shirt on. Or, where I am rolling silverware at my grandparent’s diner. Or, where I am counting money in the safe at the now defunct Hastings Entertainment. In all scenarios, the only thing I am wearing is the dress-like giant white T-shirt with a smiling orange on it.
As we discuss dreams and then the conversation launches into other subjects, I tried to place where that shirt came from.
At the time of the hike, I couldn’t.
The following day, we are off to the famous Carlsbad Caverns.
On the drive, we passed by a drive-in theater, and then, it hit me.
The smiling orange shirt.
A familiar childhood spot was the Admiral Twin Drive-In in Tulsa, OK. I spent many summers watching the somewhat blurry screen with somewhat poor audio quality emitting from the car’s stereo. And, I think back to the very first time my mom, brother, and I loaded up the white Ford Taurus.
It was after a day of swimming at my grandparents, and in wet trunks, we loaded up into the car to watch the Ferris Bueller starring in the latest Godzilla remake.
I remember only wearing a t-shirt, found under the sink at my grandparents sink, which is a place I remember well because it held many girl swimsuits that I could never bring myself to wear but would always think about it, every single time I went swimming.
Was a smiling orange on it?