There is a moment, when I am driving home, where the world falls away in the dark. The moors road climbs and plateaus, weaving and cresting a few feet here and there, but mainly skimming the clouds. The other night it was treacherous – the car went light as a hovercraft at moments and all you can do is lift off and wait for the grip to come back which it always does. Before me I could see a dim light, to my left something blacker than the night. A dark vortex rearing up like a bucking horse. As the snow and hail lashed down, I could see a faint white column like a tornado. It flanked us as we crawled, the white blurring as though we were cruising faster than light. When the road finally descends, the source of the light is clear. The huge factories, spotlights glaring, chimneys steaming and belching fire, like the remains of a mid air crash between a passenger jet and a dragon. I drop down into the safety of trees, and breathe again.
I’ve not been good the past few days, with a bad case of The Black Stuff, and I don’t mean Guinness. What has bothered me the most with this latest horrible cuddle isn’t the feelings of sadness and anxiety, or the unpleasantly new and sporatic bouts of fearing the concept of death even though I’m only 31. It’s the apathy. The complete lack of energy and enthusiasm. The past two days I’ve had off from work I’ve spent like the father in Submarine; spending the day indoors in a dressing gown with half a mug of cold tea, staring into nothing. I have no camera at the moment so I cannot take pictures. I could’ve spent the days looking for my own place, or looking for a new job, or making some sort of concerted effort to be published or to get my photography to a wider audience. I wrote a short story, but it was rushed and I didn’t feel anything as I wrote it, which is 50% of the reason for me writing. I don’t like filling my days with nothing. It will lift soon, it always does. But when you are at the bottom of the well looking up towards a sliver of light, nothing else matters.
It will pass. Like my car on ice, the grip always returns.
I had a flashback recently to a couple of dreams I had when I was a teenager, months apart, just before I left for University. At that time, almost every dream I had was an anxiety dream – almost always involving me driving a car in which I am not in control and either heading for a brick wall or, more often than not, other people. It was common for me to be in my car and heading for a bus queue or a family at a crossing, and for the car’s controls to change randomly so no matter what I tried to do, I’d inevitably hit them, waking up just before the terrible impact. This, I now understand, is a common anxiety dream from those who feel they have no control over their future. It was just me exhibiting my fears about leaving home for the first time. Hoping that I’d made the right decision.
One night, in between the carnage, I had a dream about a girl – someone my own age at the time so… around 17/18. She wore a white dress, had long hair that was a reddish-gold and – I’m sorry – but she eminated a bright light that completely hid her face. Even though I had no idea who she was, she didn’t fit the description of any of my friends, and we never communicated in the dream, I knew somehow that she was my perfect partner. Not because I have a particular urge for white dresses or reddish-gold hair; something in my subconscious told me she was The One. Months later, I was having a completely separate dream. I was hiking through a snowy forest with a friend of mine. We were having various adventures, the kind of ridiculous shit you get up to in a dream, and had just found a log cabin to shelter in. And there she was again, apropos of nothing. This time, the light dimmed enough to reveal that her face was completely blank. I remember my friend turning to me and saying “go to her.” She walked towards me and we embraced, and I woke up. I haven’t seen her since.