December 11th, 2001

2020 lack of vision

creepy dream

Pah. Just got back from a Christmas lunch (the first in a series of two) and I do not feel like working. Groan. Lebanese wine and the best hummous and moutabal in town. (Al Salam, on Park End Street.)

Forgot this dream I had the other night. We were in a church/tomb/temple (very like a room in computer game, simple stone-textured wall and roof and floor, a tomb/altar table in the middle, and on all sides, doors). There was an evil old dead guy we needed to get rid of, all the other dead people agreed and they were helping us, even though that meant we wouldn't be seeing them any more, they were happy about that. We had to set up a sort of exorcism, but the others and the dead people were hiding the details from me, I don't know why.

While they were setting up in the main room, I was off in one of the side rooms. There was a piano and a window, covered with carvings which drifted in an out of focus and vision, as if they too were ghosts, ghosts of long-gone architectural details. I couldn't stop talking and spoke to everything, the carvings and the piano, the walls and the floors, and the dead people, of course, but it was a lot of talk to no effect. I spoke to everything because I didn't know what would talk; the carvings on the window were very chatty, for example (I had a long talk with a red lacquer dragon) but the piano was silent. They spoke to me about everything except what was going on.

The dead people came and went, some opened the doors but most didn't bother, just drifted up through the floor or through the walls. Some just looked a little pale, others were obviously rotting, bones and greened flesh, their appearance was mutable and often changed as I looked at them or spoke to them.

One young man began to sink through the floor as he spoke to me and I clutched at him, cupping his cheeks in my hands as he spoke. As if startled by my touch, his mutability stepped up, and the face in my hands was one moment a skeleton with gaping eyeholes, the next a decayed mass of papery skin, the next the soft face of a young man, only distinguishable from a living person's by a barely discerable pallor. I spent a few moments holding a canvas of human skin stretched over a frame, smeared with flesh-coloured paint, his eyes and hair vague brush-stroke shadows, the pantone number of his flesh-tone on a label on the canvas, as if his mutability had extended to include loose representations of himself as well as his dead body. I held him without disgust; even as a skeleton, he was handsome.

The door opened and I realised that they had cleared the tomb/table/altar from the main room while I had been chatting, leaving a rough scar of stone behind. This made me panic for some reason, and I started demanding to know what was going on. A tiny, sad-faced little dead girl stepped through the doorway. Her feet were sunk into the stone. "He's here," she said. I let go the boy and he sank through the floor. "He's here."

Suddenly the place was full of dead people, moving with a purpose I couldn't guess at. I stood still, not knowing what to do and not wanting to get in the way. A dark mass of shadowy angles suddenly materialised in the middle of the room, and ripped apart one of the ghosts who was standing by the piano. I couldn't help them. There was a faint white glow around me. I didn't know what to do. The room was getting dimmer. I didn't know what to do.

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