A challenge for a friend of Freud
It turns out that I was dreaming. I think I realized this just before I woke up but I cannot be sure. In any case I was fully immersed in a hyper-real dream. What was it about? Well, nothing much. I was walking up a road in the early evening, the sky was deep blue and the tall trees ahead of me were waving joyfully in the wind. Having lost most of their detail they had become flat silhouettes dancing against the sky. The road I was walking on had a rough, grainy tarmac surface, I was wearing comfortable shoes. A van passed me by without making too much noise. It was covered in crazy lettering, pinkish magenta set against a dark purple background, clearly done by a professional. However, as it passed, I did notice that a corner of one of the letters had come loose. It must have happened some time ago as I could see the cream coloured glue-side of the sticker had begun to accumulate a film of dirt. I couldn’t read what the letters said but that didn’t worry me. Most commercial messaging is eminently uninteresting, however loudly it tries to shout for our attention. Anyway, the van drove past me, quite calmly, and disappeared out of the frame into a road to my right. I walked on and came across two tents, also on my right. Little, apart from the car passing me, appeared to be happening on my left. The first of the tents appeared composed of oblongs, more like a dilapidated bungalow really. In fact it may well have been a bungalow and not a tent. Apart from noticing the weathered boarding with its pealing, crusty white paint and the dirt-filled seams and joints, I paid little attention to it. The second structure was, for a reason I could not tell you, much more interesting to me. It was made of a fine, ultra-thin canvas, the texture of which was lightly hatched giving it the sheen of a mechanically woven fabric. Because of its thinness it was very sensitive to the wind and the sides of the tent bellowed with the ease of silk, forming quickly changing elliptical dents that would have become folds if the canvas hadn’t been drawn just too tautly of the frame. The edges of these dents caught the last of the waning light like the surface of water catches the reflection of its surroundings. However, I should add that all this was not particularly dramatic or beautiful. It was just an ordinary tent of which even the colour was anything but exciting: olive green below with a forest-green outer sheet. It had no guides, just aluminium rings to allow the tent to be pegged to the freshly mown lawn upon which it stood in its dumpy posture. A large slow-moving and deliberate man wearing loose fitting jeans and a dark blue sweater and white curly hair was pushing longish tent pegs into the soft ground with obvious ease, making sure not to twist the aluminium rings through which the pegs passed. It was at this time I began to suspect that I was in a dream because for some reason, I know not what, I knew that the man, having finished planting the tent pegs, entered the tent in order to have a pee in the exact corner that was nearest to me as I walked past, (a distance of some ten metres) and yet I saw no tell-tale trickle or wet patch forming, I could not see him, nor had this man, who was completely unknown to me, acknowledged me in any way or taken me into his confidence about the tension in his bladder. A mystery. I woke up and got through my day honourably enough, except that I now and then caught myself lingering over the extraordinary material reality and detail of my surroundings.
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