Monday 10 January 2005

Death / House / Dream

If I could keep notes of all the dreams I’ve made, I could publish a whole book. A friend told me that Kafka wrote down many of his dreams in his journal. I will try to find the book.
I’ve always loved to read journals of letters to know more about somebody.

It took place in a dark big Hollywood mansion, not unlike the one in which Norma Desmond dwells to hide from the present.
It also took place on my birthday, July the 17th. My family was there, as well as some friends. But I had a very uncommon job: I was to make sure that corpses were actual dead people, and do it in a rather horrible way: have the body split open and swim in it. Maybe it is a way to turn into a vegetarian.
So all the guests were in the living room, and I had to go upstairs to check the last corpse. That wasn’t fair, I was telling my mother. It was my birthday and I didn’t have to perform that gruesome task on the very day! Still, I climbed the big marble staircase, and reached a room on the landing. The door was shut, but I could see through it. There was not light on, but moonlight was filling the room so I could make out the shape of the naked body on the table. It was completely white. A bald man in his fifties, with heavy make up. He was turning his head in my direction and showing a rather uneasy smirk. I had to massage the back of that dead person! I visualized myself doing it, but decided to move on instead and not enter the room. There ended the dream.

It’s hard to remember exactly the dream. I usually try to focus on my connection to it, rather than its possible meaning.
The second dream involved my friend Dominique. He was living in his new house on the Côte d’Azur. Now that I think of it, I notice that each time he appears in my dreams, he always has just moved in a newly bought house. This time it was a white two-story house, with a small living room downstairs, and two bedrooms upstairs. The place was nicely furnished, yet with very neutral tones. Mostly white. This house strangely bore similarities to the one where my childhood friend An and his brother Hoà used to live. His mother got cancer and prematurely died when barely aged forty. No one knew about her sickness, except her husband and my parents. We learned the terrible news only one week before it was too late. The husband wanted to spare her the pain and the agony of knowing. The shock took time to register in us and her death haunted us for many years afterward.
She died in her house, one Sunday afternoon of November. Since then, the spirit of this house would regularly appear in my dreams as other people’s house. So that’s the house that Dominique was showing me. We then took his car to go to a friend’s place. The ride reminded me of that scene in To catch a thief where Cary Grant is driving Grace Kelly at high speed in his convertible car along the French riviera. The sky was gorgeous, yellow turning red, with beautifully shaped clouds.
Dinner at Dominique’s friends was terrible. Everyone started blaming me for what was happening to him. I left, and a second later, found myself in his house again. Since no one was there, I decided to borrow a few cds and dvds from his huge library. It was then I discovered one room occupied by two sleeping young men, the very room where An’s mother died.
I walked out to the garden and found out that people had been waiting for me. An execution was taking place. Around twenty young people were to have their throat slit open. I was last on the list. When my turn came, I was given the choice to shorten my wait and be killed before the person before me. I accepted, since I didn’t want the agony to last.
I felt the blade cut my throat and saw the blood dripping. Schubert’s Death and the Maiden second movement was playing on an old gramophone.

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