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Knowing the Signs

Bit of a random factoid post here, probably more of a mnemonic,visual use to me than it will mean anything to you, however, It’s interesting of you are a dream geek. I’m striving for lucidity in dreams again. I’ve enjoyed a few lucid dreams over the years, as mentioned in the previous post, my twenties was a time when I put more conscious attention to the matter.

After many years and countless solitary sessions of searching for the answers to life’s mysteries, I have returned to where I began. Dreams. It simply boils down to the following personal philosophy:

We spend roughly a third of our total life spans asleep and dreaming. A third.

Even in its most common state, the nightly dream is a vibrant world of limitless possibilities and personal symbology. Without  emphasis on the esoteric, it is a realm in which the living can commune with the dead, where alien life can be encountered, where one engages with archetypes, where other worlds or dimensions exist etc. Everyone experiences these things yet we do so passively, as a kind of automatic witness to frequent oddness, where the absolute strangeness is processed after the event with a shrug and a forgetting before the continuation of the day cycle.

I once read a philosophical point of view that happened to mention that the truth of who and what we are is something we will spend our lives looking for answers to and that the collective illusion is that we seek these things externally, with little consideration to the notion that these things lie within.

As I mentioned in my last entry, my first ever lucid dream had such a powerful influence upon me, I have not been able to shake off the afterglow of it even though it was nearly sixteen years ago. The problem I had after it occurred, was being able to make it happen again at will. I wasn’t self disciplined enough to stick with the assorted daily practices to help make it happen again and on the few occasions when it would, I found that I lost lucidity very quickly to become frustratingly passive in my perception of events. I stopped reality checking, I eventually stopped trying altogether. Lucid dreams pretty much concluded and now I think I was foolish to let go of them, especially with my ongoing life long fascination with dreaming.

It just seems absurd to be a passenger of dreams when you could be the driver, because if the experience is so immersive, if you wish to visit the stars, you can, if you wish to talk face to face with Buddha, you can, if you wish to talk to a long lost loved one, such as a grand parent, it is all possible and seemingly equally as real as reality presents itself. To be lucid is to be engaged in a highly unusual paradox, you are both awake and asleep. I’m absolutely intrigued by the potential for exploration and the possibilities that may accompany it. I’m seeing lucidity as a gateway to a much more profound and greater universe, without the need to ingest an external substance to have the experience.

This entry is pre-lucid, that is to say, I’m working on creating the right conditions again to invoke the state of consciousness where I realise that I am experiencing the dream. This entry contains some personal reoccurring symbols that generally seem to be significant in my subconscious based upon their frequency. Some are reasonably regular, others are a little more obscure, but they all share the common ground of being constant symbols over the course of my dreaming years. I guess as I’m doing this, I’ll flesh the images out with a little exposition.

The Eagle Transporter from Gerry Anderson's 'Space 1999'

I have lost count of the many times that an Eagle Transporter has appeared in some form during my dream sleep. It was the first space craft I ever fell in love with, even as a child I had a great appreciation of the finer points of its design. I pestered my parents for the die-cast Dinky toy version and became quite obsessed with it. Needless to say, I’m certain that  my subconscious attachment to the space craft has been the basis of its ability to turn up randomly during dreams. I mostly dream of seeing models of it, always an unexpected design variation that yields surprise and fascination. When I have looked online for a decent image of one, I have come to appreciate that my fixation isn’t necessarily unique, and that other people seem to share a love for it. Complicating matters somewhat, it would appear that the Eagle has been through many design modifications from fan designs and alternative types that were featured in the original 1970’s TV series. From a personal point of view, it stands that I really should ask myself whenever I see an Eagle Transporter “Am I dreaming?” or just give myself a good pinch. I see Eagles in my dreams at least three times a year.

R2-D2 is another reoccurring icon, although less frequent than the Eagle Transporter. Perhaps its presence in my dreams just stems from my childhood sci-fi roots as it was another object of my initial attachments during my formative years. (Thinking about it, it would probably explain why I’ve collected a few models and toys of it over the decades) R2-D2 is a slightly more stable dream object, it tends to remain relatively unmutated by my mind. Having said that, I once dreamt that I peered through a small aperture in some exotic hardware, when I clapped my eyes on the circuit board within, all the micro chips were miniature R2 units. Since the Star Wars prequels, my attachment to this little robot has waned a little, it appears in dreams once every couple of years.

Tornados are a strangely reoccurring dream phenomena. I say strangely as 1. I’ve never seen one in reality (footage doesn’t count) and 2. I don’t think they represent a weather phenomenon when they’re inside my head. I’ve had a few dreams where spiritually advanced beings have descended from the heavens using tornados as a kind of transportation. I can remember times when everyone has fled in terror, I’ve been tempted to run also but something has instinctively kept me waiting for the tornado to get closer. Each time something rather magical has happened as a result of keeping my nerve and waiting for it to arrive. Frequency of Tornado dreams: about twice a decade.

Returning to places like some kind of ghost haunting past abodes often features in my internal world architecture. One place that often springs up is one of my old flats from when I lived in Bristol, in a place called Ashley Road. The dreams are often quite unpleasant, I find myself moving back in, trying to establish a new residence. I often feel defeated by the very act of my being there again. They say that dreams of the house represent ‘self’, it seems to ring true. I see returning to Ashley road as a fear of moving backwards. In reality, times there were not particularly happy, I was still trying to find my path in life and the results were often mixed. I think it’s impossible for places to not leave their residue, good or bad, ingrained in one’s spirit.

I’d sometimes reflect upon the other characters who lived there and say to myself “We were all in the Ashley road of our lives” It was a place of transience, of self induced difficulties, of psychodrama. When we were ready, we all moved on while new people moved in to work their shit out.

Another former location of residence I periodically return to is my old bedsit at Wick Road in Bristol. Just mentioning it and bearing in mind the other previously mentioned abode make me realise that both places left quite a psychic fingerprint on my subconscious mind. I can attribute that the the extreme emotions I felt in both places. There were periods of happiness in both, there were also times of deep unhappiness and mental anguish. No surprise really that I return to them in some of my uncomfortable dreams. Historically, I lived in Wick Road, then moved on to Ashley Road, they occupy the same continuum of the period from 1994-2004 (which I generally cite as the most difficult era of my youth)

Returning to the Wick road flat tends to exhibit a very similar vibe to the Ashley Road dreams, that Is to say that, If if find myself back there, I always feel like I’ve taken some kind of evolutionary step backwards. The feeling is always one of defeat and the familiarity of the most miserable emotions I felt living in both. Now I’m bringing these icons into focus, I recognise that both places always present themselves in night time settings and they both share the same characteristics of having unexpected changes in their interior architectures. This may be due to the very nature of dreams, from the point of view of a person aiming for lucidity, if nothing else, the modified interiors should be seen as a massive indictor that a dream is occurring. I find myself back at Wick Road- at least once a year.

I can think of no other significant anchor point for comfort and security than my grandmother’s house back in my hometown. In terms of personal locations from my memories, it represents the place of consistency and stable continuity. I began my life there. Although my wonderful grandfather died in 1981, my grandmother remained living there until her own death in 1996. Throughout my life until that painful year, a visit to see her was always accompanied by a simple feeling of comfort and welcomeness. I find it no surprise at all that I still periodically find myself back there. Sadly since Nanny died, my dreams of being there have often been tainted in some way by the knowledge that she is no longer here. They aren’t nightmares as such…only the ones where I return to find the house empty, in decay or with someone else living there. At other times I return as If I have been a time traveller, I walk through the kitchen door to that old familiar feeling of comfort and peace, she is still there. I often find myself producing a camera and suddenly wanting to photograph everything I can as I can’t quite believe my luck for having the opportunity to be with her once again, my desire to photograph her environment is a need to have some physical record of how things were, solidifying visual keepsakes.When I think of achieving lucidity, a conscious, self aware return to this house is one of my primary objectives. These dreams occur on average twice a year.

OK, I could go on and I’m going to but It will be in a second entry. Part 2 will feature in the section ‘Level 2’ which requires a password. If you are interested in reading Level 2 entries, you’re going to need to make yourself known to me, either via Facebook or one of my other social media connections. Sorry, you are the faceless internet you are anyone combined with everyone. I don’t mind sharing some personal information but I like to know who I’m sharing it with.

He Craved Lucidity.

As HIAB-X.COM evolves and fills with more content, I’ll be dedicating more of my writing to  experiences with altered states of consciousness. I haven’t deliberately meddled with my perceptions for many years now although the historical legacy of my adventures during my twenties still has a very profound impact on my world view today. I’m not ashamed of where I’ve taken myself, I sought answers to questions that couldn’t be adequately be answered by anyone else’s written accounts, I had to see things and experience them for myself.

During the period of my twenties, probably somewhere around 1996, I began taking an interest in the phenomenon of lucid dreaming. I’d read a fair amount about the subject and felt a natural gravity towards experimentation with techniques suggested to induce one.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept, it’s pretty straight forward. Ordinarily, everyone dreams, you may not always remember it but it’s a hardwired biological fact. If, like me, you are fortunate to have good dream recall, it logically follows that all dreams as most of us experience them, are events that occur in the night, where the dreamer remains completely unaware of the condition of being in a dream until awakening in the morning. At this point, the awareness of the dream is that of a collection of fragmented, recollections of what had happened in the dreamers mind at night.

Happy with that definition? Good.

OK, a lucid dream is a dream in which the dreamer’s critical faculties kick in and conclude  with the general notion “Oh, this must be a dream!” or thoughts to that effect. Most of us have experienced this also. From my own experiences and speaking with countless friends about it, many people gain this brief insight during uncomfortable dreams and nightmares only to awaken from the dream a moment later. The dream is lost and we are safely back in the reality of being in bed in the dead of night.

There is another way of going about it, the one in which the dreamer gains the self awareness of the situation at large and remains in that awareness as the dream continues.

This is the proper art of lucid dreaming and at best, it can be very tricky to attain this state either regularly or for any significant duration.

The Nineties was an exciting era for technological innovation, particularly for the emergence of gadgets that suitably fell into the niche category of ‘Techno-shamanic devices’. These were things like the early Mind machines and creations like Stephen LaBerge’s ‘Nova Dreamer.‘ I’ll cover Mind machines in other post, for now, I’ll keep on topic with the Nova Dreamer.

The Nova Dreamer was a device designed to be worn during sleep and resembled a slightly over sized eye mask.It contained a small computer situated above the centre of the eyebrows which had infrared sensors in place just above the eyelids. What it it did was very clever, it would detect when the sleeping wearer was going into REM sleep (The mental state where dreams begin to occur, then it would gently flash tiny LED lights just above the eyelids which in turn would appear as a light orientated visual cue within the dream. The cue of the lights would not last long but the theory was, that the will and attention of the wearer, hoping to have a lucid dream, would be sufficiently invoked to a point where the cue was understood and lucidity could begin.

A certain degree of mental preparation was also involved, simple daily practices such as keeping a dream diary, employing critical thinking to discern the multitude of ‘unlikely’ occurrences that might suggest that ordinary linear reality was not being experienced.

There was also the practice of ‘reality checking’ whereby the would-be lucid dreamer should take pause during certain random points during the waking day and perform some brief mental tests to ascertain that a dream was either occurring or not occurring.

I’m pretty certain that nothing much has changed in the routines and practices of the budding lucid dreamer. I was particularly interested in using the mask as it seemed like a good shortcut to lucid dream induction. Although effort was involved, there was also a little bit of electronic help at hand. I briefly had access to a Nova Dreamer which I’d obtained on a trial basis. Unfortunately for me, I found the mask incredibly uncomfortable to go to sleep with, as it was quite rigid and felt like a clunky facial object. I’d wake up every morning with it somewhere next to me in bed and no recollection of having experienced a lucid dream. Even though I’d followed all the instructions that accompanied it, including a rather in depth course in lucid dream induction, I just couldn’t get on with the mask. Within the safe period of my trial, I repacked it and sent it back to the company who’d supplied it.

Irony ultimately ensued, on the day I returned my briefly owned Nova Dreamer, I went to bed and experienced my first ever lucid dream.

The Dream.

It began with a false awakening, I remember sitting up in my sofa bed and feeling a momentary disorientation. I was in the right bed but it had somehow shifted position within the bedsit I was living in. I just couldn’t fathom why this should be and promptly decided to try a reality check, I took a look at my hands. (As suggested in the lengthy procedures outlined in A Course in Lucid Dreaming) I was immediately surprised to see that I held a tube of Colegate Toothpaste between my hands. This immediately began the realisation that I was in fact experiencing a dream.

The sheer thrill and excitement of this awareness began to destabilise the dream, I could feel the room around me beginning to fade and vibrate as if it were a bubble about to pop. Fortunately as I was quick enough to realise this, I returned my gaze to my dream hands and felt a general calming down of my surroundings. A sense  of stability descended and I hoped out of bed.

I was struck initially by the appearance of my bedsit in its dream form. It looked like the place I actually lived in, the layout was almost the same yet all personal objects decorating the abode were other worldly and unfamiliar. I briefly took notice of a black pyramid ornament sitting on top of my TV set. The object resonated faintly glowing red lines that looked like drifting parallel laser beams. I was fascinated yet at the same time hungry for further experience of my environment, I wanted to see what the outside world looked like and promptly left the bedsit via the exterior kitchen door. I was incredibly unprepared for what I would then discover.

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=intJbX4OUR4&feature=youtu.be’]

In reality, my back garden was nothing special; some compacted soil and a horrible little Hawthorn tree.

Until that point, I'd never given fairies serious thought.

In my dream reality, the garden was the same scale but had now gained two rows of parallel trees evenly spaced on opposite sides of the garden to each other, i think there were six trees in total and they were swarming with flying life forms that looked like fairies from folklore. The only noticeable difference with these fairies was that they had  flickering lights glowing from their backs, the lights appeared to fan and had a fluttering wing like appearance. The beings took no notice of my presence, my dream jaw was on the dream floor at the sight of them but then I was distracted by yet another surprise; I felt a warm air current breeze over my bare arms. It caused me to look around and notice the radiant sun. It was a beautiful, non blinding giant orange orb hanging in a golden sky. Vivid to behold, probably four times greater in size than the brilliant sun of reality. I was noting as I witnessed this, the vivid hyperreality of the situation, everything before me stood in vibrant, tangible,infinitely detailed form. This observation appeared to occur in my head as a thought processing the perceived world before me.

I looked down to check my body was still there, I felt quite unbothered by the fact that I seemed to be naked. I briefly focussed on my left nipple and I decided as this was all happening in a dream, that perhaps I could shift form. Was there any reason why not?

No. I willed my body to shift gender and it immediately responded. I could hear a noise like air filling a balloon as I watched my chest suddenly inflate into two hairless, perfect female breasts. In retrospect, I regret that I didn’t explore further below but I was reeling in psychological awe at the simple effectiveness at willing the transition. I reflect repeating the phrase over and over to myself “This is a dream, this is a dream…”

I looked up again to see over to the corner of the garden, I noticed that there was an open gate that wasn’t normally there, I took steps towards it and briefly recognised a distinct similarity to the garden gate of my best friend’s old house, even the paving leading into this other garden looked the same… I started to walk through and would have continued my exploration had it not been for the sense of physically acute sensitivity in my left nipple. I looked down and saw that it had become erect, in a perfectly female way so that it was a little fleshy raspberry shape. I couldn’t help but touch it with my fingers, It felt solid, utterly tangible and full of sensation. I started to laugh, a proper belly laugh, at the absurdity of the experience, and that unfortunately, was all it took to wake me up.

Waking up was a strange and heady mix of excitement, the continuity of being conscious from the state of lucid dream to ordinary consensus reality was practically seamless and so on a very rare occasion for me personally, my waking mind was sharp and supercharged. I felt like some kind of time traveller or super human with the ability to jump from one universe to another. The memory of the experience rocked my world for the rest of the day, and in many respects the rest of my life until now. I cannot adequately convey the extraordinary other worldliness of walking through a dream with present awareness perfectly intact.

Since that fateful day in 1996 I have had several other lucid dreams, mostly occurring spontaneously. A few of them were clustered around that original episode. I remember watching Inception the movie when it came out and thinking how accurate the scene was when the streets of Paris reached into the sky then folded over to make a curved reflection of the city.

Around 1996 or 1997 I’d experienced another lucid dream where I looked across the dream city of Bristol, thought of travelling to another part of it and seemed to will a large urban swathe of the cityscape to come rushing towards me as if on rails, my dream feet never walked a step.

Enter the Remee.

A chance conversation with an old friend on Facebook recently reminded me of dream machines, which in turn sparked a reminder of the frustrating Nova Dreamer. I hadn’t forgotten it in spite of its clunky and uncomfortable liaison with my head, I loved what it represented and admired the ingenuity of its design. I never liked the price tag however.

In thinking of it again, I decided to see if time and technology had perhaps refined the design, and I was initially disappointed to discover that it appears to be a discontinued product. I checked the Lucidity Institute’s page on the device and noted that they mentioned that someone else has devised a similar device called ‘The Remee’. Following the link took me to the Remee homepage, and I was thrilled to see that some guys have developed a superb looking sleep mask that operates on the same principles as the Nova Dreamer, even better still, at a very accessible fraction of the cost.

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03ouH9Pw_sk’]

I haven’t had a lucid dream for about a year, when I last had one it was frustratingly short, my mind has been generally unprepared for things like reality checks etc so I have found that I tend to reach lucidity briefly before slipping back into a non self conscious state of ordinary dreaming. Needless to say, I’d very much like to acquire a Remee in the near future.

As a dream artist, such a tool will be an invaluable investment, as an adventurer into altered states of consciousness, a chemical free solution into really travelling to the wild side of reality makes this too good an opportunity to ignore. The general demands of day to day living have really tempered my former psychedelic exploration down to a base line of zero activity for at least sixteen years, I’ve had opportunities but generally passed them up in favour of keeping the rest of my life on track and running smoothly as possible. My general muse and drug of choice for creativity has been my fortunate ability to recall most of my nightly excursions in dreams. If Dr Rick Strassman is to be believed, then, these nightly visions I (we all) experience, are largely thanks to naturally occurring DMT released in the Pineal gland. Once again, to use technology to make the most of this wonderfully quirky side of neurochemistry is too good to miss.

When I’ve acquired a Remee, I’ll update these pages and start posting my written and visual results. In the meanwhile, I’ll post some links for you relating to points I’ve mentioned earlier in this post.

Lucidity Institute

The Remee

Dr Rick Strassman

A Slight Case of Drowning.

Back in the early eighties, I briefly knew a little kid called Anton, who lived a few houses away. Our friendship concluded when my stepfather intercepted Anton just as he was about to smash a house brick down on my head whilst I was playing in the garden with my back turned. Funnily I hadn’t given the boy a moments consideration since our parting of company.

Odd then to encounter him in my frequently vivid otherworld during sleep a couple of nights ago. I’d been running along a grassy path that seemed to run along the edge of a cliff at night. I was sure someone was out to get me, I’m pretty certain that’s why I was running. I paused for a moment by a tree precariously balanced on the cliff edge . Impossible as the situation was, Anton jumped out at me from behind the tree. He was in a state of rage, he was my pursuer, he was still a nine year old boy. Anton was lashing and punching at me, It took a moment to decide a course of remedial action so I used both my hands and picked him up by his head.

“Don’t try that shit on me!” I said “I’ll crush your bloody skull with my bare hands!”

In the heat of the moment, I felt like I meant it. In spite of being held at arms length by his head with his little legs impotently dangling and kicking off the ground, Anton continued to snarl like an animal ,still swiping his clenched fists towards my face. Feeling resentment and frustration, I slung him by his head over the edge of the cliff. His body somersaulted like a discarded rag doll, out of sight. I curiously peered over the edge to see that at the foot of the cliff some 60ft below, was a giant swimming pool with its pale blue water glowing with some form of submerged illumination. It crossed my mind that Anton would probably drown, so I quickly performed a dive towards the area where his body had splashed.

My body shot into the water like an arrow, I plummeted down and down until I reached the bottom of the pool. I noted that my ears had a sharp pain as the water pressure had increased significantly. An idle thought occurred to me in that brief moment; my ears would probably be bleeding and It might be a good idea to swim back up to the surface. I began my watery ascent but seemed aware that I was rising more slowly than I felt I should. I heard a voice say something like *gasp* “He’s going to breathe in!” and it was true, I could feel the urge to inhale building up as I tried desperately to reach the air above me. I swam upwards in desperation, feeling as if my feet were made of concrete.

Again a voice said “He’s going to breathe in!” and it was true, my lungs were clawing at my nostrils which were slowly starting to draw in water.

“He’s going to breathe in!” again. The surface of the pool still ten or so ft away, I took an almighty breath inwards, knowing all the while that It was water filling my lungs.On this rare occasion it was a relief to awaken with an abundantly air filled gasp.

Walking Through The Morse Code Rain

I could tell you that I was trapped on the top deck of an abandoned old double decker bus somewhere on the promenade of Brighton. Yelling through a little sliding window to passers-by below.

“Help! Help! I’m trapped on this bus”

I was alone and a group of Japanese tourists just sauntered by as if my escape pleas were some sort of live entertainment. Everything about this situation was just wrong. Quite a few people passed but nobody looked up to see me in my desperation.

There was a commotion from the lower deck.

People.

I clambered down the stairs to see a group of teenage boys in scruffy school uniform piling on the bus, the doors were now clearly open.

I suppose you could say the boys looked a little like Etonian toffs on a day trip.

“How did you get in?!”

I asked.

“Duh! I pressed the manual door button,stupid.”

Said one of them.

I didn’t get off the bus because one of the boys had started driving it. That is how the brief transition occurred, that I was now in a darkened cinema, watching a film, an abstract animation of an old red double decker bus parked in a vast landscape with a red cloud formation swelling up in the sky to the left field. An audio waveform pulsed away in the top of the screen and began to rain lines of black ink and morse code across the expanse of the rest of the screen. A solitary man walked in the dash-dot droplets, devoid of concern for how linguistically drenched he might become.

Neatly transitioning to the arrival at an peculiar old factory standing like a giant cube of decaying bricks ,steel and concrete within a wasteland of extinct industry.

The boys got off the bus, which they’d parked in a cargo bay within the building’s interior.

I was immediately taken back by the gigantic installation of a suspended cuboid structure bearing down on all of us in a central hall area. It appeared to be made of brushed steel, glass and electric blue neon lights clustered in geometric formations similar to Bismuth crystals. I whipped out my phone and pointed it at the formation.
“Bloody Hell! These pictures will take themselves! However I point the camera, the photos are going to be brilliant”

(Or words to that effect)

Some of the steel cubes appeared to have spherical glass objects attached to them, these too glowed electric blue and reminded me of images I have seen of marine bacteria from electron microscope pictures.

I took a few shots and watched as the boys then left the main hall by ascending an old iron staircase. Curious, I followed and arrived in a darkened room with a glowing blue screen situated on the rear wall. I could see quite a few people at at a long modern rectangular table running along the length of the screen, they were all silhouetted, It looked like some kind of modernist rendition of The Last Supper (and another photo opportunity for my camera) Just as I was about to capture the scene, I crashed unexpectedly into Saturday morning. Concluding my adventure at 7:50 a.m

Broken Hart

It took the wind out of my sails, returning to the House of Bannerdown, seeing the works carried out in my absence.

I noted that the pillared porch had been assembled incorrectly so that they stood several meters away from the house itself, built in a discordant fashion, so that the head of the porch had been positioned half way down the columns making an improbable ‘H’ shape. Clearly this was architectural incompetence.

Rory’s business partner appeared somewhere nearby and struck up polite conversation. I noted with interest that his T-shirt bore the motif of the Cross of Lorraine ; my banker mark and symbol of choice. Curious.

I mentioned that the relinquishing of my services had failed to make any sense in the days that had passed since our parting of ways and I was keen to really know why.

He gestured to a transparent polythene bag filled with old books and said in a flat voice.

“Rory didn’t like the way you had stolen the library books.”

I immediately protested that I’d never seen the bag of books in my life.

 I asked whether that had been the only reason, he then said

“Rory didn’t like the fact that you disagreed with our suggested working methods.”

Feeling more impassioned, I began to blurt about how those methods would have delivered a catastrophic effect on the decaying stonework of the house, that those window mullions would just disintegrate upon the first frost of Winter.

 “The Mullions would disintegrate?”

He said, keeping his impartial,and somewhat doubtful flat tone.

In a melodramatic moment I went on to say how the phone call in the pouring rain, where it was established that we would not be working together any more broke my heart and that I’d really loved working with them.

Neither of which was true. Replace ‘broken heart’ with disappointed and ‘loved’ with enjoyed, it would be a more accurate but this was in the heat of the moment.

The partner just repeated the words “Broken Heart?” like a terminally bored business parrot.

His Cross of Lorraine T-shirt kept drawing attention to itself and I began feeling silly for sounding so melodramatic, something about his angelic appearance was unnerving and I couldn’t shake the feeling that his repetition of certain phrases was some kind of verbal ploy to illustrate the unlikelihood of my own garbled sentiments.

All in all, I felt quietly relieved when I finally opened my eyes.

 

The Book of the Future

Boba Squat got off from work early and came to meet me in a dusk zone. He seemed a little bothered, somewhat grumpy. I asked him what was up but he declined to comment.

“Here…” he said “Take a look at this book.”

He handed me a coffee table style publication, it was one of those DK guidebooks and this one was full of Star Wars and futuristic cities.

Boba said “Look at this; did you know that H.R Giger was a planet designer in Star Wars until Lucasfilm went bust?”

There on the page in question, were fantastical illustrations of alien cities , weird enough to make a jaw drop.

“Lucasfilm went bust…” I muttered, registering the unlikely nature of the statement. Before I could contemplate this point further, I turned another page to see a different kind of city. This was a sprawling campus of technological magnitude that was matched equally by its highly creative denizens, it seemed to go on forever. So much so, the details in the imagery extended beyond the pages in my hands and surrounded me completely until I was immersed in a corridor, standing on a glowing glass floor  and gawping at the fractal etched tubular panelling that extended in front and beyond me.

I’m not sure where my friend was at this point, too many other distractions to contemplate. Narrations drifted past my ears like information in whisper form…

“These objects revolutionised immersive entertainment…”

“The creative team wanted to make a world that felt as real as possible for the players…”

“Once you were in, for the duration, it was impossible to tell that you were actually playing…”

A portal door in the tube wall beside me slid open, I stepped through into a cavernous room and recognised the hostess who had come to greet me.

“Blimey, you’re that actress who played Henry the Eighth’s wife!” (Tamzin Merchant) I proclaimed. She was quite beautiful.

It turned out that she actually  hadn’t played anyone. She was the hostess, it was just a quirky detail that I’d projected her face into the experience of remembering in the first place. This was getting confusing. Mandelbulb objects drifted around the hostess’s head like alien satellites, while she waited patiently for me to ‘get it.’ She sighed and said

“What you are experiencing is technology, the most advanced technology there is, just relax there’s no need to understand it yet…” There was a geometric, glowing glass shape in her hands, It was really starting to catch my attention…

Then suddenly I became aware that It was that thing I keep calling ‘morning‘ again.

Fragment #2

In the hinterland I begin to realise that my feet are equally at home in this world and another.

Fragment #1

“After I’d entered the art gallery – come cafe, my attention was quickly drawn to the flowery woman sucking my big toe. For fucks sake! Why was she sucking my bloody toe ?! How inappropriate.”

Johnny Juice.

*Judith Kirkland’s Little Emporium of Surreal Ephemera seemed to be doing well, located in the shade of St.Andrew’s  in that fine city of Norwichsmouth. A small brass bell tinkled as I strolled through the front door and saw her beaming skeletal smile as a first point of greeting. The shop’s interior was a dark affair in spite of it’s mainly glass door and display window. The contents were a combination of things that you would love to own but would never buy for the generally unlikelihood of their existence. My attention then turned to Judith. Five ft tall, quite scrawny, hair in a Cleopatra bob, slightly native American features with large neat white teeth that somehow  reminded one of the skull that was home to  them.

It had to be said that Judith was looking at least twenty years younger than when I’d last seen her in the common world. With  a loud Yankee voice that could launch a thousand migraines , she shrilled

“OH-MY-GAWD-MAAAAATT!!!!”

before flinging her overly enthusiastic spindly arms around my shoulders and planting a smacker on my lips. I chose to ignore the fleeting brush of her probing tongue as it lasted a split second, although the incident was mentally noted with a concealed  mild disgust.

“Judith, you’re looking really well….no, you’re looking great!”

I said whilst focussing on the positive. She drawled

“Thank you honey, my secret is in this jarrrrrrr”

(Deep breath)

Judith whipped up a small , slightly ornate glass pot containing a watery substance with a pinkish tinge and a pearly glob of something floating in it.

“Go awwwwn. try some” she said as she thrust the container  towards me.

“Um, what’s In it Judith?”  I asked cautiously.

“Welll honey, it’s got some Rose water…”

“Uh-huh, what else?”

“and It’s got some soda water…”

“Yes, Judith but what else does it have?”

“It’s got some… Johnny Depp’s spunk.”