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The Reading Room (S&D)

by Anonymous
(Stanford, CA, USA)

My roommate and I are sitting in a old-fashioned house's library/study. The interior of the room is dark, with dark wood paneling around the room, hard wood floors, and bookshelves stuffed with books from floor to ceiling.


It's late at night, and we're trying to do homework but the lights keep turning off. We go around to the lamps and try to fix them, but they still continue to flicker. We decide it's not worth it and go outside. Although it felt like we were in an old European movie setting hundreds of years ago, when we go outside, we find ourselves in the busy streets of modern-day London. It's as if all stereotypical landmarks and characteristics of London are compressed into a single glance around; we catch the smell of fish and chips; we somehow see Big Ben, Parliament, and the London Eye all at once; we see the shops, the double decker buses, and the red telephone booths.

Completely unsurprised by our new time era and our new surroundings, my roommate and I start to walk around the city, which then becomes more like San Francisco, and I start to recognize shops, restaurants, and neighborhoods of my hometown. We don't have anything else to do, so we're not worried and decide just to waste time wandering around and exploring. We decide that we're hungry, so we go into a pub. It just so happens to be World Cup season, and we get caught up in the fervor of watching the US play against Argentina in a close game that we eventually lose. Dejected, we leave the pub, only after exchanging facebook names with all our new pub friends, naturally. As we walk outside, it suddenly becomes really cold. The wind is blowing in all directions, snow starts to fall, and it's suddenly nighttime. We start walking back in the direction we came in hoping for the nice warm shelter of our reading room, but can't find our way back (we did start out in London, after all). As we go from street to street looking for our original home, if that was what it was, I suddenly remember that I have two midterms the next day, both of which I haven't studied one iota for. The panic starts to set in. All of a sudden, the dream has turned into a nightmare. Completely overwhelmed and anxious about the midterms, I convince my roommate to help me study. We go into the nearest Barnes and Noble, asking for the textbooks I needed to study. Of course, they didn't carry them. We started reading Cosmo instead, and got completely wrapped up in the Red Hot Reads. I fell asleep in one of the comfy armchairs with the idea that, even though I would most definitely fail the two midterms the next day, I could at least become a writer for Cosmo.

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Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

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