Dreams: Tom Daley & the Permanent Marker Fail



What are dreams? Back when I was in 6th grade, I had to read numerous books on mythology for a handwritten 26-page report, including The Sorcerer’s Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Besides being very keen on Harry Potter and the magical world, I had written the research report as a jab to the teacher I hated– a strict nun that hated magic.


I can’t find my copy of The Sorcerer’s Companion and, honestly, I don’t exactly remember what the “Dreams” entry in the encyclopedia-like book was, but I would hazard a guess that it spoke about dreams in a very mythical, airy sort of way. It’s about your deepest desires, about your astral projections traveling and about premonition of what’s to come. Maybe it’s about a past life, or about a past you hardly remember or maybe it has a deeper meaning that you have to interpret.

My dreams, however, are a little different.



I was back in my old elementary school — a private Catholic school that housed Pre-School to 6th grade, totaling around 250 students. I was in the 6th grade, which meant that I was still student council president and was one of the most recognizable students in the school (which was a feat because, unlike in Disney’s RECESS, popularity in elementary school is not as easy as it looked).

My school day had started with the interim principal giving me tickets to the student council to an upcoming dance we were having. As president of the student council, I could give it to other council members or use it how I pleased. Then I was given tickets from a parent that was in charge of a raffle for the dance, to try to sell them to other students. It was pretty much a normal pre-dance day, before it wasn’t.


It was a “hot lunch” day, which meant that we had the opportunity to buy lunch at school rather than bring food in our lunchbox from home. This opportunity happened only once a month and it was usually a pretty big deal, not like it is today where every day is “hot lunch” day.  (To read what everyday lunch was like, read my previous post!)

After I had stood in line to get my lunch (which was forgettable), I went to find a place to eat at one of the ghetto-wood set-up tables when I looked up, lack-jawed at what I saw. Standing there, on the singularly vertical table beside rows of horizontal tables was none other than Mr. Tom Daley himself. He was standing there in his black leather jacket and blue button-up on the top left corner of the picnic-style benched table. Similarly dressed Dustin Lance Black sitting next to him, slumped over with his arm out, his other hand on ‘elbow pit‘ and his head on top of his hand, seemingly bored.

Almost Exactly The Same Clothes
Almost Exactly The Same Clothes

I went full-out berserk! I wanted his autograph, to meet him, to talk to him and chat him up. I thought to myself, “I should’ve known this was coming because we had a musical production coming up and he and Dustin were probably involved in it” (this is a dream, obviously, so it’s logical). Even in my dream, I am very anal about things so I didn’t have a photo for him to sign nor do I have a permanent marker for him to use if I even did have a photo for him to sign.

***By the way, note that I already have a signed photo of Tom Daley I had bought at the mall near London’s Olympic Park in 2012 not unlike the following photo, but wouldn’t it be awesome to have one signed out to you, for him to actually know your name?


Anyways, so being the person that I am, I didn’t care if he signed my white uniform polo or whatever, but I knew I couldn’t have him sign with a mere pen or pencil, but a permanent marker. And in the process, I thought I’d get Dustin Lance Black’s autograph too, but I couldn’t just go up to them and talk to them — I needed to be prepared and have everything ready for them, not looking like a complete imbecile in front of them. So I was on the hunt for a permanent marker.

I asked some of the underclassmen if they had a permanent marker on them, with no results. I asked some of my classmates, who’ve gone careless at an early age and couldn’t even bother religiously having writing utensils in their pockets, with little success. Finally, I gave in and asked my uptight, bitchy vice president of the student council for a permanent marker she definitely would have brought to lunch with her, only to have her not wanting to lend it out to me. What a bitch.


As I looked around the illusionistic-ally large lunch area in the last attempt for my obvious life’s purpose of getting the couple’s autograph, I saw some random girl using a permanent marker across the gym. I ran up to her and asked her if I could use her marker. She hesitated, and I was in desperation. I told her I’ll give her tickets to the dance and give her a handful of raffle tickets if she let me use her permanent marker. In the end, she saw my desperation and didn’t accept either tickets in compensation.

After much thanks, I sat down on the floor at a secluded part of the gym to think of what to say to them.  I had to plan this all out. Suddenly, Mrs. M came up and started to calmly, yet sternly, tell me off.

“Did you just give away those tickets to that girl?” Mrs. M asked.
“No? I didn’t!” I said innocently. I really hadn’t, because she didn’t accept it. “Look, Mrs. M, I love you like Harry loves McGonagall, but you really need to get off me.”

One of my friends next to us started to laugh at my comparison, and that took the tension off of me and onto him. I looked down at my list of dos and don’ts for engaging Tom and Dustin and was happy with it. I stood up and looked over to the vertical table, only to have my heart drop down to Hades.

They had left already.


With a smile instantaneously washed off my face, I moped over to the girl to give back her permanent marker. I was defeated — I had no idea where they would’ve gone but I had already loss my chance to fulfill my dream. I don’t know why I do this to myself, I thought.

When doing longing last attempt to find them in the crowd, I suddenly saw a boy I had seen in a previous dream. He’s probably around 18 years old, tanned latino skin with tall, faux hawk-styled hair and amazingly bright blue-green eyes. It’s nobody I know in real-life, but he’s familiar and somehow he has a mythical aspect to him, like a genie. I had to try my chances.

He’s laying slacked on an oversized couch in jeans and a blue polo with white hem, leaned over to his left with his left leg stretched out and right knee bent. With his appearance, I (shamefully) didn’t think he spoke English well but in speaking with him, he proved me (again, shamefully) correct.

“Hey, wait… You’re in the show with Tom Daley, aren’t you?” I asked him, as if I had already started a conversation with him.
Somewhat caught off guard, he looked at me, smiled and nodded.
“Are you going to meet Tom tonight at practice?” For some reason, I had the knowledge that this boy was a dancer, and that Tom will be dancing with him. He nodded again.
Great! Can you get an autograph for me? I pleaded, looking as cute as I could. Without knowing if he understood, he nodded and I was relieved.

At this point, I unwillingly woke up. It was Sunday and I had to get up to go to church.


Obviously, there’s no rule in time or knowledge in this particular dream. When I was in the 6th grade, Tom Daley was merely 7 years old and I wouldn’t be talking to some senior in high school to get me an autograph of anyone — I had siblings for such tasks, like getting me a copy of “m magazine” (to their embarrassment). All my actions, however, seemed logical and reasonable in my dream.

I don’t quite understand what my dreams mean, or why I remember particular details to a T, but it’s an interesting dream. I do have a (possibly) unhealthy obsession on swimmers and divers (namely, Tom Daley, Jack Laugher, Chris Mears, David Boudia and Steele Johnson), but having it intangibly conceptualized in this way is borderline hysterical.


Honestly, I don’t think my dreams really have a deeper meaning. I like to think of them as stories, and you’d figure out why when I share a few of my other dreams with you. They’re means of entertainment, how TV was for people “back in the day.” I don’t really think I have exceptional powers of divination or premonition to think anything else of them, but they’re really entertaining to me when I remember them.

But we could try to extract other meanings from my dream if we really wanted. Maybe I should stop over thinking, over planning my actions and do things on instinct and spontaneously. Maybe I should surround myself with only loyal friends that would “give me a permanent marker” on spot, or stop using things or money to get my way. Maybe the dream’s telling me it’s my destiny to get Tom Daley’s autograph and to not bugger it.

Nah. I have but slumbered here.

Stanley Tucci in A Midsummer Nigh’s Dream

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