Things You Need to Know First
A. When the following events took place, I was a Resident Assistant. An RA is basically a glorified babysitter of college students who has to talk to the cops surprisingly often.
B. I was living and working in a small all-male residence hall (it’s a long story), but the week before this happened, administration moved the top two floors of men out and moved a bunch of girls in. The remaining fellas lived on the basement level.
C. I’m not very good at anything when I first wake up, besides being mean. People fear me in the mornings.
Several years ago, on a very cold March night, I was living with 24 other people in an elderly building with bad heating. The temperature for the whole place was controlled by a switch on the main staircase, and someone had cranked the heat high. It took me forever to fall asleep because I kept tossing and turning, kicking off blankets and layers of clothes. (That’s important. Remember that.)
I finally fell asleep around 4 a.m. and started to have a strange dream. I dreamed that someone knocked on my door in an official-sounding way. In my dream, I got out of bed, stumbled across the room, and opened the door to three policemen. One of those policemen was very handsome. The other two were very not. I was thrilled to be dreaming about people who were so obviously exotic dancers.
Things the Police Were Doing
A. Standing awkwardly in the hallway
D. Shuffling their feet
Things the Police Were Not Doing
A. Making eye contact with me
I started to develop a small self-esteem issue. The handsome cop, who was standing closest to me, cleared his throat and looked at the doorjamb about a foot over my head.
“Are you Stephanie?” he asked.
This is a picture of my door:
As you can (kind of) see, my name is on it in seven different places.
Since this was a dream, and I wasn’t afraid of being Tasered, I rolled my eyes, jabbed my thumb at the door and name tags and said, with all the attitude I could muster, “Pfft. Yeah.” The policeman clenched his jaw, but still didn’t look at me.
“Does someone named Cody live here?” he asked.
“Uhhh,” I said, because I was under the impression that strippers don’t ask many questions.
One of the ugly policemen (Why was I dreaming about such homely guys? What kind of dream was this?) asked, “Do any men live here?”
“Yeah,” I said, and then I said something really stupid.
Things One Should Never Say to the Police, Even in Dreams
A. “I have a gun and I’m feeling shoot-y!”
B. “Man, you are way less cool than the cops on T.V.”
C. “Yes, there are men in this building. I keep them in the basement.”
I went with Option C. The cops all looked at me very briefly in a confused way, then looked away again. The handsome cop asked handsomely if someone named Annika lived in the building.
“I don’t… I don’t know.” I said. I was bewildered at this point because none of them had produced a boom box, but I was also experiencing some relief because I’d just remembered I didn’t have any cash. On top of that, I was annoyed because this dream wasn’t even about me– I was a supporting actress in my own brain. It was a very confusing time, emotionally.
The fully-clothed policemen, still not making eye contact, thanked me, apologized for bothering me, and left the building. I stood in the hall for a minute, sorting things out in my head, looking down at my feet.
Things I Realized At That Moment
A. I was not wearing any pants.
B. It was not a dream.