22 January 2011
In my dream I am lying in bed in a huge and sprawling house of many floors and many rooms, with wide gardens beyond. From here I can see throughout the house as if I am walking through these rooms in a movie. It is my family home and yet I am also a visitor.
My father is drunk. I know this without seeing him or hearing a sound. I know he is drunk and I am fearful that he might discover me alone in my bed. In flash I decide to hide, under the bed under a blanket, squeezed up tight like a ball. But the bed is narrow, a single bed, and it stands out in the middle of the room.
My father when he arrives, as I knew he must, is able to poke around underneath the bed and find me there without any effort at all. It is impossible for me to hide. My father crawls under the bed and sprawls out on top of me, a suffocating dead weight.
‘Where is my mother,’ I say? ‘Where are the others, my sisters and brothers?’
He does not answer but breathes alcohol soaked fumes all over my face. His smell revolts me and his weight crushes down on me, but I can do nothing.
I cannot get out from underneath him.
Dream 28 January 2011
To use the toilet you needed a key. The lid was otherwise locked. I knew the right person to ask and managed to get hold of one. Into the toilet I delivered a lump of flesh like substance, rather like the after-birth but without a blood supply, pale pink and jellied with strips of white fat. I wondered at its size, amazed that I could lose so much without even noticing its passing until I had looked down and saw it there in the toilet bowl.
I asked a friend about it as we walked along a Collins Street type boulevard. She was nonplussed, so I decided I must be, too. But still it troubled me.
Then I was in the dentist’s waiting room with my husband. The dentist arrived but told us that given he was now 77 years old he must retire. He offered the name of an alternative dentist in Blackburn.
‘Must we travel so far? I asked.
The dentist did not welcome objections. He had noticed the list of names of friends, family and colleagues and proceeded to discuss our telephone list with my husband. We kept the list on the bench near the telephone.
‘We know so many people in common,’ the dentist said. He scrolled down the list with his index finger.
I worried he might discover his own sister E’s name towards the end of the list. E was my old boss from so many years ago, now dead, but in my dream she was still alive.
E appeared to me then and I made a point of showing her my written description of her work on my referral list where I had talked about her as a good practitioner, but this was not how I actually saw her.