In Which the Alarm – Yet Again – Breaks in on a Dream at Precisely the Wrong Moment

Firstly, an apology. I don’t normally record my dreams because it is a truth universally acknowledged that other people’s dreams make vastly uninteresting reading. However, the night before last’s and last night’s dreams were particularly vivid and did not involve Daleks, so it is possible my unconscious may be trying to tell me something more useful than “Quick! Hide” in which case I should perhaps pay attention and attempt to unravel their significance. All suggestions welcomed gratefully.

**Aside: I should note at this stage that I don’t eat cheese before bed**

So, I’m walking through the streets of what I know is London, although it actually looks more like a Piranesi drawing – colossal and crumbling stone buildings, many partly ruined, but whose proportions are all seemingly built to house Titans rather than humans. The skies are overcast and water is running in clear rivulets down the cobbled streets. There are crowds of people all busily heading somewhere on foot and traffic is pretty much at a standstill – a mixture of modern cars and horse-drawn vehicles. None of which, of course, seems odd because its a dream.

I’m trying to make my way to higher ground so as to look across the city and figure out where I am. I’m lost but not concerned by it – I know I’ll see something I’ll recognise if I can get a clear view of the whole.

Then I’m at a lover’s home. We’re on or near the river but there is no running water in the bathroom and the place has the communal feeling of a decent squat. I’m standing outside in an overgrown garden, naked but wrapped loosely in a sheet, leaning against iron railings. I’m conscious that a man is observing me but I’m not unduly worried by it.

Then I’m inside, using the bathroom for my – fairly rudimentary – ablutions when I’m interrupted by a young man. He backs out, apologising, and I carry on. The bathroom ‘door’ is just a stringy old candy-striped towel hanging like a curtain between the tiny area of the loo, the stoneware bowl which serves as a sink, and the rest of the place. A sponge on a stick,  à la  Ancient Romans, is provided instead of loo roll. There is a small window, though (Thank you, Subconcious – I hate windowless spaces).

Next, a red-haired man is there and we exchange the only bit of dialogue in the dream:

Me: “Who are you?”

Him: “My name is Damian.” 

Me: “Of course it is.”

He is polite, but there is an undeniable air of menace about him. Is he the landlord or some kind of unpleasant ‘fixer’ character? Whatever, I’m aware and so is he that I’m not supposed to be there, but I’m quietly defiant. I’m also certain that he is from Essex, which allows me to feel superior to him, even though I’m a little afraid of him.

I have spots on my face but nevertheless I’m confident that I’m beautiful and desirable, so I head into the room next door where my lover is waiting for me. There are paint brushes and a mug of tea outside on a mossy windowledge. The window is open but I’m not chilled by the draught, and the air smells as though it has just blown through a forest. I get into the warm bed and reach for him and the alarm goes off.


Some elements I can pin down: they’re the result of things from my past or from the activities of the day, for example, the candy-striped towel is one of my grandmother’s from the old dairy on her farm and the red-haired man called Damian must have something to do with the episode of Life I watched before I went to bed. I’m working on a book about the Romans, hence the loo stick.

Other than that, I’m stumped.

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14 Responses to In Which the Alarm – Yet Again – Breaks in on a Dream at Precisely the Wrong Moment

  1. jiva says:

    You’ve spent too much time upside down for an english lady. Return to the isle of your birth now for safe keeping from the strange dreams. Otherwise you’re comfortable enough in yourself to let yourself have someone you care to share with except you deny yourself at the last possible moment and real intimacy.

  2. jiva says:

    sory that should read any real itimacy.. Damn my hands.

  3. I actually enjoy reading about people’s dreams, and Lord knows, I’m shameless about posting my own dreams.

    However, I probably shouldn’t think too long about the sponge on a stick. Yeccch.

  4. truce says:

    Jiva – I would, except being single is a great deal easier where you can scuba dive, kayak and bush-walk in the sunshine rather than constant drizzle!

    David – ah, well, with paper not an option I’m inclined to think that a sponge on a stick is at least marginally better than the alternative; vis. no sponge on a stick. I do, however, sincerely pity the poor wretches whose job it was to clean said sponges…

  5. modestypress says:

    I still like Gestalt therapy founder Fritz Perls’ approach to dreams (which I actually saw him do in person).

    His theory was that each element of a dream represents some portion of a person’s personality.

    In therapy, he would have a patient act out his or her dream, becoming the persons and objects in the dream and conversing and interacting with each other (which often turned hyperemotional and dramatic, even violent).

    I think he often did put people in touch with significant parts of their personalities and repressed feelings.

    Although he was probably a genius therapist, Perls was probably also a serious nut case himself, a narcissistic, selfish, amoral (and perhaps immoral), selfish, and probably dangerous person.

    He was probably a combination of a great therapist and a great argument for repression being a necessary ingredient of civilization. I’m going right back in the closet this minute.

  6. azahar says:

    “I should note at this stage that I don’t eat cheese before bed”

    One shudders to think what might happen if you did.

  7. truce says:

    Woah, that sounds more scary than the Daleks.

  8. Daleks are no longer a problem. David Tennant got rid of them all.

    And it is not you are UPSIDE DOWN!

  9. Not you WHO are – – –

    Grrrrr – early Sunday Mornings!

  10. truce says:

    Azahar – absolutely, which is why I steer well clear of the stuff. 😉

    Archie – I’m beginning to think you might be right… That is, until I see a Santa in a red wetsuit with a surf board under his arm, at which point I know the world has gone completely mad.

  11. I love reading dreams and speculating about their meaning. I subscribe to the theory Modestypress laid out — each element of a dream respresents some aspect of the dreamer’s personality or life. sometimes a huge insight comes out of the analysis, sometimes it works out to a big “So what it the world does this mean?”

  12. truce says:

    Hmmm, I guess I need to try and figure out what the elements in the dream represent, then?

  13. What a fascinating dream. Perhaps the dream is trying to say that you’re single because you’re not squatting in London? It sounds reassuring that you didn’t let Damien get you down. Maybe your lover WAS David Tennant, then it would all make sense!

  14. truce says:

    Waxing – you know, you’re probably right. If I were squatting in London there would probably be a queue of interesting men right down the street, beating a path to my stripey-towel door… 😉

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