Catching the train to Wimbledon

If you’re not interested in hearing about other people’s dreams then look away now. I don’t blame you. Other people’s dreams are generally about as interesting as other people’s holiday snaps. This is for me, a record to return to one day, or else for my shrink to make sense of.

I dreamt I had gone into the city on the train. I came home on the train and alighted at the station. I started to walk back home when I noticed that everything was different. At first I thought I had got off at a station too early, or one too late by accident. Upon checking though I found I had got off at the right station.

I continued to walk, looking about me, not recognising a thing. The streets were broad and tree-lined. The houses were well-established, comforting residences set in well-kept gardens. It was all very pretty, but it was all different.

I stopped to puzzle at it. I lined up the facts I knew as if there might be a logical explanation revealed. There wasn’t though. I knew my neighbourhood like the back of my hand. I had walked to and from the station a hundred times before without incident. I had got off at the right station, so what then was this?

It was unsettling to consider. I felt as if I had lost my bearings abruptly – if you don’t know where your own home is, then what do you know? For that’s what I realised: if I didn’t recognise the streets then how could I make it home?

I’ll spare you the analysis, but there do seem close parallels with my life.

The second dream is similar in a way, and came straight after. This time I’m in London. I’m idling near a railway station (again). I hear someone discuss with the station-master the best way to get to Wimbledon. He gives a couple of options, and as I listen I suddenly think, yes, I’ll go to Wimbledon too.

The thing about this dream is that it felt very real. I actually felt relief in my dream. I was in London! Phew! It felt as if the reality I had been living was actually a bad dream, and the relief was palpable. Melbourne was far away, another hemisphere, and all that other stuff that had consumed my mind no more than the product of a bad meal or something.


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