Three separate but closely-blended university-related dreams in one night:
1. Arriving at the student flat that had been provided for me. It was lovely, big and light, at one corner of the third or fourth floor overlooking the big city which as night came on became lit up with neon and car headlights.
The flat seemed to only have single beds, but four of them. My mum had driven me to the city, and stayed overnight. She was comandeering the music we played in the flat, which I only grudgingly accepted because she was the guest. I felt I couldn’t start making the place my own til I’d heard some of my choice of tunes there. Mum chose the bed by one window, so I went for the furthest away. I was looking to see if any of them were doubles; one of them looked like it might be. I would investigate further the next day.
The bathroom walls were made of one-way glass, so when I sat on the toilet it looked as though I was right in the middle of the apartment with nothing between me and my mum, who was sitting on the end of her bed. I was astonished when she assured me that she really couldn’t see through the wall – and she was equally astonished that I could.
2. Unpacking my shoes onto a low shelf in the apartment, I saw to my surprise that I had a dark red pair of suede boots, some knee-high disco platforms in glittery red, and some black patent Dr Martens. I hoped my mum, nearby, wouldn’t pay attention to what I was doing and criticise my shoe-spending. My pink DMs (which I do have in real life) were now made of suede rather than patent leather, and the disco boots had got wet, bleeding some of their colour into one pink boot, staining it a different colour to its partner. I tried to dry them off, hoping the red colour would fade, which it did slightly. But I couldn’t get rid of the water; droplets kept appearing around the disco shoe. I couldn’t take the boot into the bathroom to sort it out properly because then my mum would see and be angry that I’d thrown money away by spoiling the shoes that I shouldn’t have bought in the first place.
3. Despite having not given out my address, I had a stack of post at the new place (which now looked very different, dark and narrow). There was an A4 envelope with my dad’s handwriting on, saying “open 31.12.2003” (my 21st birthday) and with a post-mark dated to 2007. I wondered why my dad had sent me a birthday present separately from my mum, apparently in secret, apparently long before the date, and why it had taken so many years to arrive. And now, turned up at this address.
When I opened it though, it wasn’t from my dad at all. The letter demanded repayment of my undergraduate loan, claiming I owed over £10k (significantly more than I actually borrowed, even with interest). The company had tracked me to this address, forging my dad’s handwriting and giving the date of my 21st to trick me into opening the letter. I spoke to him on the phone and we agreed it was a scam which I didn’t need to respond to. All other questions remained unanswered.