I’ve been having all these dreams about forgetting. Or remembering.
They are seemingly quite mundane but always appear fatal. I had forgotten about tea. I was given a cup. The world was 3D and I had been living as if it was 2D. What I thought was a piece of paper turned out to be skin. We have been inside a maze for fifty years and I remember the way out. I was somebody else’s imaginary friend, then suddenly real and culpable for all the decisions that I hadn’t realised I’d made.
One night I dreamt I’d called up a radio help-line, Your Problems Solved, 9-10pm Every Tuesday on Tropical FM and told Jan Simon that I missed the woman I loved live on air. Jan said that was OK and produced a poem I had written aged 9 and a half for audience satisfaction.
The poem read:
On Tuesday you left for
Andrea, Benjamin, Carlos and You,
Sent over with love to Timbuktu
If I miss you, I’ll see you soon-
Im coming to visit in my baltic canoe,
all the lost people in Timbuktu.
I remember thinking, this has to be pre-recorded.
When I woke up it became apparent that I was not in London but Timbuktu. The streets were all the same but I was aware of a difference. I walk past Mali Kebabs on my way to work and wonder if it was here when here was London. All the lost people in Timbuktu. Had I always lived here?
I’ve since come to the conclusion that perhaps there is just one location and many ways of inhabiting it. Timbuktu and London are where I walk and also here is Haiti and Rouen and probably Pluto, definitely occassionaly the 1920s or your backyard circa 1997. The sky is blue aquatint and the sand – most of what was South London is sand in Timbuktu- is coloured gold. You might say that I was happy, if you were prone to say such things. Most of what I feel now is calm, a great and unending calm.
Now I dream of London and of things I can’t recall.
In one dream I sit in freshly laid tarmac and watch a girl in a black polo neck walking in the opposite direction. I sit upright as if gaining consciousness and I scream. The girl stops. I do not want to disturb her journey so I become quiet.
She walks on.