I Have Weird Dreams: The One with the Runaway Russian Goldfish

I’m smack in the middle of a pile of work that won’t go away, and while I have no less than four posts in progress, I simply don’t have time to finish any of them today. In lieu of posting anything useful, I give to you yet another tale from the bizarre world of my dreams.

Clearly, something about my Russian class just screams “Weird Dream Material.” They tend to feature prominently. Not all of them. The quiet ones in the back clearly have the good sense to stay out of my head. But Sam, Kolya, Molly, Rhiannon, and all of the other talkers…

As if I didn’t see you all enough during my waking hours.

It started out in the swimming pool – where all good Russian classes should start. Not just any swimming pool, but the one that used to be in my backyard in North Carolina. A round number, with a rope that went all the way around the edge. Naturally, we practiced our Russian all while hanging onto this rope.

It should be noted that Dr. Garza was not with us in the pool. He was attired in his usual jacket and tie, sitting on a deck chair, asking us questions in Russian. None of us found this the least bit odd.

After several rounds of questions – all done in Russian (which I find encouraging. I wish I were as fluent in real-life as I apparently am in Dream Universe) – Lucy arrived to class, and announced to all of us that she would be dropping out because she’d been accepted to Brown.

I have no idea whether or not Lucy has any desire to go to Brown.

But by golly, that’s where she was going. Dr. Garza left us there in the pool to talk to her, I think to try to talk her into staying in our class, and that’s when things got interesting.

Did you know that, in Dream Universe, my Russian classmates are all VERY fond of one another? There are apparently relationships galore. On the off chance that any of them are reading this, I’ll spare them the embarrassment of describing exactly who was making out with whom – suffice to say that one of the boys was dating one of the girls, who decided that she wanted to leave him for another one of the girls, and then he ended up with me.

It all made perfect sense at the time. After all, what foreign language class doesn’t have a few broken hearts in it?


All of this free-love hippie making out, however, was interrupted when Sam’s goldfish escaped.

It didn’t occur to me at the time to ask Sam WHY he had a goldfish in my swimming pool during Russian class. He just did. I remember thinking that the goldfish was likely to be killed by the chlorine. At least that much logic was there. But before the goldfish could die, we had to find it. And the little bastard had escaped.

(Now, in Real-Life to Dream-Universe translation, this goldfish does, actually, make PERFECT sense. We spent the last three weeks of Russian class talking about a goldfish that played prominently into the storyline of our instructional video.)

Thus began the frantic search for the Runaway Russian Goldfish. Sam was – I’m sorry Sam – distraught. He was. Really. Apparently, Sam is quite attached to his goldfish. His золотая рыбка, I should say, because this whole sequence took place in Russian. (That’s Za-la-tie-ya Ruib-ka)

Sam was afraid that his goldfish might be stepped on. Or that it might have already been stepped on. I was afraid that the goldfish would be sucked into the pool return filter. The others… weren’t afraid of much. They were still busy engaging in 60s Hippie free love.

Then, to make matters worse, Sam’s family showed up.

Now, when I say this, I mean the people who Sam claimed as his family. Because in Dream Universe, Sam’s family is a group of about 7 Chinese people.

Sam is a white Jewish boy.

I think I actually pointed this out in the dream, but I was so busy trying to find the missing goldfish that I didn’t get the full explanation. Something to do with exchange programs.

Sam kept making people pick up their feet to ensure that the goldfish hadn’t been stomped. As we never saw any floating goldfish guts, I can only assume that it was not, in fact, squished in the throng of Hippie Love.

But at this point, I noticed another problem. There was a hole in the deck.

Not just a hole really, but a puzzle. A gap in the wood decking, with 25 pieces of wood that all had to be fit back in, before it would magically close up. By the time, Dr. Garza had returned, unsuccessful in his mission to keep Lucy from leaving us for Brown.

He, too, was very concerned about the hole in the deck. So we spent a good fifteen minutes trying to get all of the pieces to fit in. In the background, Sam and his Chinese family were still searching for the missing goldfish. It was all really quite chaotic.

And when the two of us FINALLY got the last piece of the deck-hole puzzle to fit back in… four feet away, another hole magically appeared.

It ended like this – Dr. Garza and I running from hole to hole on the deck, Sam searching madly for his missing goldfish, seven Chinese people standing on the edge of the pool watching, and some of the others blissfully ignorant.

Don’t worry. No Hanky-Panky actually occurred.

Probably because we don’t have the Russian words for hanky-panky yet.

No goldfish were harmed in the making of this dream.




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