Quite an elaborate dream last night, one that would have been expensive to produce if it was a movie. I’m in Coburg, except that it’s not anything like the real Coburg. I’m in a huge arcade or mall that is absolutely packed with people, so much so that it feels a little claustrophobic. There are some strange characters among the crowd, like a very small man with luminous grey-white eyes. I walk around the labyrinthine corridors of the mall, dizzied by the hum of human enterprise, searching for a way out. I eventually find an exit that leads onto a dirt path with fields on either side of it. There are children playing there and I stop to talk to them for a while before a woman, who I imagine to be their mother, approaches. She greets me and we chat while the kids continue to play. Her voice is beautiful: rich and warm and I find myself thinking that she must be a wonderful mother. She walks away and I continue to play with the kids as she lies down in a puddle in the middle of the path and tells us that she is going for a swim.
It’s the second dream I’ve had like this, where I’m in a mall that makes me feel claustrophobic. A few nights ago, I was in also in Coburg – a theme, then, too – but a different one again: not the Coburg from last night’s dream and not the real one either. This one is much more depressing, populated by people that I seem to know are unemployed and who slink around the corridors, resting or lying against the walls, languid and downtrodden. Down a long corridor, I come to a bank (or at least a cashier’s desk) where a hundred or so people have lined up for something. They look impatient and annoyed and, although I know I should be joining the queue, I can’t bring myself to do it as I know the wait will annoy me, too. I say, ‘fuck this’ to myself and walk away.
Also on the theme of claustrophobia, I recently dreamt that I was living with AH in an immense apartment building, tiered or wedge-shaped in structure, like a giant set of steps. I’m out on our balcony, and below me, I catch sight of a couple who look a lot like our real-life neighbours, A and B, who we like very much. I speak to them and they invite us for dinner. We go down and eat on their balcony, which although exactly the same as ours, I think is better for some reason. Afterwards, they tell us that they have a great view from the second storey of their apartment. We go inside and follow them up a spiral staircase that becomes increasingly narrow as we climb. I eventually reach a point where the space is so tight that I get stuck between the wall and the balustrade. I call for help, but the others have disappeared. I struggle and struggle to free myself, but the more I do so, the tighter I become wedged in and, finally, I come to the horrifying point of being completely immobilised.
I’m with a group of people that I don’t know and we are attempting to solve a mystery or, at the least, answer a question. I don’t remember many of the details, but at a point, I’m inside a warehouse with a very high ceiling. The others and I seem to be squatting there and we know that the building is soon going to collapse. I stand on a walkway suspended from the ceiling and see a huge tapestry against the far wall, one that hangs almost all the way down to the floor below. After what seems like hours of attempting to solve the mystery, my father appears and, without saying as much, we all know that he’s found what we’re looking for. He takes us to a performance, which he promises is very beautiful. To get to it, we must stand on a metal platform and, although I’m not aware of it happening, I know somehow that it takes us down very deep into the earth. We sit in a low-lit circular room with metal walls and watch two figures, a man and a woman, made of very sinuous wood, simultaneously dancing and tearing each other apart. The process occurs gradually: each figure is split down bit by bit until they become nothing more than fine filaments that twist and swirl around each other.
I’m being chased. I’ve done something wrong but I don’t know what. I’m finally apprehended on an old bridge that belongs somewhere in a city like Paris or London. The next thing I know, I’m in a police car being taken to jail. With me in the back seat of the car is Donald Trump, who chats away to me as if we’re old friends and seems entirely unperturbed by the fact that I’m a criminal suspect. Donald tells me that there is something wrong with his son, something to do with his brain. He has, according to Donald, air trapped in it and the doctors are considering whether or not he will require an operation. The driver looks at me through the rear-view mirror and seems as confused as I am about the details of the condition.
I’m on holidays, somewhere on the coast, with Mark Wahlberg. We’re in a large park playing frisbee while we wait for a boat to arrive. Wahlberg is exceptionally good at frisbee, throwing it to me across vast distances and landing it straight into my hands. I’m nowhere near as good as him and feel embarrassed and inadequate. We eventually board the boat with a bunch of other people. It’s not a yacht as I’d been expecting, but a huge boat, like a naval frigate or something like that.
Later, I’m on a beach. Wahlberg is gone. I jump from rock to rock in the water, straying farther and farther from the shore. Then, the tide begins to come in and I attempt to make my way back in. I climb higher and higher on the rocks to keep my distance from the incoming water and eventually find myself stuck high up, too far to jump down to the sand below. I’m stranded.
Later in the night, I’m out with a group of people walking through city streets on our way to a party. They are my friends but no one that I actually know. I feel uneasy around them somehow, and a strange thought occurs to me: am I myself or someone else? I feel like an actor in a film that has run so long that they have forgotten who they really are. We reach the party, which is at someone’s house. At a point, I realise I’ve lost my wallet. I search and search for it for what feels like a long time and the revelry of the party begins to grate on my nerves. I eventually find it, but people begin telling that it’s not mine. The police arrive and I try to convince them that it belongs to me, that I’m sure of it. I go through the wallet, searching for my ID, but find that all the cards have someone else’s name on them. I feel upset and confused. Perhaps, I’m not, after all, myself? Sometime later, we are on a bus going home and the mood is tense; the others are now suspicious of me; they think I’m a thief. It’s a terrible feeling.
A long dream last night. First, I’m in France, where I seem to be living now. My father, SDB and I go to visit my uncle, PB, who now lives in the country and has a large orchard and a vineyard, where the grapes grow on lattices above our heads. I look at the vines closely and find that they are covered in large, bright green caterpillars with white spikes all over them. They look nasty and I begin to worry that they will drop onto me. How it is that my uncle hasn’t noticed them or done something about them?
In the second part of the dream, I’m back in Melbourne. AH drives us to see a house that we’re thinking about buying, which seems to be somewhere in Fitzroy. The house is a terrace in a small row on a very nice, leafy street. My dad, SDB and my mum have come along to see it as well. The owners of the house turn out to be a family that we know from when I was growing up near Ballarat. The father, PV, greets us at the door, looking very old and shrunken with age. I find myself thinking that he does not look well at all. He takes us upstairs to the living area, a stunningly beautiful room with a skylight that runs in a ring around the room where the walls join the ceiling. The walls are lined with bookshelves. The windows are either art deco or nouveau and statues and other artefacts from that era fill the room to the point of it looking slightly cluttered. The mother, HV, is there too, looking old and a little bereft. I find myself thinking that she also seems unwell, but perhaps more mentally than physically. I start to get the feeling that the sale of the house is a reluctant one, that something, some financial pressure, is forcing their hands.