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THE NOTE

Dreamed 1977/1/1 by Wayan

THAT DAY

I'm car-camping with my girlfriend Kay (pseudonym), at College V at the University of California in Santa Cruz. I'm in academic limbo. I'd been doing well in classes, but got suspended for switching majors too often--basically, for showing signs of becoming a perpetual student. Some truth to it--I'm sick and unable to support myself, let alone a brilliant but borderline-crazy girlfriend who takes a lot of time and care; there's no chance I'll finish a degree until my circumstances improve. But we have nowhere else to go. So I visit friends here and use the guest-house to shower and cook and clean up. Kay runs on rage and is constantly picking fights with me. A bad time and no future to hope for.

Our third night on campus we fall asleep in my VW van, and...

I DREAM

I'm sitting in a cafeteria in College Five. A male student comes up and tells me "I don't want you here or in the guest room, sleeping or cooking, when I'm around." I hide my anger, but then a middle-aged man comes up who's like the psychologist or social worker in CLOCKWORK ORANGE--genial, joking, fake and sinister. He tells me "we" must clean up conditions here, "we" have agreed you must leave. He doesn't say who he is or "we" are, but later someone else tells me he's the head of College Eight--my college, the one that suspended me.

IN THE MORNING

I wake to find a note taped to my car window. It says:

Dear VW van inhabitants.

Come now, let us not overstay our welcome. You told me you would stay here one night. So far, you have stayed at least three. The least you could've done was to tell me. In any case, three was enough; any more nights and that would be considered camping out, and you cannot camp on university propery. So could you please not camp up here another night. If I find you here tonight (Saturday) I will ask you to leave. Thanks for you consideration and happy new year.

-- Proctor Coll. V.

I feel scared and creepy. How did I know what was in the note? What makes it creepier is that the guy says we talked, but I don't recall talking to any strangers for days here, let alone to a proctor (local jargon for security cop). The note makes it sound like I've been watched the whole time. The false genality of that "come now" is just like the Clockwork Orange man in my dream, too.

It feels like the final rejection from UC. I've been hanging around thinking I might be able to fulfill their conditions and finish school, but now I know I can't.

2006 NOTE

Thirty years later, I still recall the shock of seeing my dream's language on that piece of yellow paper. I still have it--stuck it in my journal. I'm absolutely certain it wasn't coincidence--the tone of the dream and note were identical. It convinced me ESP is real. But beyond that, I'm unsure what to say. Was this prediction, somehow seeing ahead to my own discovery of the note, or telepathy, picking up the thoughts of the cop as he wrote The Note? In a controlled experiment there might be some way of distinguishing, but here, I see none.

Today, I see the one discrepancy between the dream and the note as signal, not noise: I dreamt it was the head of college VIII (my college) ousting me, not this Officer Friendly for College V. I think the dream was making a point--it wasn't just a rentacop but the University as a whole that had written me off and didn't want me back. That turned out to be true; I tried re-entering years later, found it impossible to get straight answers from anyone, and finally went elsewhere for my degree. Even then, Santa Cruz still hung around my neck: my transcripts had no grades on them, for Santa Cruz during these years had radical pretensions: it allowed only page-long written evaluations, quite useless in modern schools. Useless... little... notes.



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