I had a strange dream the other night.
I was eating sushi, which doesn’t happen very often to begin with. Sushi isn’t in my regular rotation of food, although I have a lot of friends who love sushi, and although I’m sushi-illterate, staring at the menu and randomly hoping I’ll like whatever I pick, usually I do in fact like it. Anyway, I was with a few other people. (I think I remember who one of them was, and he is definitely not someone I would ever be in a social situation like this with, but that’s not relevant right now.)
For some reason, in my dream, I went outside, leaving my food on the table. (As is often the case with dreams, certain details stand out clearly even when they make no sense. I remember exactly where this sushi place supposedly was: in Davis, in that strip of stores near 2nd and E Streets across the parking lot from Baskin-Robbins and the Paul Sykes memorial. Again, I have no idea why this specific location was in my dream. I’ve never eaten sushi there, and I don’t even know if there is a sushi place in that shopping center. That area holds no particular significance in my life beyond memories of seeing Paul and his band (warning: link contains NSFW language after the song ends) a few times in 1995-96 and a painful rejection experience in 2000 at a restaurant in that shopping center that no longer exists. But, again, not important.) I don’t remember why I stepped outside, but I saw someone outside and started talking, which took longer than I thought. When I got back to the sushi place, the people I was with had moved to an outside table, but my food was still inside. When I went back inside to get it, it was gone; I asked the server what happened to it, and he said he threw it away, because he didn’t know if I was coming back.
I was angry. I yelled at him and said they were the worst sushi restaurant ever, and I was going to tell all my friends not to eat there. He said he had to throw my food away, because it would have spoiled by then based on how long I was gone (okaaaaaay), and I yelled at him that I didn’t care, I was hungry. Then I stormed off, back outside to the people I was with. I left soon after that, feeling terrible about myself for blowing up and making a scene, but as I passed the restaurant again on the way to my car, I felt a sudden urge to go inside and yell again at all the customers inside that they were wasting their money because this was such a bad place of business. Then, as I got in the car, I felt terrible about myself because I couldn’t let it go. I felt like a real jerk.
I don’t remember much after that.
But I think this dream was shining a spotlight on one of the things I dislike most about myself. Every once in a while, I really do get very angry in public at people who are only doing their jobs, in ways that happen to be inconvenient for me. And, just as in the dream, I always feel terrible afterward, often to the point of apologizing to whomever I blew up to. Once, I even sent a letter to a place of business apologizing the next day. But still, getting upset in public like that is childish, and it doesn’t help anyone with anything. It doesn’t happen often, but it shouldn’t be happening at all.
I’ve improved the last few years at stepping back for a minute and calming down when I get really upset with the kids at work. Maybe this dream is a reminder to do the same thing in situations like these.