I’m wearing nothing but tighty whiteys. And they’re blue.
I’m at the Angelo State University student center. Today is the day I’m supposed to fly on the space shuttle, making me the first copy editor to do so. This seems somewhat strange, given that the shuttle program is no longer in operation, and copy editors are not notorious for their writing skills. Does something need editing in space? Nonetheless, here I am.
I call my brother, Mike. He is my designated guest on the flight. He says we should leave for NASA at 7:15, which gives me about an hour to get to his place, where my space duds are. No, the dream does not indicate why NASA is in San Angelo. I do the calculation in my head, and I have exactly enough time.
Except I can’t find my clothes. And then I remember. They’re in a locker somewhere in the student center.
I’m in the only stall of the rest room on the far end of the building. I’m about to leave when Becca, my boss from the long-since defunct East Valley Tribune, walks in. I point out she’s in the men’s room. She just looks at me, her face blank, not acknowledging my existence. I have no time to talk.
I run through the student center, trying to remember which locker it is. They all look the same. Besides, I don’t have a key. I have no idea how I would get into the locker even if I found it. Locker after locker after locker.
Do you have to have your driver’s license in space? Surely they will not ask me to drive, unless it’s a stick shift and nobody else knows how. Maybe Mike will do it. He’s right-handed. More lockers, various shapes and designs. None look familiar.
T-minus something else.
Finally, I’m at the last set of lockers. They’re in the snack bar on the far edge of the building. I don’t know what to do. The bored woman at the register looks up. “Lose your keys?” she asks. And there they are, along with my wallet, sitting next to the register. I realize I don’t really need my clothes anyhow. I begin a dash for the car. As they say: It’s not a marathon, it’s a sprint.
As I leave the building, people are staring across the lawn and pointing. “There’s a crazy guy attacking everyone,” someone says. I see him. A short man with a pitchfork, waving it menacingly. He’s wearing nothing but tighty whiteys, except they are white. At least now I realize how they got the name.
He pokes one person, then another, and another. I wonder if I should do something.
But I have a date with destiny, a flight to infinity and beyond dangling modifiers. If I speed (and come on, I’m an astronaut!), I have maybe just enough time to make it to Mike’s place, then NASA.
If I can find my car. I have no idea where I parked.
Space beckons. I wonder what I’ll look like in my jaunty space suit. The only thing I remember about it is came with space sunglasses I might be able to use for running when I get back.
I hear screaming in the distance.
The clock’s ticking.
I wonder if the shuttle will be serving lunch.
Even though there is no time whatsoever, I run back to the student center snack bar to grab a burger to go. Just in case. Space is hard work.
I’m waiting for the burger in my blue tighty whiteys. I’m trying to write the first paragraph of the “copy editor in space” story in my head in advance. I’ve got nothing. Why, again, am I doing this?
And then I see him. The guy with the pitchfork is coming toward the student center.
I’m wondering whether I should get mustard or mayo, and how I will carry condiments, given that I have no pants. Pants is overrated. Yeah yeah.
I wake up.