Quick note on last night’s dream. I was involved in some kind of criminal activity against members of Congress or the President. It was unclear what I was trying to accomplish or who I was trying to harm. In order to pull it off, it meant going undercover with an ex-girlfriend inside a housing project that can only be described as a third-world slum. The toxicity of the stream that flowed into the very structure of the housing was remarkable for even some place like Michigan where they can’t get clean water. The ex-girlfriend decided that she liked the cheap rent so much and didn’t mind the risks to her health, that she was going to stay. We weren’t in any way romantically involved–it was clear that both of us were part of some revolutionary group’s activity. My part in it seemed like it was more violent, but I kept getting hung up on all of the toxic/rust/chemical pollution that was around us. I suppose the location was the important thing, but I don’t know if I carried out whatever I was supposed to do. I think maybe I did, but it wasn’t spelled out in the dream exactly what I did–the time sequence simply shifted to me being on the run from the law after committing a crime.
Mostly what was problematic about the dream was the ex-girlfriend’s willingness to accept rather abysmal surroundings for the sake of saving a few dollars in rent. The fact that the slums, which you would more likely expect to see in Africa or India, were somehow now acceptable in the U.S. was also kind of disturbing. Also, I woke up feeling like whatever illegal think I’d done hadn’t solved any particular problem–it had just made the powers that be mad at me–it was like poking a wasp nest without doing much else to exterminate the wasps.
Today has been a rather usual sort of Monday–trying to put myself back into student mode, and feeling out of sorts, like I am not really sure where I belong anymore. Class was engaging and stimulating, though, which made up for my struggle with understanding much of the required reading. I think that if I could just spend more time talking to people about what I am studying, I might be less inclined to spend time questioning whether I am supposed to be here or not. I tend to get it in my head that everyone else around me is either exceptionally more brilliant than me, and I am hopelessly behind what they know, or everyone is exceptionally more dense, and not worth my time to discuss much of anything with. Of course, these are probably both diversion tactics that are rooted in days when my ego or pride was exceptionally inordinate, and I simply didn’t want to talk too much to anyone to have to learn the ways in which people actually were smarter than me. By walking around convinced that I was especially brilliant or denser than everyone else, I could retain my sense of superiority in terms of being special/unique–exceptional in some way, be it good or bad. The truth has probably always been one in which there are people who are smarter, but not much more so, and that I am mostly about average in any given classroom. Learning you are average can be much more frightening than discovering you aren’t that smart at all–average is normal and normal is boring. At least being really unintelligent means you get to be interesting, if not for an especially good reason.