I had a very scary dream the other night. It was one of those running-away dreams. Those dreams where you’re being chased and, no matter what you do you, can’t let them catch you. Because even though you don’t know exactly who they are or why they’re after you, you know that they’re trying to harm you. And you just have to run.
In those dreams, your mind drifts away from most logical thoughts – Why am I on the run? Where can I get a phone to call the police? What will my pursuers do to me if they succeed? How can I fight them? – None of that.
You are in a dream-scape, a discontinuous place that is constantly being reshaped by your imagination as you drift around inside it. Nothing is real and everything is shifting into itself. People disappear and change into other people – places themselves change. But most of the time, while you’re in the dream, you don’t notice how uncanny it all is.
You’re faced with that ingrained, instinctive human fear. There is only one thing you must do, and that is to run from the pursuers. So you run.
In my particular dream, the pursuer happened to be Courtney Love… I know you’re thinking that that sounds hilarious, or at the very least, slightly silly – but while I was in the dream it was terrifying. What was worse was that she had a whole team at her assistance (except in my dream, I called the team an “army.”) Her team was dressed in blue and white – they looked very… professional.
There was a road with a pavement sloping upwards, which turned a corner out of my sight. Just before the corner there was a shelter, where I stopped running in order to feed my dog (?!) from a bowl that was waiting there. My dog was a very small one, brown and white with patches. I was holding it on a short thin lead as it stooped its neck to eat. All of a sudden, Courtney and her team appeared behind us. I made eye contact with her, “realising” what she was thinking.
“Oh, I know what you’re going to do,” I said, half to myself and half to her, “You’re going to do that thing where you turn the person into the thing that they’re doing. So you’re going to try and turn us (me and my dog) into dog food and then eat us.” What I meant was, since my dog was eating dog food, that was “the thing we were doing.” So she would “turn us into the thing we were doing” – dog food. Yeah, I know I wasn’t speaking very coherently. But a) it was a dream, and b) I was on the run from a grungy 90s cannibal rockstar and her team of neat homicidal women, who were preparing to turn me and my pet into dog food. So I think I had some licence not to structure a sentence properly.
I kept looking at Courtney for a while – and then bolted up the pavement and around the corner. My dog sort of evaporated, like things do in dreams but its absence didn’t register with me. The only thought in my mind was running. Escaping. There was a dead end round the corner, but my father and sister were there waiting for me. My plan was to tell them to climb over the fence across the road, and flee, while I confronted our attackers. It quickly became apparent that Courtney Love was far behind enough for me not to have to face her, though.
In the end, I went with my father and sister. But not over the fence; through it. There was a gap in the fence where bits of the wooden slabs had broken off. We crawled through. I found myself in an almost enclosed space; another fence stood parallel to the one we’d just come through. We curled up as tightly as possible, rearranging ourselves a few times to avoid being seen through the gap. I was tense and an almost excited adrenalin was flowing through me. My father didn’t say a word. Neither did my sister. It was dark between the fences; trees rose above them blocking us from the light. I cowered, certain that at any moment I would hear the footsteps of Courtney Love and her accomplices. What if they peeped through the fence? A mixture of dread and hope rose up in me.
Waking from the dream was a relief. It was only afterwards that logic came to me and I began to question Courtney’s motives, and that I realised how bizarre it had all been.
I’m just glad I didn’t get turned into dog food!