For months now I haven’t been able to remember any of my dreams. Nothing unusual there you might think but for me dreams are fairly regular night-time companions and habitually I remember them in full. Often they include people I’ve never met, places I’ve never visited and colour palettes unlike the colours of my waking hours. The colour schemes are the giveaway, they signpost the truth, that the dream isn’t real.
This morning I woke up at 5am but was too tired to stay awake so I pulled up the duvet and returned to slumber. During that extra few hours’ sleep I had a dream. There were no strangers or strange places, just me looking at myself in a mirror. The colours were all as they should be, everything seemed normal and ordinary. I was sat in front of the mirror in the spare room, the sun was shining outside and the leaves were fluttering on the trees. I was looking at myself, grooming my hair with a tortoiseshell brush and untangling long lustrous tresses of amber, goldenrod, cinnamon and tigers eye. I was talking to myself, almost having a solitary quarrel with my reflection and I could hear my voice saying “no, no, no, this isn’t right, this is a dream.” It seemed so real, everything looked so familiar and I spoke to myself several times with increasing frustration before finally opening my eyes, shaking my head and dragging myself back to the here and now.
I knew it wasn’t real before I’d even woken and in spite of my mind’s conspiracy to convince me otherwise. I had long hair, the hair I had three years ago that cascaded over my shoulders and half way down my back. That hair disappeared in September. Damn you Machiavellian imaginings but don’t assume you’ll bring me feelings of despair.
By this time next year it won’t be just a dream.