Thursday 21 August 2008
Ghost in the office
My office at the university is a small, narrow room with a window at one end and a door at the other, sideways on to the desk. People appearing in the doorway register first as a presence, an outline, at the limit of my left-hand peripheral vision. I have to turn my head to see who it is.
In my dream last night I turned, at my desk, and stared, puzzled: who was this bulky figure bundled in a big overcoat, woolly hat pulled down over the brow? I looked again and gulped to see it was a old love, unseen for many years, much older now, his face wan and blurred. He stared back. I opened my mouth, but no words came. His face wavered, grew increasingly blurred, and then I woke up, my mind vividly retaining the vision and the memory of feeling, in sequence, puzzled, confused, alarmed.
I've never had such a dream. I woke wondering if he'd just died, or yelled out somewhere in anguish. When hearts have been close, when you've felt another's consciousness beating next to your own, I don't think the link ever quite dissolves - alone and together, we're much more than we know. But, equally, it could have been a thread of recent thought that led to a random memory, sparked a synaptic connection in sleep.
In the office this morning, I found myself casting sidelong looks towards the doorway, a bit bothered.