Recently I have been having strange dreams. In one way they’re not strange at all – on the contrary, they’re actually unremittingly dull. But nevertheless I have to admit that they’re really starting to worry me. Seriously worry me. Perhaps I had better explain. Every single night for the last two months I have been dreaming, not a recurrent dream but a dream with a recurrent theme. In these dreams – which are extraordinarily vivid and in full Technicolor – I am a man called Adrian. That is the strange thing – I have been this guy Adrian every night and yet I don’t even know anyone called Adrian.
Adrian isn’t in any way, shape or form a remarkable guy. In fact there is nothing particularly interesting or outstanding about him at all. That in itself makes me wonder what’s going on – you’d think there’d something unusual about him but there isn’t. Dreams are supposed to be weird, after all. But not in this case. No trace of weirdness.
Adrian is the key element in all of my dreams, he is the recurrent theme. He’s the thread which holds it all together. The common denominator. Just to give an example of what I’m talking about, the other night I was Adrian (no surprises there!) and I was taking the dog for a walk around the estate. I told my wife – whose name is Vanessa – that I was taking Benji the dog out for a walk but she didn’t really answer because she was busy watching Coronation Street. Or maybe she answered a bit later on because something interesting was just happening at that point and she couldn’t speak. The dog is a Labrador, by the look of him. So I took Benji for a walk around the green in the centre of the estate and about twenty minutes later – after he’d had a crap in the grass – I came back. When I got back Corrie was over and Vanessa was watching Britain’s Got Talent which she also likes. In my dream – though not in real life – I like that program too so we both watched it together, occasionally commenting on the acts.
Another time I was Adrian in my dreams (as I always am) but this time I was at work, not at home. Adrian works for the Department of Social Security and spends all day in an office environment. His job is to process claims. It was a dull uneventful day at work and I (that is, Adrian) had a very tedious time. I was heartily glad when the time came to go home. It’s a pretty crappy job and I can’t stand unemployed people. I despite them, although I pretend not to. They kind of disgust me.
The night after that I dreamt that I was on holiday in Tenerife with Vanessa and our friends Keith and Barbara. We have no children and neither do they. We were enjoying the holiday, having Tapas and red wine in beach bar. I was quite tipsy and had sunburn. Which was kind of a bizarre because I never drink. I hate alcohol. I hate the effect it has on me – it makes me feel all slowed down and stupid. Like some kind of a retarded zombie on Largactil. But I like drinking in the dream. I guess that feeling of being brain-dead and zombified feels good to me! It’s some kind of welcome relief from my normal tedious thought processes…
Last night was a bit different. I dreamt that I was asleep, and dreaming. I – I mean Adrian – dreamt that I was trapped in a basement, in the dark. It wasn’t actually what you’d call a nightmare but it wasn’t far off. I couldn’t find my way out, I was stumbling around aimlessly, tripping over things, getting more and more panicky. I could hear a scurrying sound not far off. I was worried that it might be a rat and that it might attack me. I don’t like rats. I mean Adrian doesn’t like rats. I personally rather like them. I think they’re intelligent and can often have good personalities. Adrian on the other hand is very frightened of them. I think he’s got a phobia…
You can perhaps see what’s worrying me about these dreams. I feel that I am losing ground to Adrian. I have this nasty kind of fantasy going on in my head that he’s actually taking over. I keep having to remind myself – even in my day-to-day life – who I really am. That I don’t work for the Department of Social Security. That I don’t have a Labrador called Benji. That I don’t have a wife called Vanessa. Or any wife for that matter. Or even a girlfriend.
I’m dreaming about this guy so much that I’m even starting to think like him. I’m starting to like the same things. I watched Britain’s Got Talent the other night and enjoyed it. I’ve taken to having the occasional glass of red wine after dinner. I’ve started looking down on people who sign on, which I never did before. And – most bizarrely of all – I even found myself seriously mulling over the idea that I might book a package holiday to Tenerife this summer. That’s definitely a bit freaky.
But – thinking about it – maybe I should book a holiday in Lanzarote instead. or Gran Canaria. After all, I feel that I ought to make at least some attempt to hold onto my own individual identity!