Only in Dreams…

Wheatfield under clouds van gogh from wikimedia commons

Dreams are odd things, aren’t they? Are they messages from our secret selves, communications across the veil, or just the confused rumblings of the subconscious? Or did I just eat cheese before bedtime? Analysing them’s a mug’s game – generally it’s a job to work out what on earth they’re about.

99% of the time it’s that one where the unknown thing is chasing me, and it’s dark, and I’m running but it’s getting closer, and I know that if I can just manage to fly I can get away from it by I can’t quite seem to get off the ground and I can feel its breath on my cheek and it’s stretching out its bony finger, and if it touches me I will… die. And thank goodness I always wake up first.

Or I’m running, running, not quite sure what I’m running from but it’s through a forest at night and suddenly the forest ends and it’s bright sunshine and I realise I’m just about to run off the edge of a massive cliff, and it’s too late and I’m falling and…

Or I dream that I’ve woken up in my own bed and I get up and walk to the door and switch on the light – but the light doesn’t come on. And then I realise that I’m dreaming. That although I’m looking round my room and seeing normal-looking stuff, I’m really trapped inside the head of the woman lying on the bed, and the only way to escape the nightmare is to wake up, to get back inside her head and force the eyes to open, but I can’t and they won’t and something really horrible is just about to happen… and so on. I hate that one.

Of course, most of the time they are confused snippets, with no internal logic or narrative structure – stream of consciousness stuff. They’re dreams. They come out of my subconscious – the same place as my fears, and fantasies, and the memories I’d like to think I’ve forgotten. Of course they’re disturbing, and confusing, and dark. That’s what the inside of my mind is like.

But every now and again one is different.

Once I was having dinner with my parents in a restaurant (a couple of years after my Mum died, so that’s true wish-fulfilment right there). The door opened and in walked John Barrowman (aka Captain Jack Harkness), gave me a big sweaty hug (he’d been running), sat down at the table and started chatting to my parents like an old friend. He then told me how much he loved my book, pulled out his phone and called up James Horner (Titanic/Avatar director) and told him he should buy the rights. Lovely man. Never met him.

And just a couple of nights ago I was having one of the weird, chasing dreams, and I was trying to climb up a trellis (the kind of thing you train plants up, roses or grapes, nowhere near strong enough to hold a full-grown woman) when a hand came down and hauled me up into Heaven. Odd place, all soft-focus and gentle ambience, with cottoncandy clouds and warm breezes, and the gods were there. All of them. And it turned out they got their energy from human happiness, and the very best source of happiness energy is the human orgasm, so they wanted me to oblige them, and kindly, all of them, took it in turns to turn me on. But I didn’t want to – not for them, it didn’t feel right – so after I finished explaining this to Apollo (the dude who’d hauled me up to their plane in the first place) he popped out and abducted a human male for me, so that I’d feel all right about giving them that big jolt of energy they needed. And the man they abducted was my old boyfriend, who I haven’t seen for about five years, and was pretty sure I’d completely gotten over.

Well, in the way of things nothing else happened – I just woke up and realised it was time to go to work. But for the rest of the morning I was completely, utterly happy. Thanks subconscious.

(pic Wheatfield Under Clouds by Van Gogh, from Wikimedia Commons)