Friday 24 June 2005

The dream.

Not the first time this has been on the Web. It was a long time ago now; '93, in fact. I still remember it vividly.

I was with my friends Ben & Eoin, and had just got home, or thought I had. I was a student at St Andrews at the time, so lived in a hall of residence: St Salvator's, or Sallie's, as it was known; a beautiful big building by the sea. You could see the sea from my window, usually.

Anyway, we get as far as the door of my room, but my key doesn't fit. Odd. We resort to knocking. The door is opened by some guy I vaguely know, and behind him I can see that the room isn't mine. It's my door, all right, although for some reason it's gained a little wire grill at eye level, giving it the air of a prison cell; but my room is not behind it. The vaguely-known guy explains: they've rearranged the building while I've been out, and swapped a few of the rooms around. No, he doesn't know where mine is. Typical.

So we go looking. First place to check is, of course, the door behind which vaguely-known guy used to live, but it's never going to be that easy: my room's not there. So we start a thorough check of Sallie's. We're not alarmed or anything yet. I'd like to find my room — my stuff's in there, after all — but we're not busy and we're in no hurry, so we're enjoying the novelty of it all.

Our search eventually takes us out on to The Scores, the road behind the building, the road that my room used to overlook. I don't know why we were looking out there, but we hadn't found my room in the building, so.... Well, it made sense at the time. Anyhow, this is where I first start to get suspicious. The white lines down the middle of the road have been replaced. With jungle. This long, narrow dotted line of thick tropical undergrowth extends down the middle of the road, as if the white paint that you'd usually expect to see there has been colonised by the most fertile plants on the planet. Weird. Beautiful.

At first, I just think it's brilliant, and so does Ben; Eoin's not that interested. Ben & I commend the local council or town planners or whoever it is that has taken this brave decision in ultra-modern and somewhat surreal road design. But then, suddenly, it strikes me that this is a little odd. Moving rooms within a building? Why had I accepted something like that? It simply doesn't happen. And this road/jungle thing: bloody weird, to say the least. In fact....

"Hey, guys," I say, "I think things are getting a little bit too weird around here. I think this might be a dream."

"No, man," says Ben. "Things are weird, yeah, but it's happening, man, and we're a part of it." Ben really did speak like that.

"Look, I appreciate what you're trying to say here, Ben — and I wish you were right, 'cause this is just amazing — but this is too strange. It's got to be a dream."

"Will you two stop arguing and come on?" says Eoin tetchily. "It doesn't matter, does it? We've got a room to find."

"No, man, this is important," says Ben. "Reality is changing around us as never before...."

And then I woke up.

My eyes opened slightly; I took in the room. I was in bed with Vic, and it was the middle of the night. Oddly enough, this bit — the bit where I was actually conscious — I don't remember, but Vic tells me I woke her up, urgently told her that I had to go and tell Ben, and dropped straight back out like a light, leaving her thoroughly awake and a tad annoyed.

I had been awake for less than a minute. The guys don't seem to have missed me.

"Ben, man, listen to me," I say urgently. "I just checked. I'm asleep, in bed, at Vic's! This is a dream."

But he still doesn't believe me, and Eoin still isn't interested. Tsk.

Later, we find an infinite water-slide in the basement.

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