The dream engine sends a bus

by , under dream engine, life

I’d been visiting an aunt — I don’t have many aunts left, and I don’t think the dream aunt was one who actually exists in waking life. The house was the previous one we lived in though in a different town and much further from the station than the real house is. And this was part of the problem: I had to take a train at about 11, and when I got off the bus at the station I realised that my handbag must still be at the aunt’s house.

I searched frantically for a bus schedule at the station, but when I’d finally found one I saw a 170 bus pull up in front of the station, the right one to get back to the house! When I got on it the driver called me back to swipe my transport pass. (which I actually had! so I could have gone on the train with it!) Usually it lives in my purse in my handbag, but when I’m travelling it’s occasionally in my coat pocket, so let’s call it that. I wish it had been in my phone case in my coat pocket so I could have called someone, like the aunt to warn that I was coming back and/or home to warn that I’d be late and might even miss the last train, but the dream engine didn’t conveniently provide a phone. In fact I’d been thinking of asking one of the station staff to use their phone but I didn’t know my aunt’s number.

At the back of the bus a woman was smoking, but when I objected to that she ignored me so I went to the front, where an old man was smoking a little cigar! “You can’t smoke in here,” I told him, but he said “Yes, I can.” Then the driver came from the cabin (while the bus was still miraculously going) and lit a cigarette as well. I pointed out the “no smoking” sign but the driver seemed to think it didn’t apply to her, or indeed any of her passengers. “Well, if you’d like to sit in the reek of my vomit, just keep smoking!” I said — not that it was that bad but it did make me feel physically sick.

I half woke up around that time and tried frantically to finish the dream, as one does.

I remember a conversation on the bus — probably the first one, come to think of it — about taking a berth on a ferry on the day crossing to get some sleep in the middle of a long journey, “especially when you’ve come all the way from Poland on the train”, paying for the whole cabin if you could afford it or else hoping it would be empty because it was daytime — but that was no option for me because while I didn’t live in the same town as my aunt, it wasn’t across any significant body of water. I did consider a hotel, but woke up completely before I even knew if I got my bag back.