The police dispatcher called for an officer to go to The Concourse in downtown Waterville for a woman who needed help.

The woman, wearing a pink top and black slacks, had emerged from a store and couldn’t find her car, the dispatcher said.

Fearing it had been stolen because she had left the keys in it, the woman solicited help from others, but they also could not locate the car, according to the dispatcher.

I had a moment of deja vu, listening to the police scanner.

For several years I’ve had that nightmare about not being able to find my car, but my nightmare occurs while I am sleeping. I had that recurring dream just the other night.

It goes like this: I come out of a building and look for my car but can’t remember where I parked it.


So I scour the parking lot or area streets, and it is nowhere in sight.

They say your dreams are a reflection of your subconscious, so I surmise I fear losing my independence, or more literally, control of my life.

Another recurring dream I have is that I’m in college and can’t find my science or math classroom.

I walk the halls, searching. I think I’ve found the right one, but look in the door and realize I don’t know the professor, the students are unfamiliar and I’m totally in the wrong place.

And then, to make matters worse, I realize we are to have a final exam, except I haven’t attended the class in weeks and have no idea what has been discussed or what the exam will entail.

A similar dream: I’m trying to find the registrar’s office on campus because I don’t know how many credits I need to graduate and graduation is coming up soon.


I finally reach the office and stand in line, only to be told, when my turn comes up, that they don’t have any information about my credits and I’ll have to come back later.

“But I come here every year, and every year you tell me the same thing,” I insist.

I also have a recurring dream about having to move back to the city to finish college. I want to stay in Maine, but I need to complete my course work, so I must return.

Another recurring theme: I’m in a play and about to go onstage with fellow thespians on opening night but haven’t been to rehearsals, don’t know my lines and can’t find a script. I also have no idea where I’m supposed to stand or move on the stage.

And on and on. These dreams never go away.

During this coronavirus pandemic, my dreams seem more vivid, real. Before waking up I have to think about whether what I’ve dreamed actually happened. I’m greatly relieved when, upon waking, I realize it was nothing but a dream.


One of the more pleasant recurring dreams I’ve had lately is of being in an old library packed with people sitting at tables in every room. I have the run of the place and seem to be the only one moving. I go to whatever shelf I please and peruse it to my heart’s content. The books are all old, with hard covers in green and brown, and I choose liberally. I’m happy there.

I’ve heard people say they are remembering more dreams now, during this pandemic.

My most recent recurring dream is being in a room with a lot of people talking and interacting. Suddenly, I remember we are in a pandemic and realize no one is wearing masks and we all are in danger of getting the virus.

I guess it goes to show just how much this coronavirus has wound its way into our subconscious.

Not only do we eat, breathe and live the pandemic by day, it also invades our psyche by night.

But all in all, I guess that’s a good thing — at least for me — particularly as I see more and more people pretending the virus is not real, or that it won’t affect them.


Which prompts me to say I wouldn’t mind ditching the college dreams if I had a choice.

But if a mask nightmare is what it takes to help keep me healthy, I say bring it on.

Oh, and by the way — the woman in The Concourse who lost her car? She eventually found it.


Amy Calder has been a Morning Sentinel reporter 32 years. Her columns appear here Saturdays. She may be reached at [email protected]. For previous Reporting Aside columns, go to

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