It was 7am and I’d just hopped off a red London bus where I’d seen a guy in a tuxedo holding two tulips, staring at me suspiciously. We locked eyes as the bus pulled away from the station. He raised his eyebrows and smiled unnervingly.
I took two steps forward and a moment later, I was sitting on a bench in our old canteen at work. To my left was my colleague, Helen, and to my right, Samuel L. Jackson. I was telling Sam how I’d just been an extra in a film with Zac Efron and Colin Firth in Miami.
“They’re such professionals”, I said, nodding fervently and taking a sip of the skinny latte that had magically appeared in my hand. For some strange reason, Helen seemed to be rolling her eyes. Perhaps she thought I was lying about the whole thing. Sam, on the other hand, asked me how much I got paid and did I negotiate my rate. “All actors negotiate, Laurie”. Solid advice.
In the tilt of Sam’s cap, I’d vanished again. This time, finding myself sat on a big old-fashioned bed in an old B&B with rooms named after flowers. We were in the lavendar room, Jane and I. The room smellt of damp. The wallpaper was splattered with lilac petals and the dressing table was cluttered with chintz.
We we’re getting ready to go out in London. I had no idea where we were going but a white Scotty dog was barking at the door, telling us to hurry. “I can’t believe you stole that from the film set”, Jane scolded, “You can’t wear that”.
I was desperate to wear the dress hung up beside the window, a beautiful lemon dress with hand sewn pearls all over the collar. I took it down from the picture rail and caressed the pearls with my fingertips, admiringly. It was just like that dress I’d seen in Elle magazine all those years ago, the one I’d cut out and glued to the front page of my scrapbook. “Nobody will ever know,” I replied.
Dreams can come true
I’ve woken up in my own bed in a room with white walls, without that stolen lemon dress and, disappointingly, without Samuel L. Jackson on my Facebook friends list.
If dreams are a construct of the unconscious mind then I am reminded on a daily basis of the madness and greatness of it. I think when our eyes are closed, we edge closer and closer to a deepend understanding of reality, or maybe the distinct lack of it. We realise that things aren’t always as they seem, and that nothing is impossible.
And when we wake up, what happens? Our conscious mind takes over. We float back up to the surface level of our human existence, forgetting the endless possibilities. We abandon the madness and greatness, or maybe trade it in for something a little more mediocre and a little more mad. And we tell ourselves it was all a dream.