Isn't it strange how when we dream, whole worlds can come into existence and yet they vanish the moment the alarm pulls us out of them? Well, last night, I had the most amazing and weird dream and it took me to a township I had dreamt about before - few years ago in fact. I can't shake the dream, so I wrote about it.
“Come on, this is our train.” She pulled on the sleeve of my jacket as the train pulled into the station.
I looked over at her, wondering who in the hell this person was I was following across the platform, “Okay.” I picked up my bag and walked over to the steps and she took my bag off me, held my hand and helped aboard. As soon as we turned left into the car, I knew we were in the catering car, “Why are we being seated in the catering car?”
“It’s the last place we could get a seat.” She said.
“You’re gonna be a fat bitch.” A cold voice whispered in my ear from behind.
I turned and looked around, but nobody owned up to the comment, so I kept following her through the darkened cavern of the car, which was filled with over-weight and morbidly obese people who were sitting there waiting for their next meal. They were sitting close enough to the counter that they didn’t have to get up to order their food, it was right there for them.
I felt kinda sorry for them – but also grossed out too.
“Here we are.” She said, “There’s only one seat, and you’ll have to stand up.”
“You know I can’t stand for long periods because of my leg.” I said.
“Well, you can’t sit for long periods because of it either.” She snapped, “Here, sit on me for a bit.” She put her arms around me as the station master blew his whistle and the train lurched.
Soon enough, the sun was creeping over the horizon and our stop had come up. As we disembarked from the catering car, standing on the platform, I realised I had been to this town before. I recognised the tall steeples, the cobble streets and the large, lush green park over in the centre square with the citadel. People looked over at me as I stood there, with her by my side. Those people were in awe, pointing at me as we turned and walked away, and I never understood why they were pointing.
“Hey, wait up!” I called out to her as she walked off with my bags across the red bricks of the road, “I’ve been here before.”
She looked at me, her brown hair blowing, flowing in the breeze, “Yes you have – you remember it well too.”
“Yes.” I smiled, “I was given gifts I couldn’t use.”
Smiling, she turned and kept walking, “Oh, you’ve been using them.”
We walked on through the township and along the gardened boardwalks. The two of us were stared at and pointed at by the people here – those who remembered me, and not her – as we walked along the roads of cobble and up and down laneways which led nowhere all day long.
Then I stopped walking, “Where are we going?”
“Home.” She said, “I don’t remember the address. I was hoping you would.”
“I’ve only visited this town once, how would I know my way around?”
Dropping my bags, she turned on me, “Well, why are you following me?”
“I thought you knew where you were going.” I walked around her and picked up my bags, “Obviously you don’t, so I guess I’ll have to try to remember where I live here – if I do.” Looking around, I walked off, and she followed me along the street to the end where it started to look familiar. Turning right, I found we were only metres from where I lived, “You see, you weren’t far off.”
The landlord peered past her shoulder as she handed over a bag of money, “She’s been gone a long time. You’re damned lucky I still had her place free.”
“I told you we’d be back.” She said, then turned with a smile plastered onto her face, “Come on, you place is still free.”
“Great. I’m tired.” I said walking past the weird-looking, strangely familiar-looking landlord, “Where is it?”
She gave me a key as we walked through the large archway of the driveway; looking up to watch the long road of houses roll towards us like a river – they turned around like a carousel and my front door showed up in front of us.
As I held the key out in front of me, the door clicked open and we walked inside. I was home.
Strange things began to happen while she was still around. I never knew her name – and yet she could answer all my questions without me asking them. From the moment I put my bags down, and turned on the light, I found nothing familiar about the place – and yet my clothes were put away almost immediately and the aroma of a freshly-cooked vegetarian meal was coming from the kitchen; with her there strapped into an apron I’ve never seen before – looking all homey and wife-like. She turned and smiled, “Oh isn’t it lovely we’re home now?”
“Sure it is.” I smiled back, but really I had no idea who this person was. I was playing along, wishing she’d tell me her name.
A door slamming – bashing – before the sun rose one morning woke me from her warm arms. Pulling the covers back, I looked from the window to find my clothes and suitcases had been thrown into the street below.
“Oh my god!” dressing quickly I raced out of the bedroom, down the stairs and out onto the footpath to find there was no such evidence of my items there – and I hadn’t dressed in anything. I was standing there naked in front of the neighbours. I ignored them as she came out of the house with my dressing gown and covered me with it – like I was some prize boxer – whispering hushing words in my ears.
Pulling away, I glared at her, “Who are you?”
“Oh, my dear, if you don’t know by now, you’ll be forever lost.” She smiled, “You’ll be forever untrusting and unworthy... who do you think I am? And where are your suitcases?”
I looked around in the predawn light to find the rubbish truck ambling down the road with them in the back, “Hey! They’re mine!”
“You have to let them go. They’re not good for you.” She stood in front of me.
“Who are you?” I asked again.
“Come inside and we’ll talk.” She took my hand and I knew who she was as she closed the door and kissed me.
“You’re my conscience.”
“Took you long enough.”