We all wake up now and then startled, and perhaps even slightly concerned, by the obscurity of the dream we’ve just emerged from. Many dreams remain hazy, and gradually fade away as you just can’t quite remember what actually happened. Yet I, as has been highlighted by friends and family, have a peculiar tendency to remember my dreams down to a tee; even the most inconsequential details linger in my mind, and I can always recall the thought processes I went through in the dream vividly. I’m sure I’m not the only one with this inclination, which is why I thought I’d make a snapshot of my dreams public so that anyone and everyone can compare the themes and bizarre random events of my subconscious to their own.
During the daytime, I came up with what I felt was a potentially rather funny cough ringtone, and performed this over the phone to my boyfriend, James. Needless to say, he didn’t appreciate the sheer hilarity of this novelty cough.
That night, I dream that I am sitting on a bench, opposite a girl – a stranger – and I cough. She then responds with a cough. Before long we are stood together coughing in such perfect harmony that we somehow produce a wonderful melody; I am thrilled. I look around and realise we have accumulated a large audience of people clapping in unison, providing us with a base rhythm for the performance. I look over into the corner and notice that James is sat on a wall, alone, clearly sulking, and I feel incredibly smug that I had been able to prove to him that the novelty cough was an ingenious innovation after all.
I find myself lying in my bath at home. I look around and see that I have company – my next door neighbour (from my house in Nottingham) is quite contentedly naked beside me. I too am naked. We begin chatting about all sorts, and suddenly it occurs to me that maybe we shouldn’t be naked in the bath together – maybe my boyfriend would mind. But I decide that, since we’re not engaging in any sexual contact, my boyfriend wouldn’t mind at all – in fact, I think to myself, he’d be happy to hear about it. And so we bathed and chatted together, naked, for a long time.
I begin the dream by running through a forest with a group of people, and I get the impression that we’re on the run from something or someone. Suddenly, I notice another group of people running parallel to us, but for some reason they can’t see us. I come to the conclusion, without any surprise, that they have clearly travelled through time from the eighteenth century; this all-female clan are trotting along in bonnets and puffy dresses. I look forward to catching their attention and relishing the opportunity to tell them all about life in the future.
Sadly, I don’t get the chance, as I am suddenly transported to a small fishing boat with my boyfriend. The boat is approaching a run-down city on the water – a sort of industrialised Venice.
My boyfriend and I are standing around naked in someone’s bedroom. We stroll around the room for a while, when suddenly I look down and realise I have an enormous, bright red penis. And this isn’t just any penis – this looks much more like a dildo, with all sorts of grooves and toggles attached. I don’t feel scared by the penis; instead, I just feel quite confused. I begin to question how long I’ve had this penis, whether perhaps I’ve always had this penis and perhaps haven’t realised it. Why have I never noticed this penis before? Strange.
I call over to James to alert him to this unexpected development, slightly uneasy with the sort of reaction I might get from him. He simply finds it amusing, quite a lark, and carries on wandering around the room. This really does confuse me; is he not concerned about my sexuality and the implications of this for our sex life? Has this always been a part of our sex life and I just haven’t realised it until now?
My inquiries are cut short as we are interrupted by James’ dad walking into the room. Instinctively, we both dive under the covers, hoping to hide our shame. Sadly, my little visitor decides to grow (literally) to arm’s length under the duvet, thus offering my boyfriend’s father the image of me hidden under the duvet with a superhuman-sized erection tenting from under the covers. James and I think fast, though, and retreat to a spooning position – this disguises the penis surprisingly well.
With the penis thus hidden, James’ dad seems unperturbed by all this – perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he, too, is naked. Come to think of it, why are we all naked? Surely we’re not always naked? As if he has read my mind, James’ dad, taking a temporary break from fiddling with the controls of a clearly broken television, explains that sometimes in this house certain guests are made to feel uncomfortable by the nudity that characterises the household. Chuckling, he recites numerous occasions on which guests have been shocked to enter the kitchen and find the family preparing dinner, naked. I had to resist the urge to exclaim: “Don’t you realise that this is one of those awkward situations?!”
I am in an enormous furniture warehouse, yet it is so much more than a furniture warehouse; somehow this place contained everything you could ever need for the whole of your life. It becomes clear that my family and I are completing a nationwide tour of such warehouses; these warehouses seem to have become our home. Upon seeing lots of children running around and playing, I realise that I am a child again, which explains the fact that my parents are together (I had been wondering – they’ve been divorced for years).
The warehouse then merges into a wonderful chocolate/sweet shop; naturally, I become very excited. There are so many interesting things on display – chocolate-coated fish were probably the most intriguing. I make my way to the counter with 50p to spend on a cake. Disappointingly, my serving consists of a few choco-flakes, a stale piece of chocolate sponge and a couple of coco-pops. This enrages me to the extent that I simply reject my portion, provoking my sister to condemn my rudeness. But my spirits are then further dampened as I notice the biggest, most beautiful chocolate cake in the world, which unfortunately costs £40. So I leave the shop with nothing, feeling quite depressed.
We return to the warehouse, and my dad excitedly calls me over to look at a cabinet that he is very keen to buy, and asks me what I think of it. Frankly, I think it’s disgusting, so I tell him so. He then goes to great lengths to defend this cabinet, claiming that it has all sorts of merits that I simply don’t appreciate. As my attention wandered, I suddenly realised that the cabinet had become a pair of lime green and purple sofas, which (though they surely do not sound it) were absolutely beautiful. I then emphasised to my dad how much I now loved these sofas, and he then declared that he owned them; there was no need to pay for them – they simply belonged to him now that he wanted them.
I am now allowed to run off by myself – an exciting prospect for me, being a child. Somehow I am travelling through so many different places; I begin in a rowing boat in the Arctic Ocean with my sister and my boyfriend, with the dilemma of how to park the boat into the approaching iceberg without breaking the iceberg and causing it to collapse upon us.
This environment then disappears, and the three of us are sat on a huge, rusty pipe that is separating one large patch of water from the sea behind us. We have the dismal view of factories and workhouses ahead of us, with smoke and dirt filling the atmosphere. The water in front of us is a brassy colour, clearly heavily polluted. After sitting here for an inexplicably long time, I suddenly say, “You know, this really isn’t a nice place”, to which the others reply, “yeah, that’s a good point actually”. So in unison we dive off the pipe into the sea the other side, and I am cautious not to swallow any of this metallic-tasting water.
I then return unexpectedly to the warehouse with my family, and continue to browse around, before I am given permission to once again run off elsewhere. This takes me back to the Arctic Ocean, and then to the industrial river; I appear to be on a loop, completing the same actions over and over.
Finally, I manage to break into a new environment. It is a beautiful sunny day, and I am running through gardens and pathways surrounded by beautiful flowers and butterflies. The sun begins to go down, prompting me to turn back and return to my family, but then suddenly it becomes totally bright and the sun is high in the sky once more. So I keep on skipping. This happens several times, until eventually I feel inclined to return to my family. I decide that as soon as I have a quick look at a little cottage on a cliff edge overlooking the sea up ahead, I’ll turn back. But just as I prepare to do so, I am drawn towards another new passage; I follow it for a matter of seconds and find myself in my own back garden. Momentarily, this comes as a surprise, but quickly I decide that it’s inevitable that after all that wandering about and all the travelling round the nation’s warehouses I should end up back at home. I sit down in a garden bench and contentedly wait for my family to return.