If you couldn’t pretend to be a ghost

Last night I had three distressing dreams. One of them was set in Paris during the olden days, I can’t be more specific unfortunately because sometimes it seemed like the 1890s others the 1950s and others 1970s and all the years between. I should add, in the dream, it was a film about a young man who was staying in a Parisian hotel with an older couple, who were quite elegant. This young man had the power to make himself invisible and got up to all kinds of mischief, although I was watching it as a film I could sometimes see through his eyes. And sometimes I was a guest.

Why was the dream distressing you ask and, of course, you are right to ask, it was distressing because most of dreams I have had recently have been distressing (and coherent). At first the film was a comedy, a farce, then it turned into a thriller as the hotel’s owners and staff began to hunt the mischievous young man.

They caught him and at the end of the dream/film he wound up living on the streets of Paris.

I feel there is a lesson there for most of us. If you find you are able to make yourself invisible don’t go overboard with the mischief, by all means do a little, what would be the point otherwise: I mean, if you couldn’t pretend to be a ghost and give some poor folks a good scare.

The young man had a love interest in the dream/film who also learned to make herself invisible. She had good hair. Curly and fairly short.

I don’t know what that is in Fahrenheit

So, I’m joining you in bed, when found you the light was on and you were asleep, on your back, mouth slightly open.

I fed the red cat, from his little cat lunch box and feed the brown cat from her bag of biscuits.

Oh Gosh. I’ve just listened to some not so great rap. The BBC say this young fellow, from Sheffield, is the new Shakespeare. I mean he’s not bad but the Bard, come fucking on BBC!

I mean, his music isn’t bad. I don’t want to be disrespectful but I also don’t want to be one of those men in their late-thirties who pretends to like and understand young persons’ music, like Randy with tween wave, you know.

But, the Bard, come on!

I listened to three of his tracks and, you know, they were all right, a little trite, perhaps, but OK.

Anyway, you are quietly snoring away next to me, probably dreaming of car chases and limeade in a seaside pub in 1985. I’m laying here awake longing for sleep’s embrace. Taking me deep into the darkest memory banks of my brain.

It is very still tonight, not much sound. Just your breathing and the occasional sound of mischief from the brown cat. As I type a car turns into a nearby street and another car passes by on the main road.

It is much cooler tonight. 20°C. I don’t know what that is in Fahrenheit, I’m not American. But I can tell you it’s 293.15 Kelvin because during first year physical chemistry it was drilled into us, temperature in Kelvin!

Silence. It’s blissful. Coolness. Also pleasant. Now I just need sleep to come. I’ll close my eyes and see what happens. Though, I might read my new book, Neon Rain, for a while first.

Good night ’til first light sun bright.

Those distant specks of light sitting in a vacuum

The night is hot again after the brief coolness of this morning. There are thunderstorms on the way as the heat from the earth meets cool air blowing in from the Atlantic. It’s strange, when you’re awake thunderstorms are very exciting but when they wake you in the dead of night they’re terrifying unearthly things. The most unnerving ones I’ve experienced have been on holiday, abroad, on the Iberian Peninsula, with cracks of thunder so loud they seem as though they have been sent from hell, like Thor is out by the swimming pool cracking skulls with his hammer.

But right now the room is just hot and the air is still.

It’s just after midnight, this midsummer’s night.

Today has been the longest day of the year here in the northern hemisphere. What have I accomplished, well I finished writing up my notes on enols and enolates. Began to memorise the aldol reaction, the Claisen condensation, the mixed Claisen. The Michael reaction and noble prize winning Wittig reaction. The last one is peculiar and the most interesting but I like the name – Claisen.

I’m starting to get a headache. My jaw is tense. I might get up and take some pain relief medication. The air feels hot and heavy all around me. It is becoming prickly on my skin. Somewhere in the darkness a cat is cleaning itself, red or brown, I’m unsure right now.

OK, I’m back, I have been to kitchen and taken an ibuprofen. I hope it works. My eyes are hot.

There is a distant drone of a low flying small aircraft. It has just taken off from Manchester and is flying to Köln.

I’m going to read, I think, a short story. I want to start a new book but I’m too tired and too hot and too lethargic to choose one.

Sleep tight starlight moon bright. Let stardust, the dust that gave us everything, life, the earth, space, fill your eyes with sleep. We came from stars, stars made the simplest elements, hydrogen and helium, and the rest were born from them. It is astounding that we are literally stardust. Who needs magic, God, and all that other bullshit when we are made from stars – those distant specks of light sitting in a vacuum.


Good word.

I prefer it to the German: sterne.

The French is nice to say: étoiles

Sêr in Welsh, not as good as stars. Though, sêren, meaning star, is nice to say with a Welsh accent.
My headache seems to be easing and there is a slight, very slight, cool breeze in the room. The very hot room.

Sebastian and the horses are metaphors

Tonight it is much cooler and I could probably send you a letter but instead I am going to tell you story.

Now, this story begins in a place that is both familiar and unfamiliar. It is a place of dreams and a place lucidity. It begins here. So close your eyes and read on.

Sebastian was a young man and one day in summer he walked through some woods and came across a field of horses. He was fascinated by these large muscular creatures. He fed them grass from his open palm and wished that day he’d been carrying some carrots.

So you see, this story is about sensations, it is about feelings, it is about reaching out and understanding what it is that makes dreams slip into reality. Why? Well, it is hard to explain be the whole thing is a metaphor. Think about the circumstances. Shh. Listen… Can hear the rain? Even better, put your fingers in your ears and feel the rain. It comes in through the open window and circles its coolness around the room. Now breathe, yes, you can smell it; you’re right! It smells fresh, summer night rain: a gift from the Gods.

Anyway, the story. As I’m sure you’ve figured out Sebastian and the horses are metaphors but for what. Well think about it, Sebastian is a saint’s name and what do horses represent in the Bible, yes exactly.

Now you understand, I’ll shall say goodnight.

The night rain has ceased and the room is silent, just the ringing in my ears. Tinnitus. Wait, shh, I think the rain might be back or is it just the wind through the trees. Remember where we used to live by that large wood, all those trees; remember the noise when it was windy, it was so constant it was almost white noise.

I’m growing weary. I’m tired. I have lost the feeling in the finger next to the thumb of my left hand. A car passes. Driving sensibly. I can still hear it in the distance, probably driving home to the new housing estate where the old hospital used to be.

Now silence.

Now is the time to whisper, goodnight, sleep tight, star bright, moonlight… Shh. He is asleep.

So, goodnight, goodnight cats, goodnight man who delivers the newspapers, goodnight walkers of Poppy the Border Collie. Goodnight passing cars. And goodnight to occasional revellers who pass noisily by.

Each dream is a metaphor.

Each breathe is a metaphor.

Each exchange is a metaphor.

Why does metaphor keep coming up in my predicative text?

Is that a metaphor?

But for what?

The ache in my left arm and wrist?

It is quiet outside the window

Maybe you should come to bed. I would enjoy your company. Just don’t touch me: it’s too hot! I’ve heard that if you synchronise sleep with the person next to you then you can enter each others dream, imagine that! But you have fall asleep at the same exact fraction of a second, which, of course, is what makes it so difficult. But we should try it, imagine the adventures we could have.

It is very hot again. The room is very warm. I long for cooling breeze to circulate round the room, chilling me to comfortable sleep. My hayfever is playing up, I have taken medication, but my eyes itch and sinuses are blocked which adds to discomfort of trying to sleep. Still it could actually be far far worse. I’m very lucky to be able to whinge and moan about these issues.

I need to close the bedroom door, the noise of television is very loud. Somebody is typing on a computer. If I close my eyes I can see the letters they type:

That’s all I could make out.

The brown cat is here with me. It is quiet outside the window except for an occasional car.

I feel uninspired tonight. I wonder how D. H. Lawrence coped when he felt uninspired writing a letter. He probably, looked out at his unspoiled Italian view and wrote what he saw.

The stillness outside is broken briefly by a loud man. He voice travels across the night air and in through the window and it’s gone, almost like it wasn’t there, like I imagined it.

Suddenly I can’t keep my eyes open. Come sleep, I welcome you.

They require a lot of space fo

The curtains are being slowly illuminated

I am Sleepless again. I’m unsure why, I haven’t been to sleep today, I feel tired, well lethargic. It is hot. The room is hot. My sinuses are blocked and I have a headache. I can taste garlic, is that a bad?

Like I say, the room is hot and window is open. Outside the birds are singing for the dawn which is cracking on the other side of the flat bringing a sun which will cook us again tomorrow. I don’t mind the heat when I’ve got nowhere to go, though I prefer it not be too humid. But I rather it crept up like the water that eventually boils the frog in the saucepan. What I’m saying is that it would be nice to acclimatise over time, you know. Sometimes the heat makes me feel foggy in the head.

It’s late again. Poppy the Border Collie has just been walked by the young lady and her lover, I watched them from my mind. The curtains are being slowly illuminated and the pattern looks like clouds in a pop art landscape.

These streams of consciousness have worked twice and I’m hoping they’ll work a third time. So, come sleep, take me, I implore you.

It’s not working, I feel very awake and very restless. I want to read but I am finding Crash too graphic for my state of mind, too much vomit, excrement and semen! I guess I could light up my moon and read a short story. Yes, I think I’ll do that. Hopefully that’ll dance me to the edge of dreams.

Anyway, I must be going. My battery is starting to run low and I will have switch to auxiliary power if I’m not careful. I hope when I do fall over the edge my dreams are kind to me. The last two nights have brought unpleasant ones. All day they have haunted me. I couldn’t walk in my dream last night. (I also tried to buy a chocolate bar but I couldn’t count out my change out to pay.)

Anyway, I remember a quote by a man that went something like there is nothing more boring the having to listen to someone telling you about their dreams. And it’s true. I think. Your dreams are amazing but they don’t usually translate well into stories especially when you attempt to tell them in a linear fashion. Though, they can of course provide inspiration for a good story.

7% and my eyes are growing heavy (I hope).

You are sleeping, snoring softly. The brown cat is sleeping next to you but with an ear cocked to the birds. These posts, I’ve just realised, are good practise for sending texts emails and like via the phone. I’m certainly get faster!

Anyway, I shall return my phone to its cradle. Find my moon. The room is filled with ashy grey dawn light but it’s not bright enough to read by. So it’ll have to be by my moon.

I lay in darkness the colour of pitch

I feel too hot. I hope that doesn’t mean sleep won’t come. There are teenagers laughing somewhere outside the window. Oh, to be young again! When you don’t worry who you might be waking up as you loudly carouse on the suburban streets.
Both cats, red and brown are with me. 11 pm. The hour that, I hope, brings sleep. Sleep, often overlooked in this world of sleeplessness, when everything is 24 hours. Fuck the night fuck the day: there is no time anymore.

Outside the window it is noisy: cars, people and outside sounds. Traffic sounds growing softer as cars disappear into the dark hills and then a sudden SHUSH of wind. It’s never quiet. I like these ambient sounds. The constant hum, it’s comforting, it reminds me I’m alive.

The cool night air is ghosting around our bedroom, I’m grateful for it. It soothes me. My eyes hurt. I feel in many ways they have been open for too long today.

I want to end this dialogue with a story. It was told to me on Saturday night as a very young child. I lay in darkness the colour of pitch.

There was a man performing on stage in a theatre. He was very popular and well loved by his audience but he never so showed his real face. He wore a succession of masks. He sat in his dressing room staring at his face in the mirror.

That’s it, that is all I remember. I don’t even remember the point of the story. Nor the moral, if there was one, of course.