I am sitting in the basement of my old elementary school, in the first grade classroom, as an adult. The desks, for some reason, are big enough to fit adults. The room is full of people I don't know, also sitting at the desks. There are also two people I do know in the room as well, Mike and Beth, two of the people with whom I attended my twelve years of elementary and high school. I had a crush on Beth for a few of our school years. All of the people, including Mike, Beth and me appear to be in our mid-thirties. There's no teaching going on; this isn't a class, but some of the people are working on things at their seats.
Mike seems to know all of the people in the room, but I don't, and I don't think Beth does either. She's sitting in a desk in the row to my right and one seat forward of me. She has turned around in her seat and we have been talking to one another. Mike has been addressing the room and has previously announced that he is dying of some terminal condition or other. He asks me for a pen, and I hand him both the red and the blue one I have in my shirt pocket. He also asks for my e-mail address and I tell him that I will write it on the back of one of my business cards and give it to him. Then he goes over to the other side of the room to talk to some other people. I reach for my wallet to fish out one of my business cards and then realize that Mike has my pens. I don't want to write the address in pencil because I fear that it will smear or otherwise rub off. I decide to wait until he comes back over with my pens and resume talking to Beth.
The scene changes. Now we are in the room next to the old first grade classroom, the cafeteria, sitting at tables. These aren't the standard cafeteria tables that used to be in this room. These tables are smaller, more intimate, like restaurant tables. Everyone has a big plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Beth is sitting across from me. We are talking and eating. The conversation is very friendly, even mildly flirtatious, but I don't remember most of it.
For some reason, I have the pieces of paper I carry in my shirt pocket out on the table. These are various receipts, notes to myself about various things, a book of stamps, a glasses cleaning rag, folded up, the typical things I carry in that pocket in the waking world. Beth is still talking to me but she is also going through the papers on the table, examining them. I kind of feel awkward, like I am worried that she will see something that I would rather remain private, but she is curious and amused and for some reason I don't feel like taking the papers back and putting them back in my pocket.
Every once in awhile, I hear a sound, like a single sharp tap, coming from the outside, as if someone were tapping a formica counter top with a small metal object like a nail, and then amplifying the sound and adding in a reverberation effect. I mention the sound to Beth, that it sounds like someone outside tapping something every few minutes or so. She interjects with: "...or a monster is testing the perimeter fence." She says it in an offhand way, as if she were saying something silly, but when I look at her I notice that she is watching me, as if waiting to see my reaction to her statement. For some reason, nothing about what she said strikes me as being in any way odd, as if we both know that there is a perimeter fence outside and it would not be unusual for a monster to be trying it, causing it to make that sound.
At this point, I notice that my belt is on funny. It looks normal, but it is on me in a weird way. The belt passes through the belt-loops to either side of the zipper of my pants and then the ends have been brought around and buckled in the front. Then the belt was folded back against itself, with the buckle in the front, and the rest of it was passed through the other belt loops on either side as if it were fastened normally, but it only goes around the front half of my waist. I stand up and start to undo my belt in order to fix it. I am confused but Beth merely seems kind of amused by the situation. When I look down, I notice that all of the spaghetti on our plates is gone, but I don't remember finishing it. I mention not remembering finishing it, but Beth tells me we finished up while talking. At that point, I wake up.
Appropos of nothing in particular: I'm detecting the faint aroma of pipe tobacco in the air this morning. One of the neighbors must be smoking.