Monday, September 26, 2011

House of mirrors

We were coming back from a guitar summer course, which had itself been a long complicated dream but now it was gone. Now we had taken only the first of several legs of the journey and had to stop at R's h house to pick the rest of our things and then catch a bus (or was it a train) to finally get home. We walked in from the rain and the gloom outside. I said to R we only just had time. I remembered that I had some more things there, a bag full of clothes (which I think were all my clothes in the world) plus of course I was carrying a rucksack and my guitar. I was wondering how I would manage to carry all that and started pouring contents of some bags into others, trying to reduce the number of items I would carry to a more reasonable number. Then R said he had to do a couple of things in the house and would come back in a whileI could if I wanted wander around the apartment. I was a bit concerned about missing the train, or was it a bus, but he said there would be another one soon, it didn't matter. And so he disappeared into the bowels of the flat. I waited for a while, taking in the enormous number of things in that room, what looked like objects d'art, sculptures, vases and the like. I decided I needed to go to the loo so I went to the next room, which was even more impressive. Predominantly free green and sort of velvety, with indirect lights, deep green sofas, paintings on the walls, the air of a museum or somewhere where very rich people lived in a house with so many rooms they seldom would visit them all. Maybe round that corner there would be a loo. There wasn't, only another room as impressive as this. An austere looking lady was standing there, looking at me reprovingly. I asked her where the loo would be. She said "ah, the .. visitor's washroom. This way". There were a series of extremely narrow doors along a wall, each talked by various things, like squares of leather hammered onto the strip of wall between doors. It was impossible that any of those was a loo door or any sort of real door, they were too narrow and there were so many of them. And I went dizzy as I couldn't count the doors, or something. I apologised to the lady but she'd gone. Ah, that is the door -that is a loo. But the room is way too narrow, I do not fit in there. And I do need to go to the loo. There, at the end. There is a loo there but it si open with a sort of division that doesn't separate it from the room and anyone could see you. I tried to close the plastic screen but to no avail, it wouldn't impede anyone from seeing me. And the toilet bowl was full and unflushed. Disgusting, I thought, and in such grand surroundings. No, I would look for a better one. So I looked around and left the room but by then the layout of the flat was so complex I was beginning to get lost. By chance I got back to the first room. Or was it the second. Ok, try again. And R is getting late, too. Maybe if I go this way, that smaller door might be a … no, it isn't,, instead it is a bedroom. What about around this corner. mHere there was a sort of music room and there were people in it. It felt more and more like a museum. There are string instruments and pianos, although on closer look it seemed to me like they either were art pieces rather than real instruments, or electronic instruments. The cellos -there were several of these- didn't have bows or eal strings, the strings were not whole but at the point where the bow would touch the strings there was a round metal plate with a couple of buttons. A couple of people were walking around or sitting looking at the display with a sort of reverence. Then this girl started to sing The Byrds' 'The Weight' and, for some reason, I joined along singing the vocal harmony. Could not remember the words so I was just humming and doing 'la, la' while she sang the words which I sometimes tried to follow too late. I could sing the exact notes of the descant, though, even though I hadn't heard that song for so many years. Then she finished and.. I didn't know what to say to her so I left the room. I started getting a little nervous about R being late and us missing the train. I wandered around the flat, immense and, now I could see, a duplex flat -there were some stairs that led from some upstairs level from which a couple of young people in formal dress were coming down. This corridor led sort of outside. Here there was a storeroom and a kind of auditorium with, again, velvety green seats, about tow hundred of them. And by the side of the house on a lower bank, there was the train line and a train just going past. Well, that 's it then, I'll just miss that train. I went in again but just couldn't find the first room...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


What was it. It made so much sense in the dream. And I could choose to dream of it again, I was saying to myself, “I liked that, I want to dream of that again”. And I did. And it made all sense and it had colours and explained many things about the world and about myself. Oh, I want to dream of it again. And I did, again. And then I woke up and I could remember only vaguely. And you have to get up and brush teeth and shave and have coffee and then think of it again and it’s gone. Not only does it no longer make sense but you cannot remember what it was at all, even less why it explained so much or how it fit in the engine of the universe.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

as they drove it away

We were turning round the corner around Plaza Catia when they caught up with us, handgun showing. Pull over. Leave that iPod there, mister. Just leave the car quietly and nobody gets hurt. So we did … as I was getting out of the car the very old Oriental gentleman made a ‘sshh’ sign and I handed him the iPad I was carrying, without the hijackers realising. Shame about my guitar in the boot. And the long long walk home. Where were my companions now? The car was speeding away round the corner of Plaza Catia, without me. I started to walk, down those streets whose names and shapes I had so long forgotten. Up Calle El Cristo towards Calle Bolivar; puddles on the pavement, old cars parked by the kerb, furtive people scuttling by. It was dark, the middle of the night, not the best time to arrive at a house when you had no keys and you didn’t know who would be there. Walk across people who move away from me or give way on the pavement. I thought I probably looked scared, but didn’t think I looked scary. Still, a stranger in the middle of the night in the streets of Catia…

Then it dawned on me. I had nowhere to go. It was well over twenty five years since I’d sold my house in Catia. I would only find strangers there, not refuge. Nowhere to go but to hope that it was a dream and try and force myself to wake up..