It’s nearly 3.30 and I’m not sleeping again.
It’s not that I’m not sleeping because of anything in particular. I was asleep and sleeping well. But, then I needed to go to the bathroom and, I guess, I was sleeping so well that I needed a nightmare to wake myself up. I really hate that. The problem with your head giving you a nightmare to wake up is that the nightmare stays with you. This wasn’t such a bad nightmare. More odd, really. So I got back into bed and F seemed to have moved so that he was diagonally across the bed meaning that my feet had no room. And I’d tucked the sheet in well so that my feet have about two inches of space. Which is obviously not enough. So, I’m constricted. And this nightmare (or the end of it) won’t leave me and I can’t figure it all out for it makes no sense and it’s kind of hot so my arm is out of the bed and then I hear the faint buzz of a mosquito so I bring my arm and shoulder inside the covers even if it’s too hot and that’s when I realise that I have that itch on the bit of my hand that forms the sort of web between my thumb and the forefinger which, of course, means that the bastard mosquito I heard flying was actually flying away, stomach full of blood, to find some water and give birth to more bastard mosquitoes.
And, then I realised that the whole thing was all about constriction and claustrophobia – the nightmare, that is – and that I didn’t feel good about that but that it was also unreasonable (of me) since no one was truly “forcing me” and yet I felt this way. F being diagonally across the bed so that I had no room to move my legs was just the final straw. And, so as not to wake F because he hasn’t been sleeping well recently – and far worse than me – I got up and decided to write about my dream and revelation.
So, first to the nightmare.
We have the flat and yet, at various points in the dream it is and isn’t ours. This flat is big and comfortable. There is even a kind of sub-flat. Anyway, someone comes to stay. As a result, we shall not sleep in our bed but in the spare room – this kind of sub-flat. Except, like the cellar for the new flat, for some reason, I’ve never been there. F tells me, by the way, that the cellar s very big – but I don’t see it – I mean I don’t really believe it to be big. We had one, V and I, and there was just about enough room to store stuff. There again, maybe that IS big for cellars here and so F, thinking of other cellars, may be right. Anyway, I digress. So, I’ve never been to this part of the flat. Our flat is in an old building (much older than the real flat but that’s how dreams work, isn’t it?) and we have stairs. So we go up the stairs and instead of turning left to our bedroom, F, leading the way, turns right.
We go along a rather dingy corridor and through a door into a lounge. The lounge is small. I mean quite tiny. And yet there is a sofa there and cabinets and the furniture is old but not like mine, more Victorian in style, big and brooding and elaborate for no good reason. It could, in fact, be old Italian furniture, excessive amounts of wood and imposing and curvy and just too much. It fills the walls and seems to bear down on you. There is a rug covering the floor and heavy curtains and yet no window. It gave a sense of wanting to smother you. Or it could have been like a dolls house. Where the furniture is just too big for the room and everything is out of proportion.
But we don’t stay here as we’re off to bed. I say to F, “Is this OK for you?” to which he replies that yes, it’s OK, after all it’s just for a night. But then it seems that this is his place or the new place. For he’s been here before. He knows where he’s going. It’s as if it was his flat. So, we enter the lounge and immediately opposite is another door. It takes about one stride to reach the other door, the lounge opening out to the right as we pass. I say open out when, in fact, there are just the furnishings in a room that’s a stride wide.
We then start to ascend some stairs. The walls are smooth, white plastered walls. But the stairs are narrow, just wider than my shoulders and the impression (although not the fact) is that they get narrower. F leads the way although at one point F changes to be my youngest brother, T, and then back to F. He soon disappears for the stairs curve as they seem to get narrower. I turn to try and convince Piero to come. He has his doubts. The reason is the stairs themselves. They are wooden but with no riser. Like step ladders but with some intricate wooden structure holding up the next stair. Still, Piero doesn’t really like it. I don’t blame him, I’m beginning to dislike it too. The stairs are lit by something but not by windows and not by a light, yet they seem bright but there are shadows (which makes no sense at all).
I hear F above. He has reached the bedroom and I hear him go down the stairs (short stairs) to the bathroom. I hear him in the bathroom. I carry on up the curve of the stairs. It has only been a few seconds but, as I reach the bedroom, I see F is out of the bathroom. I query with him, “Have you finished?” “Yes,” he replies. And that doesn’t make sense at all. he hasn’t been there for long enough. It’s been about 2 minutes since we started up the stairs and yet he’s got up here and been to the bathroom and is already getting into bed.
And then I notice the bedroom. It is round. The roof is like the inside of the old Chinese hats – the ones they used to use in the paddy fields. It is simple white plaster. The windows are open but they are not really windows but grills, intricate, white-painted, metal grills with glass beyond. The glass is open. The reason for the grills is simple. The room, aside from being round and having the inversely-pointed ceiling is, at most, two feet high and the “windows” are the whole wall, i.e. from the floor to the ceiling. They look pretty but ……
F is not standing. He can’t. At it’s highest point, the room is, maybe, four and a half feet high. The bedding is arranged around the walls (the bits where the windows aren’t). His is one “side” and mine the other. The window is in between. I look for the stairs down to the bathroom but can’t see them. The “doorway” into the bedroom has become less of a doorway and more of a hatch. I will have to pull myself into the bedroom. The width of the doorway is such that it will be a tight squeeze. The only way out is back through this doorway. I don’t actually want to go in any more. I feel claustrophobic just looking into this room. I don’t think I can do it. Before my eyes, it seems to get even smaller. It seems like we have climbed inside a small tower yet that cannot be. And yet it is. I really don’t think I can sleep here and telling F is going to be difficult.
I wake up.
So, there you are. My feeling of claustrophobia and constraining.
I’m sure it will pass.
I haven’t really explained the brother thing that appeared and disappeared. But I can’t right now. Trust me, it’s the same feeling of constraint and claustrophobia and, for different reasons, they can be the same person – which was why they were the same person for a second.
Then, of course, getting back into bed and having my legs trapped in that corner of the bed, made the constraint real for a moment and clarified the dream.
And now it’s a quarter past four and I get up in less than two hours. Once again, for a different reason each time, I shall start the week feeling like I need a weekend to recover. Bugger!
p.s. I may edit this tomorrow if it doesn’t really make sense.