“Drug-induced Dream in House of Fraser Doorway”


In his constant battle with depression, Will was recently given Mirtazapine to help him sleep in shop doorways. They warned him he might get weird and lucid dreams and they were not wrong. Last night, in House of Fraser doorway…

I was in a nice warm bed with a girl called Nikki with long blue hair, we were naked. I had my hand on her right breast or not quite and she was shielding it or not quite so I thought this would be it but couldn’t be sure until she began to kiss me. I was saying all the right things and she was asking if I meant them and I was saying yes. Then I shifted gently on top of her and was about to go inside her when she struggled and said she didn’t want to, just as someone looked in the door off a long office corridor and I was compromised, worried that rape would be cried. But I knew it wasn’t and I would never.

I was walking down the corridor which led to a cavernous film studio where a crew was setting up, about to fire up a train and have it smash into a wall and blow itself and its passengers to pieces. I was excited, exhilarated, wanted to be on the train and wanted to call my mother who’d been dead twelve years. But just then she phoned me, to tell me she knew a funny story about a guy called Neil but wouldn’t tell me over the phone, I’d have to go up and see her. I was irritated, the irritation exacerbated as she told me my best friend Kim knew the story, but only mother could tell, because she owned the story not Kim. And then she hung up and I’d forgotten to tell her I was starring in a film about a train driver and suicide bomber.

By now the train was on fire, just a white-hot steal shell remaining. The director was directing, shouting at runners, barking orders they were all too keen to obey because they were just starting out, eager and hungry to carve a career – one was even directed to the Grand Canyon where he was to climb down and find a rock, which he did with alacrity and brought it back up to the top of the valley, only for the director to tell him it was the wrong type of rock. He crumbled the rock into monkey dust and fired him on the spot. That runner was me.

A famous actress I know said she hated the director and wondered why I’d put up with his bullshit. I told her I liked it here, I preferred to stay in this world and its imperfections, evils even.

But then the world changed – the crew were building a set on the moon, where we all bounced and buzzed around and played golf, craters for holes. It was a different director now, a kind and caring one who told me I was reinstated because he liked my back-swing and believed it was “narratively integral”.

As I waited between scenes, learning my lines, a ukelele player came up to me and began to syncopate. I gave him my card and he said the logo wasn’t effective, the message thereon unclear. I consulted with the famous actress and she agreed the card would get me nowhere. The ukelele player disappeared for a few moments before returning with a troupe of kids and performed for them, his instrument now electric. He was wearing a strange grey wig and a false beard which he asked me to tug to give it “provenance of authenticity”. And then, playing his electric tune, some rock number, he led the kids towards the canyon and down into its depths.

I think that was the end of the matter but things keep coming back to me, tiny details, thin layers I hope will reinforce meaning. But they don’t, I’m clueless as to the dream’s meaning, narrative and source. And I worry I will never see my mother again and I will never know the story about a guy called Neil.


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