Perchance to Dream

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Woke with a start. Why?

Don’t usually wake in the middle of the night. Not unless I want to… you know. Admit, need to do that rather more often these days. Lie awake for some time before certain of needs. Little men inside head require time to fall-in. May have been woken by something else entirely of course: mouse exercising jaw on rafters; adenoidal cat screaming on the lawn; twenty year old Ford Mondeo revving past, full speed, flat out, having left its exhaust in Doncaster; back gate banging in gale like… like… well, like back gate in gale. Sometimes something very loud lands in back garden. I think. Know what imagination is like in the middle of the night. Once thought that big toe was Lenin. Sometimes I can hear my eyebrows growing…

Imagination, of course, that’s it. Now know why I woke so suddenly. Imagination. Strange dream. Chased by large Danish Blue on legs. Strange sequinned wannabe from X-Factor singing song by disgraced 70’s half-hit wonder. Perma-tanned man with peripatetic smile bouncing on prostate.

Ought to write this down while still fresh in mind, before details become twisted e.g. perma-tanned prostate dressed as female blue cheese being chased by delusional morons singing next year’s Eurovision Song Contest entry… Actually, might have read that in yesterday’s newspaper. Should write it down anyway. Will forget by morning. Will remember only that I have forgotten whatever it is I had to remember.

Now, where pen and paper? Remember seeing pen when getting out of shower earlier. Still have small blue hole in heel. Or is it black? Perhaps pen still on bathroom floor. Perhaps among shards of clear plastic, refill is still usable. As ever was…

Always buy these pens. Why? Why is ball-point always hemispherical? Why does flat bit always hit paper at crucial time, leaving sticky blue pool on paper? Or black pool. Handwriting resembles scrawl of madman…

Grip sticky refill between slightly trembling fingers and search for paper in desk drawer. Desk drawer locked tight by mysterious night-time force. Pull hard against malevolent night-time Gremlin. Drawer releases… suddenly. Hit head on book case, drop drawer on foot. Dance around on one foot, cursing under breath, aware that penalty for waking sleeping wife is sleepless night followed by day of stares and silence. Become aware of sticky blue footprints on mushroom carpet. And walls. Sticky blue refill stuck to ear.

Grasp sheaf of crumpled paper and take refuge in bathroom, away from scene of accident. Bathroom only bulb in house that does not light entire neighbourhood like UFO – like candles on my birthday cake. Not easiest place to write. Paper sticks to soap, pen falls in sink. Foot trapped in toilet bowl. At least ink has flushed away. Or perhaps wife has put blue block in cistern again.

Very conscious of value of clearly remembered dreams in psychoanalysis. Saw play about Freud once. Sigmund, not Clement. Musical I think. Jolly songs and neuroses. Everything relates to… you know. Including blue cheese. Remember saw a film once about writer’s dream. French I think. Very symbolic. 3 hours, no dialogue, no blue cheese, no Victorian Freak Show misfits, just bestial grunting and flashing monochrome images of crumpled bedsheets and a half-opened wardrobe. Deeply boring. Like Prime Minister’s Question Time. The London Eye. And ‘Viz’.

Suddenly aware that I am being watched by face in furniture. Daytime, grain in wooden doors looks like… well, grain in wooden doors, but at night is full of faces. Grinning faces. One eye… underneath nose. Can also see skull. Unless tip head to one side, then can see stag. Slightly damaged antler, three legs, no tail. Carrying umbrella or shooting stick. Probably large knot in daytime. Or scene of long-ago coffee mishap.

Strange faces now joined by strange noises. Gurgle, gurgle. A strange sort of thrum. Thrum, thrum. Must have air pocket in boiler again. Or burglar in aqualung. Night time, whole house twangs like newly filled tooth when faced with ice. Or coffee. Or anything really…

Stags head has become grinning dentist. Antler has become whirring drill. Dentist has three legs and pointed tail. Is holding trident. Vaguely aware of familiarity in insane grin. Could be well-known talent spotter. Or banshee. Step back and bang head on bathroom cabinet. Attempt to fish gold filling from blue toilet bowl. Hope toilet lid does not fall on fingers.

Toilet lid falls on head. Commence search for other filling in inky waters. Can almost hear dentist laughing. Thrum, thrum.

Feel very strange. Need drink of water. Need glass. Turn on tap and form cup with hands. Place hands under running tap. Dry self with towel. Also floor, walls and ceiling. Drink water direct from tap. No trouble now remembering to phone dentist in morning. Teeth have begun to resemble stalactital growths. More gap than tooth. Water still running. Always same problem when I hear running water. Surely toilet lid cannot fall again. Tomorrow will nail it to cistern.

Give up on writing half-remembered dream and creep back to nicely cooled-off bed. In my absence, wife has swelled to three times normal size. Requires all but six inches of mattress. Wrapped in duvet, like Swiss Roll. Symbiotically joined to sheets. At least sleep should come quickly. Should come shortly. Should come eventually…

Had a trick as a child. Pretend bed was submarine, fast car or aeroplane. Am competing in round the world race. Winning of course. And as I drift off to sleep, I decide what to dream about. Think very, very hard of something peaceful. Concentrate hard. Do not allow mind to wander. No thoughts of ill-advised blue cheese supper, Simon Cowell or demented bedroom veneers…

Woke with a start. Why?

The amount of sleep required by the average person is about five minutes more.  Max Kauffmann

2 thoughts on “Perchance to Dream

  1. I woke at 1:11am and also wondered why? Padantic )can’t spell that( says mattress is with two T’s (and yet still can’t spell padentic ball hocks! Oh my childhood get to sleep was being a mermaid, drew fishes on the sheets once.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As ‘World Written Word Pedant of the Year 2019’, I was delighted to read your comment re. my blog ‘Perchance to Dream’. I must admit that as I was in an advanced stage of sleep deprivation when I wrote it, I am staggered that you found only the one typo – for some reason unseen by me despite the fact that even the spellcheck spotted it – apparently not even the correct spelling in America! I am sure that you may also have noticed that my sleepy brain managed to side-step grammar and syntax issues by abandoning them altogether.
      As for drifting off to sleep as a mermaid – I only hope your sheets were waterproof.
      As always, thanks for reading my twaddle. I really appreciate it 🙂


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