A Very Strange Dream

In which The Author finds part of his dream diary


In my dream I am watching an episode of the ITV series Heartbeat in which PC Nick Rowan and his girlfriend Jo are holidaying in West Wales. Finding it boring and not very hospitable towards English people, they decide to catch the ferry to Ireland. They walk a few hundred yards and there is the ferry terminal. Road signs direct people towards the M4.
I am in the queue for the ferry; I know that my brother, my parents and a male friend (whose details are vague – a composite figure?) are there, but nowhere to be seen. I reach the turnstile where my mother is waiting to give me my boarding card. I ask where the rest are.
She says, ‘Your father’s being miserable and your brother’s wandered off somewhere.’
I start shouting, something like. ‘Christ, I hate my fucking family, why do they always fuck things up for me?’
I calm down after a few moments and look over the side of the pier. Some extraordinary birds are sitting on the water, gaudily coloured and laying enormous pinkish eggs with red spots. I become aware of a hand on my back, and turn to see a boy of about ten years old, trying to look at the strange birds. He wears a white shirt with red spots. I notice that everyone else is very colourfully dressed, like a crowd scene from The Prisoner.
I scream, ‘Get your fucking hands off me, you little bastard!’ I run along the gangway and onto the ship. My mother is calling after me, and I think Fuck this, I’m going to the bar. The ship begins to move. All around me a klaxon is blaring, lights are flashing, and recorded announcements repeat incomprehensible warnings. The ship is moving incredibly quickly. I see my brother and my friend running for the gangway, but they are too late – we are well out to sea. I shout, ‘Why is my brother so fucking useless?’
I am being shaken by the movements of the vessel. I wonder for a moment whether to go up on a higher deck, but I realise that there is nobody else around. I stop and look over the side. We are at sea, with no land in sight, then suddenly we are on land, still travelling fast along what seems to be a disused railway line. We pass through derelict stations at a tremendous rate, then over a level crossing and into the air above the track, with trains approaching fast towards us. Three or four pass underneath, and one, seemingly bigger than the rest, causes me to pull my legs up sharply. At which point the dream ends abruptly.
But continues…
I am in a room which resembles my bedroom in some respects, but which I know is not my room. I am hunting for a pen in order to write down my dream. I turn and standing in ‘my’ room is my floor manager from Dillons, Laurie French. He is telling two strangers, a man and a woman, about his new job as a sales rep for a greeting cards company. He tells us how much fun he’s having, how lucky he was to get the job and escape from the bookshop – the other people enjoy his anecdotes while I continue turning ‘my’ room upside down to find a pen. Eventually I find one and decide to go into another room to have some peace.
When I open the door I am in an alleyway in Cardiff (although not a real part of Cardiff) with derelict buildings on either side. A couple of people in the street are shouting up at some people on a rooftop. A big neon sign behind them announces a club or a rave. I read the name but I can’t remember it. I walk by and then I see my friend Benji running from the club, followed by a number of rocky/punky guys and a few girls. He catches up with me and asks me if I’d seen a TV programme about music. I tell him I didn’t know it was on. Then one of the other guys pulls him away to talk. I am still looking for a place to write my dream down. I find a stool lying by a pair of double doors, so I sit on it and start writing.
Four guys in labourers’ clothes run up and say, ‘You’ll have to move, we need to get in there.’ I stand aside and they pull open the doors to get some ladders stored inside. Everyone from the club is agitated and shouting, so I go over to see what the commotion is about. Someone tells me that a girl is trapped inside and the building is in danger of collapsing.
I ask, ‘Has someone called the fire brigade?’
A policeman appears beside me and says, ‘Don’t worry, sir, it’s all in hand.’
Benji calls me over. I lean against the wall and he asks me again if I’d seen the TV show. I tell him I didn’t know about it and he becomes serious.
‘You used to be really on the ball with things like that,’ he says. ‘You’re losing it. That’s what happens when you spend all day in the pub.’
‘Fuck you, Benji, it’s my week off work. What else is there to do in Aberdare?’
Benji wanders off to watch the guys with their ladders, who are shoring up part of the building with their shoulders. I walk past and a young girl of very punky appearance calls my name. I say ‘hello’ and she scowls at me.
‘Not you – him.’ There’s a guy behind me and she points to him. I smile at her, but she scowls again.
I say, ‘Sorry. I thought you might have recognised me from work.’ I carry on going and catch sight of the Central Station. I look at my watch. It is 9.15 a.m. I think The Little Gourmet will be open. I’ll go and have breakfast and write up that weird dream.
And I wake up.
Standing beside my bed is a woman of about my age or a bit younger, dressed in black and possibly quite pretty, but with an extremely nasty expression on her face. I close my eyes and say, ‘Get out, get out, go on, fuck off!’
And I wake up. I look at my watch. It is 9.06 a.m., Monday. I lie in bed for a few more minutes, still frightened by the events of the last couple of hours. Then I go for a pen and paper and write up what vivid details I can still remember. There were numerous secondary incidents, but I cannot remember them clearly, so I have left them out.

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