Sunday, April 26, 2009

I am -- as a matter of fact -- in the throes of publishing my book 'Poussin's Humour'. The book already has an author's preface. However, in the dream -- and none of the following is fact -- two prefaces have now to be included, one each by two men, who have information about the long frustrating history of the project that leads to the book. The book is now swelling until it becomes a novel (of sorts), with my original manuscript in the middle of these various accounts. I have agreed to this gladly.

One preface is already written, the other, by a man who has just won Lotto, has run into difficulties. I have to talk to my co-author urgently about the difficulties. After a long search I locate him. He is sitting under a low wooden overhang outside a building. He tells me he cannot talk to me now, he has to look after a partly incapacitated adolescent for some time yet. He agrees to meet me after 2 pm.

I start to go up the hill -- it's about half a mile -- because I have to teach until 2 pm. I take a different route from usual. I set out at a speed but soon realise I will have to slow down, if I'm to reach the top. On the way I meet a man who used to be one of my students nearly thirty years ago. His hair is grey and he is smartly dressed, a lawyer perhaps. He goes into a building on the right of the street and I go with him. We meet someone coming out who tells us this is the Fine Science building, in the same way that we talk about Fine Arts. My former student begins to tell me how his generation's drugs of choice were not marijuana, but pharmaceuticals easily available either off the shelf or by theft. That must have been 1980, or maybe 1979, I suggest, thinking of the sociology and the history of student drug-taking, and he confirms that suggestion.

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