I’ve been having insane dreams of late. Seriously out there. One of them had a friend of mine serving sandwiches in a cricket pavilion as it filled up to the ceiling with water, and another saw me crossing an Egyptian desert, half-starved, bug-eyed and decomposing under the relentless heat. I may be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure the subconscious is kicking off big time and I have no idea what it’s trying to tell me. The fact that I’ve been off the tuck for a while could be a contributing factor, but let’s be honest, that’s why we have cigarettes. No, it is surely something more sinister, possibly to do with the grim reaper approaching, and I’ve done next to nothing to prevent my untimely demise. And when I say next to nothing, I mean nothing.
The trouble with getting stuck in this mindset is that once you’re there, just about everything becomes an augury of one’s own final exit. My recent trip to the doctors is the most obvious, but less pertinent events can still give me the willies. A black cat looking at me funny doesn’t mean I’m going to cop it, or at least it shouldn’t. And when two crows run off like the clappers across the park, it’s highly likely they’ve seen a worm or mouse in the borders and are not the harbingers of doom I’ve concocted in my head. Even the washing up can get ominous, particularly when a knife clatters to the floor, spins around a few times and gurgles “Redrum!!! Redrum!!!” from the back of its non-existent larynx. It’s a miracle I get up in the mornings.
I mentioned the above to said friend (who happens to be interested in the significance of dreams), and she put me at ease somewhat. Fortunately, that room filling up with water does not represent imminent death. Not at all. Rather, it suggests deeply suppressed sexual anxiety and an unsuccessful struggle to resist evil, foreshadowing trouble, sickness and misery. Phew! And as for the other one, well that says something or other about my dissatisfaction with present companions and employment. Yeah, whatever. At least I’ll still be around to hate them when I get sacked.
Just before my great-grandmother passed away, I remember visiting her bedside in a small suburban house in Surrey. She was on the verge, but still pretty lucid. And we were having a chat, like you do when you’re six and talking to an old lady who smells of cabbages, when she suddenly sat bolt upright and pointed at a speck on the opposite wall. Her eyes were blazing, her hand trembling. I never found out what it was that irked her (she died shortly afterwards), but as I march towards the same place at breakneck speed, I do wonder if these visions become more real than life itself at the end. Or if you just need a good wank and a sarnie.