It’s so nice to hear from you. It feels as if we haven’t talked for ages. You write, “All along the Thames, boats are on their way to being islands, islands on their way to being boats.” Then something you overheard on the bank near Kew, a woman calling to her little girl: “’Don’t run!’ Then: ‘Daphne! No more running! You’re going to hurt yourself.’” And you add, “There’ll be no more running in Daphne’s life, in case she hurts herself. She’s three.” When I re-read that paragraph of your mail, I experience a weird deja vu, as if you told me this–or at least something similar to this–described some encounter of the same sort–a long time ago. Of course, you couldn’t have, but it’s strange, and the whole content of the scene is strange too, I don’t know why. It would easily fit into the kind of story I am writing now.
Tag Archives: dreams
Buggy tracks in snow. Spindrift blowing off the roofs. Silhouette of a labrador dog hauling the silhouette of a woman across Grove Road; detail from a Lowry of the West London suburbs. Meanwhile the van from Bathrooms At Source–a constant visitor to this pleasant street–ploughs its way responsibly towards the river, first-responder to the morning’s soft catastrophe. Everything is so hushed as he makes his way down! In Barnes, bathroom commerce, second only in religion to kitchen commerce, must go on. He’s closely followed by Bespoke Carpentry. Meanwhile, over in “Burma”, no crates of preserved Spitfires have come to light. Buried Spitfires! The very words are like a knell, awakening the British retroconscious to a deep sense of itself. The earth with which they turn out not to be compacted is the authentic dark chocolate of myth. We dream that Spitfires lie buried in exotic ground, the exact way they are embedded in our diffusing memories of empire. Meanwhile, perhaps the Spitfires dream themselves, in some half-world of suspended purpose, the trope of sci fi war machines made obsolete by time, waking too late. It’s the final reinscription. Ballard would have loved it.
I was in the kitchen talking to someone I knew on the phone. Then I realised she had just come through the door. I said: “I don’t need to be doing this!” We both laughed & switched our phones off. It seemed necessary to have this joke between us to ease the awkwardness we felt. I was also embarrassed about how untidy I had allowed the kitchen to get. Then I realised she was upset about something. Perhaps she even needed my advice. “Do you want to talk ?” I asked her. She did, she said, very much, but instead she started to clear away the pots from the draining-rack. Her manner was so nervous & clumsy that she pulled everything, including the rack itself, on to the floor. There were broken plates everywhere. She scrabbled about in such a panic trying to put things back that she only made it worse. She seemed to be scraping at the crockery and glassware like a dog, pulling things down and dropping them on the floor. When I saw that I became frightened & got out through the kitchen window. A combination of momentum and skill allowed me to catch holds on the wall of the building–window ledges, drainpipes and other features. I was easily able to swing down from fixture to fixture, in precise fingertip control of a kind of dreamy fall. I found an old chair in the street. It was quite small and still looked good, but when I picked it up I saw that parts of it were missing, and when I put it down (on a bench near a phone box) it fell to pieces. I climbed the advertisement hoarding next to the phone box, higher and higher until I was at second or third floor level, then ran along the top of it. I was thinking, “This is exactly like the climbing dreams I used have, in which I was so competent I couldn’t come to any harm.” As soon as I thought that, I woke up.