ok, computer.

Back living at my parents’ house, it would seem.  I realised they were on to me about my secret, sexual shenanigans and were furious; I had about half an hour to frantically delete files and online accounts before they ransacked my computer for evidence.

I think we’re harking back over ten years with this one.  The chances of either of my parents demanding access to my computer to see what I get up to in the hay are, thankfully, nil.

Not that I’m saying there’d be a huge amount for them to find.  It’s just, you know.

But I did have a boyfriend who used to check up on me online and log in to my email account to see if I was setting up dates with other dudes.  The thing I really find staggering is how long he’d been doing it before I realised. The intimidation tactics that my dream-parents used, and their fury, are what I knew from him.

When I finally split up with that boyfriend (for good), the Wimbledon finals were on. So the next day I watched the entire gentlemen’s match (Federer being put through his paces by Nadal) from the sofa with a bottle of champagne.  For a good several years later, I felt a little moment of triumph whenever I realised it was Wimbledon-time again.  I think last year was the first time it almost passed me by; we don’t watch live TV in my household and I just happened to swing by a pub that was showing the BBC coverage.  Come June, it will have been a decade.

In my studies of the subconscious, I’ve noticed how surprisingly it creates links between one thing and another. When I told my friend A about the third episode in beds, boots and bad debts – when I recieved a threatening demand for loan repayment, postmarked 2007 – I said I couldn’t think why that year, in particular, came up.  She pointed out that a full ten years had passed since then and suggested that my subconscious was carrying out a review of what had changed.

bad debts and ok computer feel similar to me; they both show my privacy being invaded, and the threat of (some form of) harm being done to me by others, which I have supposedly incurred on myself.  In my dreamscape, images of going back to university, settling debts, ending and beginning relationships, and trying for self-fulfillment without incurring criticism or punishment, are clinging to one another as climbing plants reach out tendrils to bind themselves together.  With all these interlinking tendrils, how do we bring a story full-circle?

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Handbags at dawn (or whenever)

Trying to extricate myself from a dangerous cult, they trying to re-kidnap me. The house I was living / hiding in looks a bit like my uncle’s (dad’s brother-in-law’s). My mum was helping protect me; we fought off the intruders from the cult by throwing handbags at them. Mum hefted handbags down the hallway at them, while I, halfway upstairs, pitched more over the bannisters, and Tiggy (the family cat, circa 2001-2007) ran around helping in the ways that only cats can.

 

Crazy shit lady

Temporarily living back with my parents, I was walking around the perimeter of their cul-de-sac.  Rural cul-de-sacs are not like urban ones; they are surrounded not by other streets and houses but by fields and long-distance A-roads.  A madwoman had started trespassing in my parents’ garden.  She shouted at me as I walked past, wanting me to entertain her with my company, and getting aggressive when I didn’t stop to talk.

Later that week, she stole one of my Mum’s fabric aprons from the kitchen and disappeared it into the garden.  When Mum demanded it back, the madwoman returned it sure enough, rolled up into a tight ball.  Our two cats, one black-and-white and one tabby, were investigating the scene, the fur on their backs twitching with displeasure.

We unrolled the apron with a sense of dread, which turned out to be well-founded as the bundle contained a large quantity of the woman’s own semi-liquid shit.  I don’t often have lucid dreams where I can control the outcome, but on this occasion my subconscious intervened and said that’s just too disgusting.  At least make it solid.  So I viewed the exact same scene again, this time with firmer stools in the apron, which may have been slight consolation to my Dad who had to dispose of them.

 

More fragments – a selection of anxieties

Writing a novel; I can’t remember what it was about, but I sure remember the self-doubt, wondering if what I was putting out there was at all interesting or just self-indulgent.

Carelessly splashed some water on the bathroom floor (while brushing my teeth?) and one of my housemates pointedly remarked – in front of the whole household – on how he’d had to dry it up.

A different male friend (not the one in previous fragments) was hoping for a relationship with me.  Not wanting to hurt his feelings, wondering with guilt if I’d led him on.

In reality, I was staying at Sibling and C’s house. In dream, we were all staying at C’s mother M’s house (this being the first time I’d met M; in reality, I’ve never met her).  Based on strange goings on, Sibling, C and I reached the conclusion that M had murdered someone. Not for the first time, said Sibling and C. We tried to excuse ourselves by going for a curry, to discuss how to turn M in or at least avoid being murdered ourselves. But the curry house was full of people we knew, and because we didn’t know how to explain wanting to sit separately from them, we ended up at a table with three or four others. As we were eating, a helicopter descended and M arrived with an entourage of security staff. Back in the downstairs hallway, we got into a brawl and she threatened me with some kind of weapon (not a gun… a knife? a club?).

… possibly woken up by one of the cats, in reality, jumping on the bed. When I told Sibling about the dream over breakfast, he said that nothing of the sort would ever happen; apparently M loves curry so we’d never have made it to the nearest balti house without her.

beds, boots and bad debts

Three separate but closely-blended university-related dreams in one night:

1. Arriving at the student flat that had been provided for me. It was lovely, big and light, at one corner of the third or fourth floor overlooking the big city which as night came on became lit up with neon and car headlights.

The flat seemed to only have single beds, but four of them.  My mum had driven me to the city, and stayed overnight.  She was comandeering the music we played in the flat, which I only grudgingly accepted because she was the guest.  I felt I couldn’t start making the place my own til I’d heard some of my choice of tunes there.  Mum chose the bed by one window, so I went for the furthest away.  I was looking to see if any of them were doubles; one of them looked like it might be.  I would investigate further the next day.

The bathroom walls were made of one-way glass, so when I sat on the toilet it looked as though I was right in the middle of the apartment with nothing between me and my mum, who was sitting on the end of her bed.  I was astonished when she assured me that she really couldn’t see through the wall – and she was equally astonished that I could.

2. Unpacking my shoes onto a low shelf in the apartment, I saw to my surprise that I had a dark red pair of suede boots, some knee-high disco platforms in glittery red, and some black patent Dr Martens.  I hoped my mum, nearby, wouldn’t pay attention to what I was doing and criticise my shoe-spending.  My pink DMs (which I do have in real life) were now made of suede rather than patent leather, and the disco boots had got wet, bleeding some of their colour into one pink boot, staining it a different colour to its partner.  I tried to dry them off, hoping the red colour would fade, which it did slightly.  But I couldn’t get rid of the water; droplets kept appearing around the disco shoe.  I couldn’t take the boot into the bathroom to sort it out properly because then my mum would see and be angry that I’d thrown money away by spoiling the shoes that I shouldn’t have bought in the first place.

3. Despite having not given out my address, I had a stack of post at the new place (which now looked very different, dark and narrow).  There was an A4 envelope with my dad’s handwriting on, saying “open 31.12.2003” (my 21st birthday) and with a post-mark dated to 2007.  I wondered why my dad had sent me a birthday present separately from my mum, apparently in secret, apparently long before the date, and why it had taken so many years to arrive. And now, turned up at this address.

When I opened it though, it wasn’t from my dad at all.  The letter demanded repayment of my undergraduate loan, claiming I owed over £10k (significantly more than I actually borrowed, even with interest). The company had tracked me to this address, forging my dad’s handwriting and giving the date of my 21st to trick me into opening the letter.  I spoke to him on the phone and we agreed it was a scam which I didn’t need to respond to. All other questions remained unanswered.