Roommate’s Alligator and Trying to Impress Uncle Phil

Again, I have put my foot in my mouth…I had another dream where I wasn’t myself. I’m just making myself a liar now.

Anyways, This dream starts off with “me” starting classes at a prestigious college. I am tall and thin, with red hair and freckles. I don’t remember my dream name, but I really want to say that it started with an A (Amanda, Ashley, Abby?) I was an aspiring law student, starting off my pre-law classes. I was smart and received a scholarship to attend this university, which was very lucky, because I came from a very poor family. I could not afford the room and board on campus (apparently my scholarship only covered classes and books.) So, I had to find other means of living. I found an ad of an apartment room right next to campus. This person was looking for a roommate but did not need them to pay rent, as his rich parents already paid for the full year, but he felt that not having a roommate would be a waste of the extra bedroom. I of course, answered the ad, but thought it was a red flag. I was right.

The guy was broad shouldered and had olive skin (I want to say that he was either Greek or Middle Eastern) and he had friendly eyes and a nice smile. He himself was not the problem…he had a pet alligator. It was like a dog, it went on walks with a leash, at out of a bowl, and made weird grunting sounds that were like barks. The alligator did not seem vicious, it was quite docile towards its owner, but it was still terrifyingly huge and its large, sharp teeth glistened in the light, making me shiver. Despite my better judgement, I took the free room and board, as everywhere else was out of my range. That was a big mistake.

The alligator developed a keen interest in me, and I know it wanted to eat me. Not only was it a terrifying creature, it was a smart one. It never interacted with me when my roommate was around, it wholly ignored me, but when my roommate was out or asleep, it would creep down the hall and try to get into my bedroom. I had to lock my door at night, and made sure to use the bathroom and go to bed before my roommate, so that it wouldn’t come after me. If I was the first one up in the morning, I would use my bedroom window as a door (we were on the first floor) and use it to leave for class. I only used the front door if I absolutely knew that my roommate was already home.

One night, the alligator somehow managed to get into my room. I woke up in the early morning to the creak of my bedroom door opening. I jumped onto my desk, which was just under the window and stared down in horror of the beast. It had a cat in its mouth, holding it by the scruff. The orange tabby hissed and struggled in its grasp. It gave me a look that said: “I’m going to eat this cat if you don’t try to stop me” then it slithered under my bed, so that I could only see its sharp teeth and the struggling cat. It was trying to lure me to it with the cat, using the cat’s life as leverage. I stood by my open window, caught between the decision to save the cat, or myself. With teary eyes, I told the cat that I was sorry. The gator moved away slightly, so I could no longer see. I heard a violent meow and a sickening crunch before I hopped out the window.  I knew then that I needed to find a new place.

***

It was the next year of college, and there was a new setup for “low income” students who couldn’t afford rooms. They called them “Community Dorms.” I rolled my suitcase into this newly established hall on the outskirts of campus. It was essentially a giant room, like a gymnasium, with curtain walls separating into “rooms.”  The girl’s dorm was already packed with people — each curtained room held five beds. Each girl got a bed, a small nightstand/dresser and the table attachment at the end of the bed that could fold up into a desk. I nervously stowed my most important belongings in the locked bottom drawer, and the rest of my things in plastic bins under my bed. The acoustics were also like a gym, girls from across the room could be heard in echoing voices that reverberated through the space. I swore to myself that I would become a success, and never have to live in these kind of conditions again.

***

It’s several years later, and I have just completed law school. I’m older, wiser, more confident, but financially not much better off than I had been as a student. I now live back at home with my family, though my parents have pretty much left the place to get roaring drunk at bars all the time, leaving me to care for my two, much younger brothers. I try to feed them with the money that I have, but I had to sacrifice my own meals, and parts of theirs, so I could afford a nice suite of interviews and important social parties.

My old professor had invited me as his plus one to a party at a well-establish lawyer’s home.  He told me that this opportunity could get me under the radar of several law firms that worked in the area. I trusted my old professor, and knew that this would be my one chance to make a good impression.

We arrived to the party early. The Hosts? The Banks family from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Philip Banks was one of the most respected and successful lawyers in the area, and getting in his good graces would jumpstart my career, making a bad impression could ruin me.  My professor introduced me to Mr. Banks, there was plenty of conversation to be had, but I had a very hard time concentrating. I was absolutely famished; I couldn’t remember the last time I had eaten. The rest of my money had gone towards feeding my brothers and paying the bills. I knew that there would be food here, but I was getting restless.

I excused myself to the restroom. On the way there, I walked by the kitchen. There, on a long table, was a spread of very fancy and delicious looking food. I couldn’t help myself, I snuck towards it to get a better look. I was almost drooling with the thought of eating such an abundance of food. I couldn’t help myself; I began shoveling food into my mouth.

“You should probably chew your food…” I turned around, a bit of chicken still hanging out of my mouth. I went red with embarrassment. Will Smith– in all his glorious early 90’s fashion–was standing behind me. He must have recognized my obvious fear and shame.

“When was the last time you ate?” he asked.

“I don’t know…” I responded, refusing to look him in the eye.

“Here,” he said, taking a paper bag out of a cupboard. “Take some to go.”

I thanked him and filled the paper bag with food before stuffing it into my purse.

Dream Score: 5/10. A compilation of stories of the life of a struggling law student and graduate. Why was there an alligator? Why did the Fresh Prince come into my dream when I haven’t seen the show in years?  What an insane life story…

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