. . . as if the shadows themselves where concrete, and threw shadows of their own, a multiplicity of shadows that threaten to crowd my mind in to insanity. So, if I whine in my sleep and you see my legs moving, you know now what I am dreaming of. I’m not a dog chasing a fox . . . The fox is chasing me, it’s a huge, unholy shadow with fangs the size of daggers. I haven’t the guts to face it, though I know that if I turn around it will simply fade away. It’s my own damned shadow I’m running from. It’s me.
I’m sitting at the poolside, an indoor swimming pool, reading a book. There are many children there, all around me, being loud, jumping in the water, sitting there drying off and eating, dropping french fries on to the wet tiles. None of the children are mine, I don’t know why I am sitting among them and not somewhere quieter.
A woman comes and puts her things in one of the few free areas fairly near me and sits down. She seems somehow sad, and very shy. She is very attractive, in a way hard to define. The little make-up she has on does nothing to detract from her natural beauty. She has short, dark hair, it’s hard to say exactly what color, because her hair is wet. We both appraise each other while trying to seem not to. Or I appraise her and she notices and looks away, blushing ever so slightly, and I do the same.
She seems very familiar, too. I can’t tell where, but I have seen her face somewhere, perhaps in an advertisement or something. Or at the supermarket down the road. I certainly don’t have the feeling I’ve ever met her personally… perhaps I’ve seen her at the poolside before. Is that why I am here among the children, because I have seen her sitting here before?
I have the definite feeling I would like to get to know her, to fathom the sadness which I sense in her. She somehow piques a sort of protective interest in me, I want to help her. In some of the dreams I strike up a conversation with her, sometimes we are simply there together, very much aware of each others’ presence but somehow reluctant to speak to one another, both being shy.
There is never any conclusion to this recurring dream. It always ends with us sitting there, near but apart, exchanging a few words, or ostensibly ignoring each other while actually focusing our complete attention on each other. There is always a tension in this dream, perhaps a trace of sexual tension, but on the whole something else, something almost undefinable, but if I could just…
„Hellstrøm, wake up!“
I stood on the mountaintop, laughing at the fools below, and a little man came up the path and asked me, what was I doing? I told him, it’s none of your bee’s wax, upon which he tugged my sleeve insistently, and told me I had an arrow that belonged to him… What is this arrow you speak of, you fat little man, I asked. There are no arrows here, only snow, and hard cold stone, of beauty unsurpassed, with the exception only of the warm beauty of my bride. Ah, he said, the very arrow I speak of is lodged in this woman, your bride. I’ve run out of arrows, there simply aren’t enough to go ’round. I need it back!
A terrible thought entered my mind: that if he got his arrow back I would lose my bride. My face went black with rage, and I struck the little man a blow, so hard that he stumbled, and fell from the mountaintop with a faint scream to the fools below. In that moment I knew that my bride was now after all lost to me, and that my days were cursed.
I descended among the fools, and I was as a fool, and I was no longer myself, and my bride saw me but did not know me, for I had killed the fat little man, and with him all love was let out of the world, with a vast, deep sigh. There were no more arrows, no more love. Nevermore. And I wept, fool that I was, and did not know why. I wept, and I woke up weeping.
Drinking in the taverns
Talking with the slatterns
Asking what they’d dreamt of being
I wanted to be a dancer, one said
But not in bed
I wanted to be an author, said the next
Buried deep in text
Telling the stories that need it… gimme another one, will you Joe?
The third left with a john
A sweaty little Don
Before I could ask
the fourth cried… I wanted to be a housewife
That’s the life
One man, no cares
One said, with an uncertain smile, how the hell am I supposed to know
That’s all so long ago
twenty for a ‘job, fifty for a bang, and if you want my backside it’ll cost you a hunerd
Said the sixth, and I wondered
If she’d even heard what I’d asked
I wanted to be a whore, said the last
No future, no past
And here I am, living my dream
Screaming. I woke up: screaming. I couldn’t remember a fucking thing. I felt I had dreamt a thousand dreams, but I couldn’t, as usual, remember a damned thing. I was alive, I knew that much. God only knew how, and why, but I was. I even had the funny feeling I was in control, though I was confused.
Ahhh, then I remembered: I had been cutting my own hair, in the dream. I saw my own face in the mirror, as I snipped and snipped, the hair falling in front of my horrified eyes… suddenly I felt on my head with my hands, with an ugly, dawning feeling of disaster. But no, my hair was still there.
What did that mean, cutting my hair in a dream? What would a dream-interpreter say to that? What would Freud say? Was it sexual?
I laughed out loud and went to take a piss.