Cretan dreams

In Crete, they eat a lot of cheese. Rich food in general, in fact, heartily doused in olive oil.  And after every meal in a restaurant, we were given raki and usually a small dessert from the house.

Now I’m back, I’m abstaining from cheese from at least a week, before I embark on research that Wallace and Gromit would be proud of, to test the hypothesised correlation between dreams had, and quantities of cheese eaten.

But first, here’s what my subconscious had to say while I was out of the country.

24th May

A fragment of a song by Nick Cave’s former band, The Birthday Party.  It was called Doreen and could have been either about a lost lover or missing child.  “Doreen where are you / I miss you,” Cave intoned. “Please come home / I’ll love you.”

The previous morning, I’d found out from a group whatsapp conversation about the terrorist attack in Manchester, in which most of the victims were female, and most very young.  Using hotel wi-fi, I’d seen reports totting up the death toll, and family members using social media to try and locate missing people.

26th May

A newish friend (someone I’ve known a few months, and not very well), asked me to help her transfer out of bed and into her wheelchair.  To do this, I had to lean my weight into one of side of her body, mostly the thigh, in order to sort of roll her.  Once she was moved, I noticed a big wet patch on the sheet she’d been lying on; not urine, maybe saliva.

In reality, this person is physically very active and able, a keen dancer like me, so to see her chairbound was unsettling.  Also uncomfortable was being the person who was asked to help.  My squeamishness here recalls the first dream I posted on this blog, Not Today.

I’m sure that the dream reflects my fears about losing my own physical capacity, particularly my dancing ability as I know it.  In dreams, seeing a thing happen to someone else – one degree of detachment – can be less psychically* overwhelming than seeing it happen to yourself.  (Two degrees of detachment might be, watching a film in which something happens to someone else, which is a device my subconscious also uses now and then.  See Murder, She Watched.

For what it’s worth, I often drool quite a bit if I fall asleep on my front.

* Do tell me what you think of my using the word ‘psychic’ as in ‘pertaining to the psyche.’  I shuddered a little as I typed it; mostly I chose that rather than ‘psychological’ because I felt the shorter word lent a more pleasing rhythm to the sentence. But I do find phrases like ‘psychic death’ or ‘psychic pain’ – as opposed to psychological – so fucking pretentious at times.  Same difference as far as actual meaning is concerned, I know.

27th May

An awful dream, this one.  An old Caribbean man with a brown hat, smoking a pipe or cigar, while verbally decrying the local prostitute (who was very well known) to anyone in the neighbourhood who would listen.  He did that a lot; indeed some of his favourite pastimes were smoking, staying indoors, and proselytising about the evils of prostitution.  The building he lived in was struck by accidental fire (I don’t think it was anything to do with the guy’s smoking), and all the other residents, adults and children, were evacuated.  Still he refused to leave his front room.  As the flames rumbled around him, he just kept on, talking about the local harlot.  The last thing to go was his face, still with pipe / cigar in his hate-driven mouth.  Skin and facial features melted and charred until they became covered in a thick layer of silent ash.

Two police officers – a man and a woman – glanced knowingly at one another when they came to retrieve his remains.  Their eye contact conveyed mutual support, steeling themselves for a sight they knew would be more appalling than anything they’d seen on the job so far.

Before that, I think there’d been a dream about snakes.

Advertisements

generally inadequate

I was writing the screenplay for my first short film, which would feature two to four original songs, played by the protagonist’s band.  I’d written some lyrics and was sketching out a tune when I realised that my songwriting is basically deeply embarrassing and that given how many actual musicans I know, there wasn’t really an excuse.  I asked my ex, two of my housemates and (I think) a friend of a friend whose band we might see support My Vitriol in a couple of weeks, if they had any songs I could use, or could write me one. The riff from a song that my ex wrote years ago stayed in my head as the dream ended.

Same night.  My art teacher hauled me up to talk about my paintings – she was annoyed that I wasn’t applying myself seriously enough, producing consistent work or looking after the pieces I had produced.  She pointed out that one drawing, on a large sheet of cartridge paper, was torn.  (There is some reality behind this.  In sixth form, I’d roll up large pieces of paper on which I had my pastel drawings, and tuck them under my arm to carry them round the school grounds.  My teacher was scandalised.)

She brought my attention to a number of box canvases, stacked up against one another, which had been painted over the last couple of years. “You see, these are beautiful,” she said.  “But then you’ve got these, which just aren’t the same standard, are they?”

I was pretty impressed myself by the first few.  Did I do those? I’m better than I remembered.  I looked closer.  There was another student’s signature on them. When I looked at the gauche watercolours I’d really produced, I could see that I hadn’t improved since I was sixteen.

Same night, small consolation. I was watching old recordings of our bollywood shows in years gone by, to see that much better dancers than me make mistakes, too.