It started with a dream about my brother. He was around 18 or 20 and there was a huge whiteboard covering one wall of the living room, in the old family house in London. I had some calculations or writing up there and he picked up a permanent marker and started writing. I became irate and told him he was using the wrong sort of pen then showed him how you could write over the same line with a temporary marker to cause a chemical reaction that enabled you to wipe the mark off. My brother, unsurprisingly, wasn’t that interested!
Then he introduced his girlfriend who, in the dream, I recognised from a school the three of us had attended. He started talking about a camping trip to Mousehole and I mentioned a tent they could borrow and another camping site they could stay at nearby. Then he pointed to a black & white photograph of mum’s family at Christmas and I said I didn’t have a copy of that.
It was the kind of dream that lingers afterwards and even now I’m wondering whether it’s just a brain glitch during screensaver mode or if, somehow, my brother is metaphorically tapping me on the shoulder from beyond the veil.
In a deli, I saw someone spill what looked like a gallon of coffee over the table and stool. Think Niagara Falls, only with caffeine. Later, I saw a people carrier stopped in the middle of a busy country road, with hazard lights on and the passenger door wide open. A woman was on the grass verge kneeling down. As I drew closer and slowed the car, I could see she was corralling a ferret into a hessian shopping bag. And all the while she had a mobile phone pressed to her ear.
Life is so much more straightforward in books, even mine!