The dream engine doesn’t let me sleep

by , under dream engine, life

I was travelling home by stages and spent the last night in what is in waking life my own town (but apparently in the dream it wasn’t or I could just have gone home), in a derelict house on a little island in the city moat (there is in fact an island in the city moat, but the real one is large and connected by bridges, which this one wasn’t, you had to take a tiny boat).

The house was about the only thing on the island, and the woman taking me there (a small middle-aged woman who looked a bit like our Lutheran landlady in Stolberg, and a bit like the woman from my favourite vegetable stall in the market) tried to dissuade me because it wasn’t safe or comfortable, but I was determined so she came along into the house. It felt like a house-viewing, and indeed it was an okay house and if I’d been looking for a house to buy instead of to just spend a night I’d definitely have considered it! Even with everything that needed to be done to it– a front door that locked and wasn’t missing a huge chunk out of the top would have been first priority. When I was on the stairs to the top floor, people downstairs were calling to me not to do that, to come back, so I went up just high enough to poke my head through and saw a huge light attic room, stripped like the rest but I thought it could be made livable with thorough cleaning and a coat of paint.

The woman made up a bed for me in one of the disused bedrooms one floor below and gave me a lamp she’d repaired. It did give light, but there was a mechanism inside that swung the light bulb any which way on a little articulated arm. “Goodness, I put in a stepper motor instead of of a light fitting,” she said, “that’s good for alerting people but not to read by.” I couldn’t use the light of my phone because even in the dream the thing was broken, but then she got me an electric alarm clock that also gave enough light for reading.

I never got to read or sleep in the bed, though, because a lot of people came who wanted to see this person using the house. They more or less invaded the house and I found myself shooing them out by bunches, but more and more came, some bringing picnic food. Eventually the whole ground floor of the house was a cafe, with a bar where some people sat talking and drinking, larger than it had been when I first entered the house. Someone was frying sunny-side-up eggs in the kitchen. It was a man I knew and trusted so I asked him for help, but he said “when I finish these eggs”. There were lots of them, all going into picnic bags two at a time.

I tried to shoo people out of the house in bunches, and that worked for a while except for the people at the bar and the egg-fryer and his helpers. Eventually there were about six people left, and I got desperate, saying to the egg-fryer “In a while it will be four in the morning and I’ll still have had no sleep!” and I looked at a clock or a watch and noticed that it was already half past four.

I got more desperate, almost melting against the wall screaming, and then I woke up and asked Spouse “did I yell in my sleep?” “No, you didn’t.” “Because I sure yelled a lot in my dream!”

It was 5.30 in waking life by now, and I considered getting up and get it out of my system by reading or writing or music typesetting or a game of NetHack, but went back to sleep instead and actually slept in until eight o’clock, almost two hours past my normal getting-up time. That’s what one gets for missing sleep in one’s dream! I had a short fun dream about a VR game with different kinds of fog clouds, whitish-grey and normally foggy, dark grey and shapeable, dark red and bulbous like a bunch of grapes (which turned into one of the other kinds when beaten with a stick) that I could manipulate to shield between me and my enemies. I want that game! But then I could fly or at least hover in the dream, and a real game of that kind probably wouldn’t have that.

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