I dreamed the night before last that I needed to reach the top of a tall building, some forty stories high. The lift had broken down and I needed to climb at least the last set of stairs on foot. In my mind’s eye I could see the top level of stairs and to my horror they were not ordinary stairs, the enclosed solid stairs you find in stairwells alongside the lift. These were metal stairs with thin railings that wound around and up to the ceiling. From these stairs you could look down and see below to where you had come from. I could not climb these stairs. I would be giddy on such stairs. I would feel constantly fearful of falling. I could not make my journey to the top.
Then tonight I dreamed among other dreams I no longer remember that I was having dinner with an old colleague, Simone. She had invited another colleague Antoinette to join us at dinner. I am not aware that the names of these people seemed significant during the dream itself but the moment I woke up I knew that these were the women in my dream.
We were eating our meal at the top of a stair well on the landing. Out of nowhere, unprovoked it seemed, Antoinette threw herself over the stair rail into the void below. She fell down several flights and I knew she would be dead when we reached her body at the foot of the stairs. Dead she was, though her body was not smashed up, simply inert. Simone seemed to know more than I about why Antoinette had jumped. To Simone it seemed a perfectly reasonable thing to do. But I was troubled.