I had a peculiar experience of déjà vu this morning that for a moment had me ponder if I was experiencing Groundhog Day.

I’m walking to the station from home to catch the morning train. As I do every morning I turn into a small right of way that runs alongside the railway tracks. Then, exactly as yesterday, I had to pause as the very same vehicle as before backed from the garage into the street. Thirty metres on up the road I encounter once more the same woman as yesterday in the very same place out walking her same two dogs. The only difference today was that she carried two coffees.

Same time, same place, same actual incidents two days running when on all the previous occasions I’ve walked to work I’ve never encountered one of them, let alone both. Just a fluke I guess.

Earlier I had strange and disruptive dreams. There were many interesting fragments, but there was one that continued to resonate with me after I woke. I was with an attractive, intelligent woman, my sort of woman I knew even in the dream. I was drawn to her and she liked me, but I was in a sorry state. There was the sense that I want to do more with this woman, but the time was not right. And I felt I was not giving a good account of myself because I had my mind on other things. I felt regret, even dismay, but let it go.

Waking I scanned my memory wondering who the woman could be. Sometimes your dreams create characters and faces from thin air, but this person was real, I was sure.

In a few minutes I remembered. She was an Irish girl I employed a few years back as a masseuse. She was a few years older than the other girls, and attractive, bright, intelligent woman with whom I hit it off immediately. I remember one evening in the shop sharing a bottle of wine and sharing our stories. I liked her, but had never thought her as physically attractive as she appeared in the dream – though, I felt, the dream was a truer reflection.

Why have I dreamed of her now then? In recent weeks she has popped up in my Facebook feed as someone I might know. Every time she appears there my eyes are drawn to her. She is back in Ireland now and far away, and turn the page and she is out of my mind.

It’s not about her, I think. She is a symbol. And the tale of the dream so apt. For years I have set these things aside regretfully. At times I have felt ‘not myself’. I’m past that now, and I’m keen to move on in general. I’m unsure how though, and there remains a part of me who questions the wisdom of it when I am still deep in the woods.

The convolutions of the mind are a strange and fantastic thing. If only I understood them more then I would be a wise man.


A face in the crowd

I’ve had active dreams latterly. Many of the dreams have been brooding, but not all. I had an enjoyable dream last week full of the most enjoyable (and periodically, acrobatic) sex. I wish I could describe it here but I’m mindful of the kiddies. Notably I realised I couldn’t live without the woman in my dreams (a stranger) because I couldn’t live without such scintillating sex. And she felt the same.

Last night the dream was different. The narrative is irrelevant, but the clear message bears repeating. It might sound negative but the point of it was that you are not as special as you think you are. We all embellish. We don’t see ourselves truly. Because we desire we presume to see ourselves in a certain light. The truth is we are all more mediocre than we think ourselves to be.

I remember in the dream thinking ‘but I want to be special’. Fine was the response, you may have gifts that can make you special but in the ruck and roil and general compromise of humankind they are all evened out. If you really want to be special you must do more than wish it. It is possible, but you must strive to make it so.

It was a thoughtful dream and afterwards I wondered where it came from. Dreams like this make me believe that they are a representation of things we are unwilling or unable to accept in our waking moments. There was a ring of truth to this, as if it was something I had realised somewhere deep in my mind but had never turned to face.

Thinking on it on the train to work this morning I was brought to mind of those remarkable photos of a great mass of people mingling together. They go in different directions, face different ways, but amid them there is the one face facing the camera our eyes are drawn to. Amid the crowd he is the one person we see.

That is how we see ourselves. That’s understandable, probably healthy. It’s worthwhile to remember the crowd to. Even this, my blog, this is my upturned face – but to most of the world this face is turned away, just another body in the tumult.


Dreams of bleak

I had a mixed weekend. On Friday I had JV over and we had pizza and a couple of bottles of red while we watched the footy. He’s a Swans supporter and it was a grand game until, after a stirring comeback, we contrived to lose a game that should have been unloseable. At that point I got a bit sweary. I’m not normally like that, but I did swear at the TV a few times. “Fuck you Luke Parker,” I said as the Swans player was interviewed post-match. “Fuck you Gary Rohan,” I said when the guy he sealed the match after the siren came on. Apologising to my mate I muted the Swans as they sang the song after the match.

Part of me was measured – it was a good performance and I’m confident that we’ll do some damage come the finals, and we were playing the in-form team on their own patch – but another part of me was gleefully feral.

To compound my general displeasure my phone shat itself as well. Vertical lines ran up and down the screen. I could hear messages being received, but couldn’t see or respond to them. I missed a brunch invitation Saturday because of it, and it was only after I fished out an old phone, charged it up and updated as necessary that I felt whole again.

The rest of the weekend was the usual, cooking and cleaning and writing and popping out for coffee with the Cheeses.

Last night I felt more weary than normal. I had a minor ear infection and maybe that took it out of me. I turned the light off earlier than normal and was soon to sleep.

I don’t know if it was the tribulations of the weekend but I found myself in the midst of vivid and quietly disturbing dreams. There was a bleak and depressing quality to them. As always I remember little but for a few frames. I am forlorn and lost. I wander the streets of my hometown with nothing to do and no money in my pocket. I come across a party of people I know at a bar, all dressed happy and in good spirits. They are family friends, people I have known for many years. Briefly I speak to them before moving on. Strangely, one of them is Paul Roos, the ex-footy player and coach.

A little later I come across them again, this time at a fancy restaurant. I am welcomed by Paul Roos. Without saying so he recognises that I am in dire straits. He is affable, encouraging me to join them, turning to the others there and with a quip enjoining their agreement. I know what they’re doing. They feel sorry for me. They know I have nothing. They are trying to get a good feed in me and for a few hours join them for agreeable company. They don’t admit to it but they pity me.

I resist. I always do. I don’t want charity. I don’t want any favours. I don’t want to be special in that way. Yet I know that I should. Paul Roos knows this. He knows how I am. Gently he encourages me to ignore my pride. No skin off their nose after all, and they like me – I may be down and out, but I’m still one of them. The dream ends with me wondering what to do.

The other dreams were all similar in nature. Taken as a whole they are disturbing.

Where does that come from? There was a moment on Sunday when I contemplated how the future might be – a sort of predictable purgatory, a world for me that never gets much worse than what it is now, but never any better. Year after year I eke out a basic existence without joy or indulgence. I scramble from week to week, month to month, year to year, just surviving. Then one day I die. It’s over, the water closes over me, I am forgotten.

That’s bleak too, and just about the worst possible thing I could envisage. Is this what led to the dreams?

For the record it will never be like that. I’d smash it all before going that way. In any case I’m confident that I can make things a lot better, I just get impatient sometimes for it to begin.


Bomber of the month

reaming a lot lately, but let’s face it, other people’s dreams are generally a bit meh, regardless of how fascinating they think they are.

With that caution I can report I had a curious dream last night that I found quite droll.

In the way of most dreams it was played straight. Dream events may be uncanny or surreal, and may be confronting, but it’s rare that they seem strange. Dreams exist in an alternate reality where anything is possible, and likely understandable.

This one was only a little off. Essentially the dream was about a new initiative whereby terrorist bombers where given the opportunity to publish a short bio, much like the pocket biographies of sportsmen you find in footy records.

In this case it was a little more than favourite meal, first car, and who would you invite to dinner. The terrorists were given the opportunity to explain their explosives technique, favourite munition, and dream target, and the highlight of their terrorist career so far.

Admittedly it’s not in the best taste, but I have little control over my dreams when it comes to that. And I’ve had some doozies.

If you look at this seriously for a moment it observes a world where the extreme and abnormal has become normal and accepted. It’s not the world we live in now, but at the same time we have been conditioned to the extreme acts of terrorist bombers until their acts are a kind of normal. It’s almost as if my dream is taking the piss. It’s an an exaggeration sure, but not as extreme as first it seems.

Where this dream came from I don’t know. Often you can see the genesis of a dream in an idle conversation, or something you’ve seen. Not this time. I have no idea.

Cracking the ice

A few months ago I met a Masterchef finalist in a city bar. I hadn’t taken to her watching the show, but in person she was gracious and warm. A few weeks later I bumped into her again while she was doing a food demo. I stood in the crowd and our eyes met and then I left to return to work. The other night I dreamt about her.

Dreams are funny, revealing things. I woke from the dream feeling warm and fond of this Masterchef. The dream itself was largely forgotten, but the residue was affectionate. Now you can argue that it’s just a dream – something conjured up in the dark recesses of the mind, and ultimately a fantasy, a fiction. It’s not reality.

Dreams may not be the reality, but I think dreams are true to an individual reality. They harvest thoughts, feelings, emotions, whims from some deeper self. We carry on with our life daily generally skating across the surface of this deeper self. Dreams crack the ice and from the depths bring up truths we’re barely conscious of. They present these truths by way of fantastic, and often lurid tales. Often times I think these can often be read as parables, or when viewed obliquely a meaning is revealed.

Not that it means anything, but I suspect that some deep part of me responded unexpectedly in that chance meeting with the Masterchef. On a conscious level I was surprised. I liked her as a warm and genuine character. Then of course I went home and thought no more of it. I suspect meeting her again unexpectedly crystallised that sense, and made latent those initial impressions, which ultimately led to my dream the other night.

I’ll never see that Masterchef again, but that’s not the point.

A few weeks ago I had another very unexpected dream. Those who have read my blog more deeply know that once I had a girlfriend I loved deeply, but with whom I had a troubled relationship. Eventually we parted. Some years later I happened across the news that she was dead. I investigated and found that she had killed herself. A gaping maw opened in me. I was distressed, and eventually travelled into the bush to view her grave. I felt I had to do that, though of course it means nothing. I had loved her, and having loved her never really stopped loving her, though in a different way. One thing that came out of that was the vow that I had to live for her as well. What had happened was a tragedy.

I think of her occasionally now, but not a lot, though I’ll never forget her. I don’t recall dreaming of her for many years. Then a couple of weeks ago I dreamt of her again.

I think it came about at a time when I was struggling. I didn’t know if I might be homeless again soon, but thought I might. I felt stifled in a job I hated. I had no money, and soon no licence, and felt deep existential pangs. What am I doing? I thought all the time. What should I be doing? What does it all mean?

On that night I dreamt of her for the first time in years. Funnily enough the dream took back to one of those fictionalised environments where we have yet to get together for the first. I like her, and in that sceptical way believed she might like me too. But nothing tangible has happened yet. Instead I’m striving to get close to her, thinking of her all the time and imagining how it might be. For her part she seems to know, and approve, but at the same time doesn’t make it easy for me. As in real life she has a quick wit in the dream. We spar, delightedly, but frustratingly too, for just as we seem to get close she goes away again.

The dream is like that. Nothing is resolved. I think I will get with her, but often times I doubt it. Then I wake.

It feels good to have dreamt of her again. I feel sort of grateful, though it’s hard to articulate why. I know how it ends up – we do get together eventually, and it’s good. I go about getting myself ready for work. I’m so glad to have had her in my life. I love her still, though in a fraternal way. I remember the happy things, and am grateful for them. I’m so sad for what happened, but that’s hardly present in those moments. Instead I’m filled with the warm remembrance of the many good times we had together. I go to work happier than I have been in weeks.

Is this just a random dream? All of it is true, even if it is my own private truth. Why now though is it delivered to me? What was the prompt? And what is the meaning?

I don’t know, except perhaps to make me look more broadly, beyond my present travails. And more deeply, to the things truly of value. And to remind me perhaps, that I promised to live for her too, and I’ve a lot to do to achieve that. Somehow it was a dream of hope.

Sleeping in the library

I wrote the other week how I had parted with a friend. We had some discussions after, but left it at that. I think we both still feel some affection for the other, but I’ve felt content with the decision. There is regret, but acceptance too, and in the end our parting was more amicable than it started.

Then last night I had a dream. For some reason I was staying in a boarding house that doubled as a library. My bed was among the bookshelves. I woke to find my friend bending over me with a smile on his face. It was such a familiar, true to life smile that I smiled back. He was dressed for some reason in a dark, pinstriped suit and a fedora, like someone from a 1940’s detective movie. He looked very dapper.

In a way the circumstances of the dream reflected our situation. I was in a boarding house because that’s all I could afford. The rows of books perhaps were reference to my desire to write. And I woke and looked at him knowing that we had parted as friends.

Seeing him there smiling at me changed everything. As soon as I saw him I knew that everything was good again. I was relieved. He had come by on his way to the airport to see me. It had been on his mind too, and at the last-minute he had done something. That’s the friend I miss.

We sat and talked on my bed while the middle-aged landlady came by with bottles of Mexican pop to drink, and that’s how it ended.

What I do about it is a different story.

Monsters and friends

I’m dreaming so much lately that it’s disrupting my sleep. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t dreaming, but the last couple of weeks have been particularly intense. Thursday last week it was so full-on that I ended up sleeping late. That’s unheard of for me. I don’t use an alarm clock. but my body clock is so reliable that I wake up within one or two minutes of the same time each weekday morning. But not Thursday. When I opened my eyes proper it was 7.40 – and I had to catch the 7.50 train.

I was at it again last night. First was a monster dream. It was in some post apocalyptic world in which monsters roamed. There were only a few human beings left, and for some reason we had been divided into three-man teams deployed to scour the city, and take our chances with the monsters.

In the first part of the dream we were moving through a large city set by a river. For some reason in my mind I had it labelled as Paris, though it didn’t resemble it. In the second part we had found our way to an abandoned hotel where we met up with another three-man team. While we were there we got warning that a monster was coming our way. Rather than banding together to fight the monster we scattered, each of us to an empty room, waiting for the monster to come.

The understanding was that the monster would get at least one of us, but by scattering the who of it become a bit of a lottery. We were boxed in, the corridors taking a basic P shape, with the monster coming towards us by the stem. Most scattered into rooms along the stem, while I went further, taking an inside room around the other side. We all waited for the monster to come, and for the sounds of some wretched soul being eaten alive.

The dream never quite progressed to that stage, with my dream mind instead focusing on the best strategy to deal with a situation like this. Hiding in a room seemed a trap that left you with no options. In those particular circumstances I favoured instead staying mobile, loitering near the head of the P and waiting to see which side the monster would come, and evading him that way.

The next dream was sketchy, except I know it featured the friend I parted with on Thursday. There was no reference to that. In the dream he was as he used to be, warm and caring. It’s no surprise I dreamt of him. I’ve thought much about what happened – losing a long-term friend is no easy thing. I believe in being decisive – anything less tends to make things messy – but I regret that I gave him no warning of what I felt. Things have been bad for some time, and it’s something I have considered for nearly a year, but still I think I should have given told him first how close I was to pulling the pin. (Now I have to figure out what the right thing to do is – but suspect the damage can’t be undone, and perhaps should be left to lie).

There were other dreams too, a night full of them. The result is each day I don’t feel quite as rested as I should.