A Dream on the Order of Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled

“People are strange when you’re a stranger.” — Jim Morrison

Last night, or rather, very early this morning I had the strangest dream. Upon waking I was surprised how vivid the various scenes were, and the overall feeling that accompanied this sequence of images. It had the feel of Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled, which I’d read earlier this year.

This is my attempt to share it with you.

The setting is a city set on hillside along a body of water, houses and buildings crammed together like you see in photos of Barcelona or in Greece along the Mediterranean. There’s a university in the town and I step off a yellow bus to go up to the university.

I am with my wife Susie and a friend named Parnell. They were sitting near the back of the bus, so when I get off I start walking slowly on a sidewalk along the waterfront. I assume they are getting off the bus and will soon catch up.

After I’ve gone a short ways I turn and do not see them. I rush back to where I’d left the bus, which is now gone, and look up the hill, a hill so steep that there’s a staircase alongside the street instead of sidewalk. It’s a very steep hill and I assume they must have gone this direction, but I can’t see anyone climbing the stairs that looks like Susie and Par. I begin to get alarmed.

I decide to go back to the waterfront walkway where in a short time I encounter a barricade blocking my ability to go any further. I stand there a minute, looking out at the lake. Just below me is a sewer drain and while I’m watching a hammerhead shark washes out of it. It manages to squirm and slosh to the water and swim away.

A large deer appears suddenly, standing on the narrow strip of sand between the walk and the lake. Two large wolves, one of them black, lope up and the doe-eyed deer appears doomed.

I turn to find my way to the university but with the walkway blocked I decide to go through one of the houses rather than go back to the steep street where I was dropped off. A man answers the door when I knock and invites me to go through the house and through his shop to get to another street beyond. On the floor of the living room there are colorful maps the size of large throw rugs which, upon closer inspection, turn out to be puzzles that have been assembled. His shop is a chaos of machinery and equipment.

When I exit the back of the house I come to an intersection but don’t know which way to go. Three women are standing on the sidewalk there, two quite elderly, and I ask directions. I’m invited into their house and accept.

There’s a commotion of some sort in the kitchen and I go into the living room where I find the younger woman in a strange position on cushioned chair. She’s wearing a green bikini with her back on the seat of the chair and her knees facing up, her buttock against the back of the chair. He torso is twisted and her head is sideways, lying in an aluminum mixing bowl about the size of a dog dish.

The position looks exceedingly uncomfortable, especially the way the edge of the bowl seems to be pressing against her neck.

At this moment I wake, with my body uncomfortably twisted, and a kink in my neck.

Happy thanksgiving to you. It’s not a perfect world, and sometimes things don’t make a lot of sense, but there’s much to be grateful for. Give thanks.

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y3l9sfpj

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