A couple of old dreams

I found some writing in a long-forgotten folder on my hard drive while I was looking for something else. This is from around 14 years ago.

I’m working in the bar, and there’s a woman there who seems to be up to something. She’s approaching people on the pretext of asking for change for paper money, but then just taking the change and not handing the paper money over. I watch her for a while, and I can’t believe what I’m seeing. I’m determined to prevent her from leaving the bar until I actually get some kind of explanation from her. I tell the doorman about her, and get him to keep an eye on her, but I don’t really trust him – he’s seems particularly ineffectual tonight. I really don’t understand what’s going on – I mean, what on earth are the victims thinking? Are they stupid?! How can you just let someone take your money and not even ask for something in return? I notice that she keeps looking towards the doors, as if she’s checking how to leave without being caught, but she eventually realises that I’m watching her. She goes back to her trick of getting people to give her money. The only explanation for people’s compliance is that she’s exerting some sort of mind control over them. I’m quite frightened by this – if she tries anything on me, then the chances are I won’t be able to do a thing about it. I’ve got to concentrate really hard. She makes a move towards the exit again, but I stand in the way, puffing my chest out to give myself more presence – I’m determined not to let her out without her giving back the money she’s conned from the customers.

The next thing I know she’s out. I’ve got to go after her. The people in the bar have confirmed that they were powerless to do anything about her, they were paralysed, and absolutely helpless. This is dangerous, but I’m determined to get her.

I’m in the street, and wherever she is, she knows I’m looking for her. I feel a sudden spasm seize my whole body. This is serious now. Another spasm hits. I must concentrate on keeping my mind and full control of my body. If I relax for a second, she’ll have me. I’m in a tunnel now, and it’s dark save for a few coloured lights. Gzzzzt – another seizure. I can feel her icy hands trying to poke around inside my head, and it’s making my face contort. I’m really in trouble now, but I press on through the tunnel. I suddenly have an idea – the only way I can keep her from getting inside my head and completely taking control is to take acid, but the combined effects of the acid and her attempts at manipulation are severely weird. The tunnel becomes more colourful, and I eventually make it into a deep channel carved between thick ice. It’s tough going in here – it’s cold, and I’m still struggling to keep control of my body and mind. I must maintain awareness of who I am – I’ve got to keep control. Luckily, Lisa, my friend’s sister, is positioned high up at the top of the channel. She has a mirror, and is deflecting the sun’s rays onto the walls of the ice channel to try and melt them. As I stagger along below her, she tells me how this will help to counteract the bad woman’s long-range powers. I thank her, and stumble onwards.

The next thing I know I’m sitting at my computer at home, trying to find the woman over the internet. I’m still high on acid, and even though she’s probably miles away by this time, she’s still trying to get inside me. The spasms and contortions are happening quite often now. I’m pulling bizarre faces, and my arms are flying around above my head. The effort I’m exerting to stay in one piece is really tiring me out. After a while, I become aware that the students working in the library opposite my window are watching me with a strange fascination. I’m concentrating too hard to worry about them, though. If only they knew what I was going through!

Suddenly the woman is actually inside my computer, and her tiny head emerges from the monitor. I grab it quickly and there’s a real tug-of-war as I try to pull her out further and she tries to get back in. I’ve got her head in both hands now, and I bash it repeatedly against the side of the monitor, hoping to knock her out. It briefly crosses my mind that this is exactly what she wants me to do, but I don’t care any more.

The dream ends.


Another dream. This one occurred before I cared too much about capitalisation.

i am starring in a film, which i am watching at the same time as acting in it. film opens.
scene 1 – a huge, long shingle beach, ascending steeply from the sea. hundreds of people are walking up it, inland. to my left is a landfill site, with dozens of scavengers roaming around on it, searching, picking things out of the debris. on my right, the shingle extends as far as the eye can see. i am with two companions. we reach the top of the incline, and i note that over on the right there are some new buildings. i try to deduce from the nature of the buildings whereabouts we are being filmed. i conclude that we are most likely on the barren north eastern english coast, possibly northumberland. we walk around to the left, to a high wall overlooking a courtyard. everywhere, on the pavement, on the road, on top of the wall and particularly in the courtyard, there are small shrines, surrounded by lots of tiny plastic figures. the one at our feet resembles a scene from the wild west.

scene 2 – a huge futuristic control room. i am seated at the back. dozens of other people are seated further in front, in raised booths. the booths/pods are at different heights, and the whole room is dark, lit sparingly by a few ceiling mounted purple spotlights. people in the booths are able to communicate via a speaker system. we all speak in code. we are trying to calculate something. one piece of code is repeated again and again. it is a short sequence of letters that has a certain special significance.

scene 3 – a tube station. i walk along the platform with my companions, past people that i recognise. i have been to this station before, and it seems like a good location choice. b____ is playing the part of a station porter. i smile in recognition, and am amused by the fact that he’s here on set. i worry that my smile was out of character with the part that i’m playing, but then i realise that if the director had not been happy with it, he’d had made us redo the scene. further on, i see h_____ playing a cleaner. he empties the bins on the platform. at the end of the platform is a table, surrounded by 6 or 7 men, all dressed in grey or brown anoraks and cardigans. they all wear thick-lensed tortoiseshell glasses, and i have the impression that they are engineers of some sort. one of them reads a newspaper, while another laughs, talking and holding the attention of the remaining men. he says something to the effect that most people would assume that from their appearance, his colleagues were not humorous people. he makes a gesture as if to say – ‘but what nonsense! look at us here! we are in fact very humorous!’. the others laugh heartily, and it is indeed a funny moment, one which makes the whole film more credible.

scene 4 – a guest house. my room is number 13. i am new here. i live next door to a person of indian origin. i do not know whether they are male or female. earlier in the film, i heard mention of an exotic name, which was shrouded in mystery. i wonder whether the person living next door to me is that person with the mysterious name. on their door is some writing, which i have trouble reading. it doesn’t seem to correspond to the name that i heard.
often, when i return to my room, i go to the wrong floor. my room is on the first floor, but i always seem to end up on the third floor, outside room number 35. the doors are deceptively similar. i used to share my room with someone, but they have moved out. i never met them, but they left lots of their belongings on the bed and in the cupboards. i realise that all their things are small toys – plastic dolls, furry animals and such. i wonder whether they will ever return to collect them.
i am happy in the room. i go to open the window over my bed – it is a large window, with a complicated opening mechanism. i have to hold the top and swing it towards me – it pivots horizontally and rotates so that there is a gap at the top. it is heavy, and i worry about breaking it. i stand by the window and look out – the room is high up on a hill, and obviously situated on the outskirts of london. i can see the whole city stretching out into the distance beneath me. i am proud and excited to be standing here, and very glad that i was asked to be in the film. i feel that i played my part well.

the dream ends.

‘This’ Is My ‘Jam’

I’m not sure what the point of this is, but let’s raise it up the flagpole and see – as someone might once have said – who salutes: http://www.thisismyjam.com/simonproffitt

Update: well, that didn’t last long. File that brief experience under ‘early adopter opts out, doesn’t think application will catch on’

The world’s largest untapped knowledge reservoir

How many people are there on eBay? Must be millions, all around the world. All selling stuff. Together, they are possibly the world’s largest untapped information resource. I’ve noticed that every single one of them is taking part in the ‘Ask seller a question’ scheme. I don’t know why more people don’t take advantage of this. There are so many things I want to learn about, so many difficult decisions I have to make in life, so many moral dilemmas.

I’ve been selling stuff on eBay on and off for years, and the only questions people ever ask me are things like ‘How much will this cost to post to Italy?‘. You can find the answer to that question in 5 seconds by looking at the Post Office website! What a wasted opportunity! No-one’s ever asked me for recommendations on where to eat in Cardiff, or which is the most flavoursome kind of apple.

So I’ve recently started taking advantage of this knowledge pool. The first question, ‘Where do babies come from?‘ was put to a guy based in York who was selling a Wadeheath porcelain figurine of a cow and milkmaid. His answer was detailed and very helpful, and cleared up a number of issues. The second question, ‘How do refrigerators work?‘ was put to bazza1968, selling an autographed photo of the cast of Emmerdale. I felt that his answer was vague, confused, ill-informed, and left me none the wiser. This was a disappointment, and I worried that maybe the eBay Knowledge Pool was not, after all, going to be a credible fountain of information. However, the success of the third question -‘What should I have for dinner tonight?‘ allayed my fears. Seller run_of_the_mill, auctioning off a brand new Wilson golf bag, suggested poached salmon on a bed of rocket, which, as it turned out, was delicious. Buoyed by this result, I’m now awaiting the answer to my fourth question, put to user gkdautosuk (selling a case of 10 bottles of car wax via BUY IT NOW) – ‘Which do you think suits me best, the brown shirt or the blue shirt?‘. I’m hoping they get back to me soon, because I’m meant to be meeting someone in the pub in half an hour.

Whisker Trouble

It’s been a few days since I shaved – maybe about a week – and earlier today I got a couple of my whiskers caught in the door of the bathroom cabinet when I went to close it. Don’t ask how, it’s kind of stupid and difficult to explain. Let’s just say I was being narcissistic. Which, in the privacy and comfort of your own bathroom, is hardly a crime, right? Anyway, so a couple of my whiskers got snagged in the door. Which is very inconvenient, because it now means I can only move as fast as the speed at which my beard grows. That’s not necessarily the end of the world, I mean I don’t really have anything planned for the next couple of weeks, by which time I’ll hopefully have made it over to the other side of the washbasin. The real problem lies in the beard trail I’ll weave during my future travels – it could prove to be pretty awkward for people in the street to have to climb over or limbo underneath a complex series of beard ropes. Eventually I expect I’ll block out the sun in my town, killing low-lying plant life and giving the inhabitants a pale, colourless complexion, albeit with enhanced night vision. The ever-expanding carpet will also protect people from hailstones and falling space debris. Additionally, I will have a watertight alibi should I ever be wrongly accused of murder in Scotland. Provided, of course, I don’t actually visit Scotland.