Nothing is more boring than other people’s dreams. When people say: ‘it was really weird… we were in that hotel we like except it wasn’t quite our hotel and the little man on the door, well…it was YOU but it wasn’t…’ you lose interest. But here in the Dream Archive the dreams are more polished. They are dreams transcribed by the long dead dream archivist, Munro Wilson. One cannot help suspecting that he has slipped between the dream and the dreamer. Well, you be the judge. Today’s dream is from the dream heyday of the 1970s when political activism and anti-capitalist ideals gave way to paranoia, roller skates, disco, hedonism and David Bowie. This dream is a timeless one, dreamt in different times by many different dreamers.
SHINGLE DREAM attributed to Mrs Emma Wesson of The Hussocks, South Sea 1972
There is a beach that materializes in your bedroom. Quite unexpectedly. It starts with you bringing back a single piece of shingle. You fell in love with its dark spots and soapy smoothness – the cool consolation it offered for the heats and fire-damp of the heart. And it had an accidental pattern: the white blob on the black background took the shape of a crudely drawn Prehistoric horse.
You carried it away from an area ‘designated of special scientific interest.’ Heavies in rain coats watched you remove the pebble and tailed your VW camper van down dust tracks before you lost them in the pine forest. Now it clicks under your bed, the sound of an Aunt knitting through the night, and by morning there is more shingle, scattered thinly over the floorboards. You are worried about the people who live below and the crunching underfoot as you climb into bed.
A month passes and the shingle does its magic, drawn by moonlight in straight lines across the floor, until one night your bed is raised on whooshing shingle banks, shiny and wet, sweating out their saltiness. The shingle with its polishing and churning, the endless process of smoothing itself, is part of you too and wears away at all extraneous things: people, house insurance,things that you think you want, things that you think about when you’d rather think on nothing, attachments that must be cut in order not to want things again, your bed itself preventing the longed for union collapses under the weight of shingle and seaweed until you lie directly on the shingle with the boom and after boom of the great grey sea, falling into place and polished smooth by the tides and wind.