Thursday, 27 August 2015


A black man appeared beside me, took my right hand and linked his fingers with mine, and it was a wonderful feeling. His head and torso neatly filled the same next door space so that we were eye level and our heights matched. Bizarrely, I felt comforted rather than unsettled by his unexpected presence and hand-holding gesture, and the fact that this came from a perfect stranger didn't perturb me. We glanced openly at one another and smiled. He had a wide grim with very straight white teeth whereas I believe mine was closed-mouthed and more timid.
But if you think this is the beginning of an unusual love story you'd be wrong. You might then hazard a guess that it's a tale of a chance encounter that turns sour as one wants more than the other, but then you'd still be wrong.
This opening snippet was but a dream, an unreal, but memorable dream, which I think might bear some connection to watching a broadcast with the TV chef Ainsley Harriott earlier that evening, although you'd think I'd recognise his ethereal likeness. I can't say that this man's facial features immediately made me attribute them to Ainsley, but then I was enjoying the unreal qualities of the situation, for what I'm neglecting (and slightly embarrassed) to mention is that the circumstances I found myself in were strange indeed.
Ainsley, (as I shall call him from now on), did not as I alluded to sit down next to me. He kind of hovered alongside in the same position as I, which was in a seated pose, but I was held by a bar in a single seat roller-coaster car and he was copying my posture, elevating a few inches off the ground as if he too were seated, but yet he still managed to effortlessly follow the movements of the car on its single track.
The ride was disappointingly slow like a train that has a mechanical fault; stopping and starting every few metres, until we came to a semi-permanent halt by a set of signal lights not long after we'd entered a womb-like tunnel. And beside the red light was a series of touch screens displaying different scenes and faces, and which I knew were options from which I had to select. Ainsley, it seemed, was there to be a reassuring presence; a helper in completing this bewildering deed.
Unfortunately, apart from gently finger-tapping a few screens, I don't remember the exact choices I made except that they felt right. The light changed to green and the car recommenced its trundling, gradually picking up speed, but of course I awoke just as it finished rounding a bend and before it suddenly hurtled, belly-somersaulting, downwards.
So what does it mean? At the time of writing and with reference to myself, I couldn't possibly say because in all honestly I'm still taking stock. I feel caught between what was just a dream – remnants from the day or days before – and what, if there was one, might be the overriding message.
Isn't it just my subconscious mind putting out the daily trash? Yes, and think no more about it is the easy answer, but me, I like to delve deeper, consider all angles to the problem as I see it. It's just a shame that dreams if you're lucky to remember them become vague so quickly; a liquid soap bubble contently floating along, drifting farther away until it pops. Little things you remember, the things that really matter, you forget. And probing your mind like a surgeon with a tiny scalpel doesn't make you recall them faster, if at all. It's infuriating like trying to solve a crossword puzzle, digging around for the answer to the clue that you know is stored in there somewhere, like desperately rifling through an under stairs closet or a growing pile of junk in the back bedroom.
These days, I mostly give up, think 'Oh, that was interesting' because during the night any stubborn traces will swiftly be removed. Scrubbed out. But sometimes one comes along that's intriguing; one that when you grudgingly wake wish to dream over and over.

Picture Credit: Plate five c 1915, Edmund Dulac, from The Dreamer of Dreams by Queen of Roumania