Another Day in Space

So I’m driving along and talking to myself as usual. And I’m trying to speak to the air about the dream. I’m back at university. And there’s this girl there and I know who she is but I can’t place her. She’s slight framed with these penetrating eyes. And it seems as though she exists in another dimension. In the dream I find myself having to concentrate hard to get even a tiny glimpse of her. All I know, in the dream, is that I want to see her all the time but I can’t. She slips away from me when I fix my gaze upon her, leaving what look like brightly coloured, smoky ribbons indicating where she was a split second ago; such a small fraction of time, indeed, that it’s as though she might not have been there at all. And I’m really getting vocal in my car, talking it out as I say. And I’m expecting some answers. Thundering down the motorway in the dark, nothing but spots of red and white lights to indicate my surroundings, it’s as though I’m in space. I suppose it went to my head; being alone in the car and alone in the dream. But, there is this girl. And she is everywhere that I am. And I realise, after a while, in the dream, that all my movements are dictated by my desire to see this girl.

Then, without warning, the scene changes, as is so often the case in dreams. And I’m aboard a boat. And it seems to me that the reason everything changed was because I became aware of the motivation for my movements around this approximation of my university created by my subconscious mind. On the boat, which is also a restaurant, it’s as though my memory has been erased. I know that, moments ago, I was looking for something. And that that something had eluded me; lost aboard this mind boat (comprised of many levels and as long as my imagination can fathom) where people busy themselves taking orders and giving them. And I am there, sat at a seat by a porthole with a view out into an immense river. Call it the physical manifestation of my train of thought or lost memory. Through the porthole, on the other side, I see an unknown face looking right through me. I turn away and close my eyes. And, like retina burn, there are these weird ribbons. I press the accelerator to try to get to the point of this visualisation. To arrive at the truth of what is bubbling in my heart. And I’m just wishing that the car had a tongue so that it could tell me that there was some sense to the dream. Because to me it feels more than the usual psychological somersaults of a resting brain. It’s almost as though my heart, whatever that is, had cupped its hands over its mouth until it was too much then screamed a perfect truth in the shape of a girl. Perhaps it was that. Perhaps it wasn’t anything at all. Perhaps I’m just tired. It’s been a long journey and sometimes, when the scenery leaves little to be desired, the mind, or heart, can fabricate that which it needs. Then we arrive at where we’re going, lock the car, get a drink of water and wind down for another day. Another day of red and white lights.

Another day in space.


Ash Hill Radio Test Card

Rain like sheets and the handy windscreen wipers. One packet of crisps between my legs and fields of livestock, going nowhere but the slaughterhouse. And hitting the hill meant the phantom foot kicking in my teeth. The desire was to move on faster and faster. Just eating the road. One hundred miles an hour seemed like the normal speed. Crunching on a fatty, salty crisp and feeling the tug of passing cars. Head full of poetry and hatred. A slug of malice in the chest, hugging the heart. Cigarette flicked out of the window until it’s bright orange at the tip. Trying to imagine what it will be like to press the burning end into a forearm. On the radio there were the voices of the young, well-adjusted classical musicians. Their mouths sounded as though they were made from something different to mine. Delicate, velvet and marble and golden words. Not a puckered gash with compacted crisps jammed in cracked molars. These people were going somewhere without flattening the accelerator to the floor. I saw flashes. A car close to my back bumper. It swerved in a way that seemed deliberate. The voice on the radio was discussing its first year as a conductor for a successful orchestra. The flashing became irritating. What? I was just driving like everyone else.  The voice had had a daughter recently. And he was feeling so peaceful. The car behind began to overtake. And the voices daughter was already waving her hands around like a conductor. And she could repeat phrases sung by the voice. She clearly had an appreciation of music already, this newborn. The car was level with me now. Inside there were three or four youngsters. Two girls and a boy. But their faces were blurred. And, instead of eyes, there were beams of bright, white light. And I became aware of blood pouring from a gash in my cheek. They were cutting me open. I could hear the bass from their stereo. One of the creatures’ ears were flapping, they had no hair. They were in a state of continuous movement. My foot became detached and I lost speed. Their car maneuvered me off the road as the loss of acceleration and steep hill gradually slowed me down to a stop. The other car pulled up in front, shafts of light pouring from their windows. And it didn’t seem like any other drivers were noticing. I became dizzy. I had lost a lot of blood. I could hear another voice. It was coming from the radio. It was thanking someone for their company. Three figures stepped out of the car. They turned to face me. One held a smart phone in front of the group. They appeared to pose for a photo. A trophy. The voice on the radio wished the other voice all the best for the future and, who knew, perhaps there was another brilliant conductor in the daughter. From the smart phone came a massive, red laser; obliterating me, the crisps, the hatred and the nightmare of the slaughterhouse, the never-ending climb.