With the exception of my grandmother’s fur stole coming alive and attacking me, I’ve never been one for nightmares.
Most of my dreams, you won’t be surprised to learn, tend to be of the distinctly odd variety. They usually involve people I know (either personally, or because they are famous) doing strange things in familiar-yet-not-quite-right places. They’re the sort of dreams you wake up from and think, “What the hell made me dream that?” and immediately want to tell someone about them (the someone in question usually being the person who featured in the dream).
The other night, however, I had a very different sort of dream. Someone was hammering on my hotel room door (the bolt of which, I noticed was broken). I opened the door to find two women in the corridor: one blonde, one brunette. The blonde was particularly agitated, demanding that I prevent the baby from crying again all night, as she hadn’t had a moment’s sleep the previous night. I explained that my roommate (so maybe I was in a college, not a hotel) had been looking after the baby for his sister, and that he had just left to return the child to its mother. The women looked pleased, and the brunette said they would probably see me in the bar later. And then I woke up.
In what way was this dream different? Well, apart from the fact that the ‘plot’ was a totally believable scenario which could happen any day in the real world, the strange thing about this dream was that none of the people or places that featured in it were in any way familiar to me: the women (and the absent roommate) were complete strangers, and the room and corridor were totally nondescript and could have been anywhere. So, how come I dreamt it?
I’ve been giving the dream a lot of thought, and I’ve come to the only logical conclusion: I dreamt somebody else’s dream!
How bizarre is that? Somewhere in the world, there is probably some chap who was supposed to have a dream about a blonde and a brunette and a roommate who he actually knows, but I somehow had it instead! And, most likely, somewhere in the world, someone—maybe the same chap—had a dream that I was supposed to have. A dream about Les Dennis taking balloon-folding lessons in the new wing of my house that I had somehow failed to notice before, say.
When you think about it, people having other people’s dreams would make a pretty awesome plot device for a movie or TV mini-series.
But I suspect it’s been done before.