Last night I dreamed I had been travelling through Europe with my husband. When we returned home it was time for me to sit an examination, something to do with completing my PhD.
I stood at one time in the Laurent café and overheard my current supervisor speaking to my previous supervisor , ‘Is she schooled deeply enough?’ he asked.
I panicked then about the examination. Maybe I did not know enough. I scrounged around in the library for a book on the topic, a thin book, yellow covered, whose title, The Seven Principles of Autobiographical Theory, left me with the feint hope that if I could absorb enough of its details I would be okay.
A man had written the book, this much I remember, but not his name, two single syllabled names, like Jay Hunt.
I took the book with me to the railway station where I planned to take the train to the examination centre. I stood on the platform of the station at the top of a ramp and noticed yet again that the flood waters had risen and were now enveloping the entire platform. I watched the waters dip into my open toed shoes. I wore lacy white stockings and worried that they might get stained from the muddied flood waters.
I waited with a group of fellow postgraduates for the number 23 train, which pulled up eventually, an old ‘red rattler’ as these trains were once called, a sort of Harry Potter train, minus the steam. I sat in a carriage with my young daughter and tried to read the basic principles of the book on autobiography. I repeated the concepts over and over in my head.
We reached our destination and in the flurry to get off the train I left the book behind. As we filed out of the station, the ticket collector remonstrated with a number of passengers who did not have tickets. I had lost my ticket too, but I was not too fussed. Although he complained about the absence of tickets, the inspector let us through.
I was still worried about the examination and somehow as part of her efforts to help me, a woman, whom I can only recognise as an old friend of my mother from over thirty years ago, invited me to have sex with her. The sex was most unsatisfactory and because we were both women we somehow connected through a hose that ran from one vagina to the other. Someone walked in on us and we rushed to a stop, shame faced and hopeful they had not seen too much.
Then I was driving this woman’s truck down Canterbury Road, weaving in and out of the traffic. I was terrified of crashing the truck and felt very out of control. I abandoned the truck for a bus trip back home to Wentworth Avenue. When it came time to get off at my stop I dropped a pile of papers I had been carrying. My long dead father, now alive and sober, offered to help me to pick them up.
The dream, in my memory, came to an end here with the cry of the alarm.