Dream: 2018.02.09

Despite many vivid dreams in the past year, this is a rare one that I remembered fairly clearly:

Peterson Chapel
This is Peterson Chapel on the campus of Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, as seen in 2008. This is NOT the way the chapel appeared in my dream.
(Copyright © 2008 by Wil C. Fry. Some rights reserved.)

DREAM: (Adapted from private journal file.)

I returned to my college (Central Bible College), apparently for a basketball game. The ticket-takers were upset because I was carrying a purse and they said only women were allowed purses. A man standing next to me told them: “How do you know he’s not a woman?” They couldn’t answer that, so they let me in. The man standing next to me turned out to be Matthew [surname withheld]. Inside, the arena was brand new and gigantic, not like the shoddy gymnasium with bleachers at my actual college. Most of the people in attendance were from my high school (SVHS); none of them looked my age — most of them looked like they’d graduated a couple of years ago. All of them but Matt were people I didn’t know very well in high school. I learned that the college men’s team was playing against my high school boys’ team. Both teams lost. In the girls/women game, both teams won.

In the stands, one former high school classmate began questioning me about religion. When I told him I wasn’t religious any longer, he became fearful and backed away. Throughout the game, he kept tapping people on the shoulder, pointing at me, and whispering to them about me. I don’t remember his name.

Outside, Matt shared with me some new poetry in a notebook he was carrying. One of the poems was entirely made up of quotations from poems I wrote in the year 2000. Another was very good. A crowd gathered around us as he began to read it. People were crying and sobbing by the time he finished. One woman sobbed: “So black lives really DO matter?” A crying man nearby corrected her: “No, the poem was about systems of economic inequality!” I looked at Matt’s notebook and saw the title of the poem: “Myrtle The Turtle”.

As we climbed up to the waterslide on top of the chapel, I saw Richard R. Barron. He was peeking out from behind a corner of the round building, wearing a police officer’s uniform, smoking meth from a brown wooden pipe, and cackling. He was missing most of his teeth. He doubled over with laughter, pointing at an empty space a few feet away. He spoke continuously but none of the words were in English. Several Bible college students walking past thought he was speaking in tongues and praised God for it.

The waterslide wasn’t working, but I climbed the fence and slid down it anyway. Campus police were at the bottom waiting, but I managed to elude them by ducking into the library. There were campus cops throughout the library, but none of them were yet aware I was a fugitive, so I walked past casually, nodding at each. The library was a massive labyrinth, with hundreds of rooms large and small, some of them very old and some very new. Some were connected by grand passageways and others were connected by tunnels, fire station poles, ladders, or trap doors.

In one room, Mike Pence was arguing with a gray-haired man sitting at a table. I followed Mike Pence around the table and realized the seated man was also Mike Pence. Neither of them were able to see or hear me. They were arguing about Doritos For Women.

I realized I still had Matt’s book of poetry in my purse and decided to return it to him. I wandered all over campus but couldn’t find him. A cackling Richard appeared again and said nonsense words to me, and pointed at the sky before falling over laughing. I took this to mean: “Matt has gone to the debate.”

I realized I was late for the debate and that I was supposed to be one of the debate participants. A nearby sign indicated I was supposed to argue FOR religion against a famous atheist. I returned to the chapel to attend the debate, but now only the defunct waterslide was there; on the ground. The chapel building was missing.


In real life, my college no longer exists. The campus closed in 2013 as the college officially “merged” with Evangel University across town. According to a 2017 article in the Springfield News-Leader, the campus has been listed “for sale” for several years. According to a real estate listing, the property is still for sale.

  1. The “like” button is not loading at the moment. So, like.

    • Wil C. Fry says:

      It does that occasionally. :-(

      However, I have made myself laugh several times today by recalling the Richard character from the dream.

  2. “…one former high school classmate began questioning me about religion. When I told him I wasn’t religious any longer, he became fearful and backed away…”

    Maybe because he knew you were supposed to debate FOR religion later in the evening? :-)

    “…the waterslide on top of the chapel…”

    That sounds like a chapel I wouldn’t mind attending, LOL.

    “…I managed to elude them by ducking into the library…”

    Ah yes, a clear metaphor for gaining knowledge to escape religion.

    “…the property is still for sale…”

    I saw that the price is “undisclosed”. Now I’m curious how much a former Bible college campus sells for. Google Maps shows quite a few structures, and it looks like close to 100 acres. If I was an eccentric billionaire, I might acquire this property just for fun…

    • Wil C. Fry says:

      “Maybe because he knew you were supposed to debate FOR religion later in the evening?”

      That actually makes sense. Thanks for pointing it out…

      “Ah yes, a clear metaphor for gaining knowledge to escape religion.”

      Yes, I had that thought as I was writing this… Weird how the library was a safe haven…

      “If I was an eccentric billionaire, I might acquire this property just for fun…”

      On a practical note, I’m sure the buildings aren’t in great condition… But it does seem like a huge waste to see all those structures sitting empty, just a block or two from the interstate highway.

  3. Dana says:

    Do you keep a dream journal or make notes when you wake up? Your dreams that you recount here are always so full of detail.

    I have pretty good dream recall but if I don’t make notes immediately I will forget them. Often, however, I can’t put the detail into words as my brain in REM wasn’t following laws of physics or human language/thought.

    • Wil C. Fry says:

      I typically don’t publish here the ones I can barely remember or remember nothing of. Which is almost every day. Most days, I wake up with the memories of a dream, but by the time I’ve made coffee and got my daughter to school, all that remains is a memory of having that memory — and no actual pictures of the dream itself.

      Yes, I do have a notebook/pen on my nightstand. If I do wake up with any clear pictures of a dream, and if I have time to immediately jot down a few notes, that’s usually enough to trigger more memories of the dream later.

      The usual issue is that when I wake up, I must immediately spring into action to get breakfast for children, start my coffee, make sure everyone’s dressed, and then get R to school…

      On this particular occasion, as soon as I woke, I knew I was about to forget the dream, so I began describing it to myself aloud as I got out of bed…

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