I was so intrigued by the dream poll that I decided to try to remember my dreams more. I had a nice long one last night, full of sexual and work-related symbolism. I think. Would you care to help me interpret it?

I had gone to a police station to do some kind of research, and was sitting at a desk they'd given me with papers and notebooks spread out on it, rather messy. I had a view outside the station, of a wide veranda like they have in India. A guy came in, and I started to stand and said "Steve!" (Who is an actual cop I know, and who did let me come into his office once to do some research.) But the guy was not actually Steve, and I sat down in some confusion.

Then there was a commotion, and a young cop ran up to me, grabbed my hand, said something about an emergency, and started running down the corridors, fast enough that he was actually pulling me. He shoved me into an office, turned out the lights, and said, "Lie down on the floor and don't get up until some one comes and tells you it's OK." Then he ran out. I crawled under a big metal folding table, which had a lot of hard plastic chairs around it, and wondered what the hell was going on.

After a while two other women, dressed as civilians, came and joined me under the table. We didn't talk. I crawled to the edge of the table and held one of the chairs by its thin metal legs, making sure I could lift it that way. It didn't seem like much protection should a gunman come in, but there didn't seem to be anything else around. (It didn't occur to me to lock the door.)

Then a big man flung open the door and stood there, menacingly pointing a big gun. I leaped up, holding the chair in front of me, charged him, used the chair to slam him up against the wall, yanked the gun out his hands, pointed it at him, and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. It was a complicated gun, longer than my forearm, and I thought maybe I was doing something wrong. (That strikes me now as the most Freudian sentence ever!)

Then the lights came on and more people came in and it became clear that it was just a drill. Next thing I knew, me and a bunch of other civilians, who were apparently cops in training, were all sitting down around the table to discuss how we'd done in the drill. We got evaluation papers and everything. I was surprised to see that I had the lowest rank in the class, because I thought I'd done pretty well-- I'd disarmed the "killer," hadn't I? But everyone was saying that I had been stupid to rush him and in real life he would have shot me and I was supposed to have just stayed behind the chairs.

"But if we were supposed to have stayed behind the chairs, they would have stopped bullets, so why not use them as a shield?" I said.

No one was convinced. Then the teacher came in, a cop in uniform. I can't remember if he was the same guy who had played the "killer" or not. He was a big, genial black guy who reminded me of, but was not, a hazmat specialist I once took a class in emergency management from in real life -- a totally cool guy in real life, I should add. The other students pointed out that I had the lowest score on the practice drill.

As I was irritatedly defending myself while trying not to sound too defensive, I realized something: I was the only person in the class who hadn't known it was a drill! Everyone else had known all along! But since I hadn't even come there for the class, I had been totally fooled and had reacted as if it was real. I explained this. The teacher continued to be nice but firm. The students were totally unimpressed. The class moved on to the next step, an odd "memory exercise" in which we were all given ten or so small polished stone discs, and had to lay them out and then had to say a coherent sentence with one word per disc. I thought this would be pretty easy, but the first person to try hadn't even started yet, and was pondering it deeply, when suddenly...

I got my period. A huge gush of blood suddenly poured down my legs, very visible because I was bare-legged and wearing a skirt. I leaped up with a cry of "Excuse me!" and dashed to find a bathroom. In the tradition of dream bathrooms everywhere, the door didn't lock. As I was cramming paper towels into my underwear, all the students came barging in. A red-headed woman named Pamela (not someone I know in real life) told me that I really ought to quit, since I was obviously unsuited and was distracting everyone else.

I said sarcastically, "Well, excuse me for having female parts that bleed!" Then (lying; I'd just forgotten): "Look, I'm three days early, how was I supposed to know?" I still thought the situation could be smoothed over.

But when I returned to the classroom, everyone but the teacher seemed so hostile that I decided to give him my resignation. "I never even meant to be in this class to begin with, and I now realize that not everyone's cut out to be a cop, and I'm one of the ones who isn't."

I was hoping he'd say, "No, you are, stay." But instead he said, kindly but immovably, "It's good that you realized that."

Disappointed, I trailed off, looking for a bathroom where I could change. When I found one (after the obligatory long search) I discovered that I had forgotten to bring my pants. Sidling out half-dressed, I got stuck on the stairs while a ton of cops saluted the entrance of a general (Indian, I think) in a white suit. I was relieved when I finally managed to get out of the station, and found that I was in New Delhi, with a very non-realistic expanse of water stretching out before me, and a very pretty dawn.


Real life info that might help:

Despite the widespread thuggishness of the LAPD, I have rather positive feelings about cops as individuals; I know a couple on an acquaintance level, and was very flattered on the two occasions when cops have tried to recruit me.

When I was nineteen I pulled a friend out of a burning car. I thought that I was a hero, and was very pleased with myself. She was not so pleased, neither was her boyfriend, nobody ever said I was a hero or even had done the right thing, and the incident led to the permanent end of our friendship. This is such a long, complicated story that I used to tell it as a 20-minute performance piece. Years later, I told an abbreviated version of this story to Steve, the cop who does not actually appear in the dream though I briefly mistook someone else for him, and was extremely gratified when he said that if I'd been one of his people, I'd have gotten a medal for valor.

Finally, the overall mood of the dream was not anxiety or fear, but annoyance at no one appreciating me the way I felt I deserved.

...interpretations? Other than that I think people should appreciate me more?
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