Saturday, December 05, 2020

I don't seem to post much here these days. In part it may be that there are so many possible outlets for this kind of thing and also really this only expects an audience of one. Famously, the account of one's amazing dreams is amazingly boring to anyone else. Dreams seem to change as year pass. Or mine do, anyway. Some dream 'plots' have diminished -I hardly ever dream of that doomed battle against that all encompassing evil entity of which I so often I'm part, in those dreams. I still have all those dreams of failed travelling, where I arrive at the wrong destination or a deserted, abandoned one or something goes terribly wrong during the journey or I've left something vitally important behind. I still dream of my old house in Magallanes de Catia in west Caracas, crumbling down before our eyes -but I carry that house in which I grew up, with me wherever I go. All that untidiness and disrepair and all that enormous entropy dragging it down into the void. That's still with me. And the dreams where my two realities -that I left behind in Caracas so many years ago and that which I live now in this grey, cold, soggy island of Britain- mix and intertwine. But I seldom seem to find the energy to put it down in words any more. Maybe I just channel it in other ways, into other things. Those dreams, however, are an important part of my life to me, without any need to get into interpreting or translating them into what my brain may be 'really' trying to tell me -I'm not that -or not that often- interested in that. I'm interested in them as part of my story.

Monday, June 10, 2019

On being back from the forgotten land of rdreams

Woke up with the vivid sensation of the dream, the colours, the words exchanged with the denizens of that land. Then it was all gone, all of it. Couldn't recall anything, not the plot or the characters I'd met ... not even the sensations arising from it, just the general impression of vividness and meaning. We're allowed to visit strange lands in our dreams, with the condition that we do not remember them on waking up.


Saturday, March 24, 2018

the unlikely meanders in the river of dreams

A very long one of having had to return to Venezuela, the circumstances of which were not clear but I was there without my guitar, my books or my computers. I had two places to stay: one was the old house in Los Magallanes de Catia, in which my granddad was still living. The other one was a pad that seemed to belong to my sister and which I was sharing with Peter R, with whom I was having unlikely conversations in Spanish lamenting the fact that at that point I surely was losing my flat in London with all my possessions, having had to leave in a hurry and finding myself kind of trapped in Venezuela without being able to go back. I spent quite a bit of time having conversations with both Peter R and with my grandad -and, again very unlikely, Auntie Lydia who seemed to be in charge of the whole operation- about how I would manage to keep both places, staying one week in one and the next ini the other and how having two places might give me a little more chance to get private pupils, casting a wider net in such a large city. I was lamenting the loss of my guitars most of all and wondering how I would cope. I woke up to the sound of surf, waves crashing in an unseen ocean in the dark, immediately looking to see where my guitar was on its stand, just about making its shape in the darkness but enough to reassure me. I could sleep now.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A través del muro del sueño

Sueños. Corrientes inacabables de vidas paralelas que nunca viví, los múltiples desenlaces de situaciones pasadas y presentes, todas entrevistas a través de esa niebla numinosa, al mismo tiempo desdibujada en sus bordes y tan vívidamente nítida. Todos los viajes que nunca emprensí, las casas en que nunca viví y la gente que nunca conocí, las soluciones (tan claras, tan obviasA) a problemas que nunca supe fueran tan apremiantes pero las cuales se desvanecen al contacto con el mundo de la vigilia.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Layers of dreams (as in dreams of being asleep)... I was having a full evening of teaching at home -except it wasn't my tiny flat in North London, it was a big house in several floors; my teaching room was somewhere in one of those upstairs stories but I never went there in the room. There was an improbable queue of pupils both from the present and the distant past. I wasn't going to have enough time for all those lessons and I was running late. But then appeared this beautiful woman who was supposed to be my friend (but I didn't know and she doesn't correspond to anybody in 'real life') and asked me, would I take long? we had to go to the Slimelight together. I'm tired and bored, she said, and leant against me. Our lips met as if by accident and then the pupils and the lessons all disappeared. How irresponsible of dream-flavio...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Cat. It's the Michy, the last one, except he's blacker rather than chocolate now. He'd gone away and been found and I had to take him back home across the city, didn't have the car with me or even a cat-carrying basket. He didn't want to go and was grabbing, clinging on to me, all sharp nails and paws but bolting, trying to escape. The journey across the city towards the West where I lived was long -public transport was full of glaring lights and glaring people with angry faces, the long streets I had to walk were grey and menacing, shrouded in twilight. Finally made it home, walked up the steps and had to juggle between holding the cat -still trying hard to escape- and fiddling in my pockets looking for the keys. Made it inside. It didn't feel like my house, something was not right. The key opened the door, it was the address I remembered but inside the house everything was unknown, strange and with the dust of years covering the old furniture, the fake marble floors, the absurd plaster decorations on the walls. I let the cat down and he ran to hide under the piano. Piano? Since when did I have a piano? As I remembered I was renting this place, sharing it with people but there was nobody in the house. The cat glared at me from under the piano. He still wasn't happy. What place have you brought me to, he seemed to be saying.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

After days of turmoil in the real world, the dreams I dream....

Ok, first the dream. I was coming back from somewhere and a gang started shooting at us. With guns. This didn't feel quite as strange as it should have done, seemed to be quite a natural thing in the dream. Even stranger, we had guns too. I was given a handgun by my friend as well as the clip to go in it, which I fumbled with while the guys on the other side kept shooting at us. It finally went in and I started shooting back thinking that this gun was surprisingly light in weight, not at all like a solid metal object at all. Bullets kept ricocheting all around me, making chunks of wood and masonry fly out. I turned around to ask my friend why we were there and in such a situation but my friend was very still, face down on the floor. It had to be a dream and I better wake up, seeing it was daylight and checking the time on my phone to find it was 5:00 am only, too early to get up, too late to try and fall asleep and gain an hour or two more restful sleep.

There were other dreams, one involving the old house in Catia but I remember even less detail from that one. As often happens, I’m moving back after a long time away, I don’t seem to have most of my things with me –not my guitars, or my computers. There is a guitar but it is the old battered guitar I used to have when I started to study music.  I also found a computer, an old Apple Mac Performa with a strangely heavy keyboard with a long coiled cable. I knew I could make it work if I could find a monitor that the machine could drive but it probably was too old to be of any use with modern internet. I mentioned this and somebody in the house told me that wouldn't be a problem as it would receive the Internet of twenty years ago by the day. What, I replied, AOL and Geocitiies? Good grief.

The house seemed to be parceled in rooms and bed-sits each let separately. There was an old man that I thought at first was my granddad but wasn’t. My sisters was present–she didn’t live in the house but she kept rooms there. The roofs were leaky as always and there were buckets of different sizes everywhere catching the falling drops. I sat on the bed in my room wondering how I was going to make a living in this place that I no longer knew. How had this all happened? I couldn't remember at all. 

This time I didn’t realize it was a dream at all –I even fretted about the strange circumstances as I woke up.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

through the mist of the world of dreams

There is always a journey, made complicated by the fact that roads don't always lead somewhere, lifts sometimes don't go to all the floors and you have to get off half-way and find your way through the maze of the building you're in (ah, but that's not that different from the building I live in in the real world), people can merge or be something very different to what they are in waking life. There is always a wait for something that will happen that nearly always turns out to be something else to what you were expecting. In the beginning there is a drifting downwards into the many worlds inside; at the end there is the return to the one world, trying to grasp what we left behind or its significance but you can't, it's gone and tonight it will be a different world with a different meaning.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

taxi ride

11/01/2015 10:56

On the way out of that party I had decided that, as I was in an unfamiliar part of the city, maybe I should take a mini-cab rather than wait for a night bus -didn't know what buses there were or where the bus stop was, in any case. I can't remember whether I called for the taxi or whether I hailed it on the street; in any case, I was now in the car and the driver started to talk non-stop, in English at first and then in Spanish. The journey was taking a long, long time and we were going through some rather bleak neighbourhood, with very poor housing and signs of dereliction everywhere. I asked him how far we were from Kentish Town. He replied 'Kentish-on-top-of-the-hill is very near, we're getting to the top of Cortijos de Lourdes'.'What?' I replied, 'this is not where I'm going, you have to go back, I need to go to Kentish Town not Petare!'. 'Sorry, mate, I will do; we need to stop here for a bit, though; it is a very friendly house and they'll like you'. I thought I was being kidnapped, of course. Out of the rather ramshackle house in question came some people including children. Still protesting, they led me into the house. How's London. Would I like some tea. The driver was still talking all the time but apparently just to himself. I noticed the loud green shirt he was wearing. The children asking me lots of questions. I took out my iPhone (or what was supposed to be an iPhone; it had keyboard including play-rewind keys) to see whether it could tell me where I was through GPS but it couldn't fix a signal. One of the kids produced a smaller, much battered version of the same device "I've got one of those..." said proudly. I still insisted, I needed to get home and out of here, the driver wasn't around any more. I asked where he was. 'He's at the children's pool', came the answer. I need to speak to him, I said. Show me where that is. I came out to a yard, we went past a place with some screens inside which there was an inflatable children's pool. Beyond that, there were a group of men playing bolas criollas, amongst them my driver in his loud green shirt. Completely drunk. Oh god, I said; how can I get a taxi out of here? 'At this time of night?' came the reply, with a laugh, 'pretty much impossible. You could walk out of here but it would take many hours ... if you made it out at all. Pretty rough, around here'.  Where was I going to stay? I didn't even know where I was. That's where I woke up. When I finally fell asleep again, was dreaming of hijacking the taxi driver's car and just drive out of there but as I didn't know the area my only aim was to go down the hill and soon I was lost. Woke up again. Fell asleep again, to dream I was staying in that man's car, in the freezing cold of the night, while shadows and voices crept out on the streets outside. Finally woke up for real, in shivers, in my little flat far away from whatever nightmarish place my mind had visited in my sleep.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

snapshots from a dream

Dreams bringing other worlds and many versions of this world. Look for the bus station to catch that bus to Aylesbury, while a planet, or is it the moon, furiously glows and roils in the dark sky. Go past a house that whispers secrets and memories, forgotten as soon as I hear them, leaving only a puzzle and a longing. The bus sets out and I have to stand for the long journey. This time I haven't forgotten anything, haven't left my guitar home, or my phone -although phones are useless here. And, how do I know that? It's getting near dark and the cones of light from the headlamps probe the dark road ahead, moving further into this reality, maybe making it possible for it to  exist. 

Monday, October 20, 2014


Lots of dreams of travelling, but always with some big glitch. The most common one is forgetting to bring something important, or leaving something at a train station (if that's what it is, it's sometimes not clear at all what I've been travelling on, or I'm aware of the dream as I have arrived to the place). Also, once I'm there, staying in places where I have to share with many strangers, odd bathroom arrangements where there are several sets of multiple cubicles but most are broken or all are busy.

Having been reading novels set in a manifold universe may have to do with the fact that I keep dreaming alternative versions of the same story (except I have been having those dreams since long before I started reading any of those books..), with different outcomes or different settings -of course, I have always had the 'theme' dreams, where there are different versions of a similar narrative, most notably the Evil dream, where I have to fight this entity which will, I know this from the start, win in the end. I will appear to have won at some point and sometimes in the dream I even believe it, even though I know what will happen next, but in the end the thing or entity always destroys me. Curiously, sometimes I am detached from myself and see F (that is, me) hiding in the ruins of his old house in Caracas, or fighting back and almost winning. Sometimes, even, I am in part the evil entity itself as well as the tiny human being fighting it. 

There are other strands of many-alternative-narratives, like the having lived somewhere else in Europe all these years, a place that wasn't England. Sometimes these tie in with the recurrent theme of having gone back to Caracas and some crisis prevents me from coming back here, where all the bits of my life (and my stuff, my computers and guitars, my books and my pupils) are.

Monday, September 01, 2014


21/08/2014 12:40

It begins with a theatre play. Well, no, it doesn't; there was a lot before but it has been erased. So now I'm sitting on the second row, while the boys on stage are being punished for something, their behaviour to the their girlfriends, and a huge Santa-like character bangs them over the head with a big styrofoam truncheon while his assistant rifles their pockets and loose change, wallets, bits of paper and fluff fall on the stage. I look back and I see her. Both of them, in different points in the hall, both look at me and smile in different ways.

This is going to be a residential event and I'm going to be here for a whole week; now I'm cuddling with her in a corner, wondering what happens next, while she (is it another instance of her? what is this?) watches me down from a mezzanina. She with me stirs and sits in front of me crossing her legs and holding my hands. I don't really understand how this all works and begin to say so but she puts a finger on her lips. Maybe it must not be said. She up there is making like she isn't looking down at us. I get the feeling that she can see me but she can't see her because ti is herself... I don't know why. It is all a mystery. 

At the end of the week it is the play again. I sit on the front row and the play begins and this time it is clear what is being represented as I've seen it unfold during the week, but at the same time none of it has happened and it's all here for the first time. And half way through the play I realise that I should have been on stage performing, but I don't know my part. I get up and make as if trying to go back to my seat from the stage but something, an invisible wall stops me and I bounce off it and fall on the stage. Except the wall is at the same time something I'm making up onstage and something real. I cannot go back. I look for her in the audience (who look at me with puzzlement) but neither of her is present....

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Got lost and went past my stop. I asked the person next to me where I was. they looked at me with supreme disdain and something like distrust. I had to guess that we had gone past the Magallanes hospital and were sort of near Gramovén. Got off the bus trying to get my bearings. It was complicated, this going back home thing, as I was pretty sure none of us would be living in our old house any longer, how could I justify staying there? But then I thought my granddad would still be there. Wasn't he dead, though? I was convinced he would be there. This was some distance away, though; I was in the wrong place and didn't know exactly where I was or how to get back. The steep street died in the middle of nowhere and I had to get through traversing houses and gardens -or rather overgrown front yards full of junk, wire, pieces of plastic. I found myself in a house where the girls of the family asked me whether I needed any help. I said I needed to find my way to Magallanes. They looked at one another with some concern. Won't be very easy and it is not very safe out there. And you're carrying that, one said. Yes, I was carrying my best concert guitar in a shiny case and also two guitars without any kind of cover, which would make my progress both awkward and more risky, as the local thugs would spot prey very quickly. I thanked the older of the girls for their help, she said have my card -there was a little pigeonhole box on the wall with tiny visit cards, apparently each of the girls had their own set. I picked it up -there was just an email address in it, no phone number. I said it might be helpful to have her number in case I got lost or something (but would my phone work here? I thought) and she said 'yes of course it would' and smiled but didn't give me her number. The father appeared and thanked me for the visit and showed me out saying it was a pity I had to go so soon... while steering me out of the house. Outside, dirt lanes mixed with complicated architecture. I came to the end of that particular lane, a stream of people coming the other way -and completely stopped; they needed to get past me, I needed to carry on. But then I realised they were coming from a sheer wall with a sort of scaffolding ladder. I would not be able to descend on that laden with three guitars.. I moved aside and yes, I found another, much longer way. It was going to be a long way, indeed.

Monday, June 16, 2014


You/she had told me to go to your/her house and collect a house key from you so we could do a lesson. It was quite late in the evening but I was let in, made to wait in a reception room while various members of the family went to and fro; I had to explain to several of them why I was there at that time of day, she knows you are here? then please wait. I waited. At some point a little girl came in, said "hello, my name is Shanti, who are you?" I explained to her that F had asked me to come to collect a key and she perhaps should be made aware that I was in the house. "ok, I'll go fetch her", she said and disappeared. The house was getting busier with more and more people, family members and staff of some sort or another, going up and down the stairs and casting long glances at me. A young man in a suit with a tag on a lanyard asked me, like so many of them before, whether he could help, I repeated my story and he bid me to come upstairs with him to the next level -but he couldn't take me to the top floor, where F should be, as that wasn't allowed. I'd have to stay there. I said perhaps I should phone her; he said it might not be a good idea, I should not bother F and just wait to be called ... I completed the sentence, "... because it is nearly midnight". I still took out my phone but the screen was smudged and sliding my finger to open it didn't work. I tried to clean it but now the screen had gone white, the 'slide to open' words still waving across but not responding. I thought of restarting it but it would take too long and the young man seemed to be getting impatient. I started explaining to him in more detail but then stopped, what, none of it made any sense and I needed to wake up....