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Chronicles of a death foretold? Dream on!

There are theories which posit the notion that the dreamers of dreams, the most vivid dreams at least, are those blessed (or cursed) with an abundance of creativity.

I don’t subscribe to such beliefs – I know my limits – but what goes on in my head of a night-time is lively indeed. There’s not much duller than telling one’s dreams to a reluctant third party so I’m not about to start; but suffice to say that under cover of darkness, I get away with murder. Quite literally. Sorry: virtually. Along with thieving (from petty pilfering to grand larceny); licentiousness (all sorts of indiscriminate sex); smoking (I gave up in May 2015, but will happily chuff through 20 Marlboro Reds in my sleep – and I enjoy every one); and I’m not above torturing my enemies. I don’t just dream in colour – I can hear, smell, touch and taste too. Senses working overtime, as XTC once sang.

Now, if two and two made five, one might assume that without this safety valve, without my dreamland, I would be a sexually incontinent kleptomanic serial killer with a serious nicotine addiction. Which is clearly not the case. Please – come back… don’t run away…

My dreams are fragmented, same as most folks’; there’s no narrative arc. Which is of course the main reason why the recounting of them is so tedious, both for the listener and, actually, the teller. And I don’t believe dreams have any meaning; I read somewhere that dreams are simply the mechanism the mind uses to defragment the brain’s hard drive, and that sounds about right.

And I don’t dream every night – but often as not, when I do it’s one helluva ride. And I love it, every bit of it.

Well, almost. But of late my dreams have become a mite burdensome. To misquote another band, Tears For Fears this time: the dreams in which I’m dying are NOT the best I’ve ever had.

And I seem to be having a lot of them. Three times I carked it, the other night. Three times! First time, I shut down during an Arsenal -v- England football game. An interesting match. Or an interesting idea for one; you know how sometimes you get those ‘versus-rest-of-the-world’ sports fixtures? Like that, but a bit more localised. Who won? No idea, being dead an’ all. I mean, I was on the slab, listening to the commentary – till it fizzled and stopped: the moment of my demise. Second time, I was at my own funeral. Dead by definition, though sentient enough to take in my surroundings as I lay there in a glass-topped casket, gazing up at a very ornate, gilded ceiling: all cherubs and gold-edged fluffy clouds. All in all, quite a restful experience; and I was aware that my interment/cremation was not going to take place until I wanted it to. Which, obviously, was never. And the third? The most realistic, and the most prosaic: driving (my own wheels – not a clown car, not 007’s Aston Martin or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), drunk as a skunk, straight into a lamp-post. But hey, at least I didn’t take anyone else with me.

Irrespective of the fact that there’s nothing to it, that it’s just the brain reconfiguring itself, a night like that is enough to make a person feel a bit out of sorts come the morning. Needing not one but two large flagons of sweet tea.

After which I went to my desk, as per. Fired up my computer, as per. And up came my Merriam-Webster Word of the Day:

Oneiric.

Of or relating to dreams.

Spooky. But it pays to increase one’s vocab, and at least I’ve learned a new word – and, what with a lead-up like that, this one might just stick.

I shall of course be at pains to shoehorn my new word into my next piece of copy. And if I actually learn how to pronounce it in the meantime, so much the better.

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