trauma in dream

Dreams are, mostly, collections of thoughts and memories sewn together by a thin and sprawling narrative. Weight and meaning is negligible. Within an hour of waking images from them fade into translucent frames of memory at the back of the mind. There is a dull, persistent throb in my head, I notice, pulsing.

In the dreams melting from instant recall, a market with an unusual layout over many floors and layers; a doctor’s waiting room with a number of entrances, into which I would enter with a silent comedian’s grace. Moments of hyper-realism in dreams always interests me – each colour and style on fabric stalls, seeing potatoes being sliced, the shimmer of water on the backs of dead fish. Having to walk through a procession of actors in costume, even sense the stutter in the walk as some blocked my path. Somewhere (or time) else in the dream a journey around a dismantled railway line, and a swooping camera shot straight from the hyperactive cinema.

The meaning of all this is clear, at least deep down. Many elements are, of themselves, meaningless; memories given a storyline as though cut-and-spliced and glued together. The resulting floatlessness knocks me, the remaining grip of sleep tightens, pinches. My natural reaction is to assume meaning, even warning, but I should know better than that.

From the corner of one eye, subtitles flash across the screen like painted snails.