Dream 10 October 2010
The Wild Ones
I am in the middle of a passionate embrace with a young woman, whom I do not know by name, much less by sight. Her arms grow tight around me and I can feel myself strangled around the waist.
I struggle to get free and can see now that the girl has a distorted look on her face, not of love but of malevolence. Her front incisors grow long and pointy like those of a vampire and I imagine that soon she will draw blood from me.
We fight like animals. We claw at one another. I am desperate to break free. The girl morphs into a series of monstrous creatures from fairy tales: from a female vampire, into a grey haired were wolf, into Beowulf’s Grendel. The girl claws at my skin and it is as much as I can do to stay asleep.
I am desperate to wake from this dream and I shake myself repeatedly only to fall into another where I am travelling through some sort of seaside fair ground at night. All the cafes and bars are filled with laughing, dancing, drinking and jostling people.
I know no one and search for a familiar face. In the distance I see two old friends from my writing workshop days, but they rush on ahead of me. They go into a crowded bar and I lose sight of them. I fear they have avoided me deliberately. They do not want to be with me.
The weight of my sadness and loneliness is palpable. I cannot enjoy myself on my own, not in this place designed for family fun. Someone has thrown a long plastic sheet down a grassy embankment and I watch as a small group of boys slide down.
I fear that the ground might be uneven and dangerous as it is broken up with old tree trunks chopped off close to the surface, but I wake again and shift to the grade one classroom of my primary school. There must be at least sixty children in this classroom and I am one of the bigger ones, taller too.
I take my place in the back at a low double desk with a slide in bench. It is made of pale yellow wood and is shiny from age and use. The nun in charge, whom I recognise from my primary school days, tells us to settle down and to write a story, any story in our brand new exercise books.
My story comes effortlessly. I write longhand in grey lead, page after page about a farmer. My story has an energetic flow and I find I can write for several pages, reach a turning point, and then come to a natural conclusion. After no time at all, I have finished writing. I put up my hand.
‘I’ve finished,’ I say to the nun in the front who looks over the top of her glasses.
‘You would,' she says. ‘Begin another.’
My second story does not flow so easily but it does not take me long to get page after page of handwritten narrative down into my book. I feel proud of myself. I know this nun thinks that I am a stupid ignorant girl, but at least I can write.
A girl in the front asks the nun for help.
‘How old are you?’ the nun asks.
‘I’m three,’ the girl says, and I realise then that we are unevenly placed in this classroom. I am five years old. No wonder I can do much better than the littlies.