Places In My Mind

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Paul Hardcastle¬†“19 (Album Version)”



Right now I am preparing to slumber. It’s been a long, sweltering summer day and I’m ready to count my flock. I’ve been attempting to better my personal record which is eighteen sheep but their fleece just looks so snuggly and, before I can bust out the Paul Hardcastle I have been whisked away by the sandman and commence sleeping like a breast-feeding billy goat. I’m not going to fight it this dusk and instead I plan to recall every vivid detail from the moment the first hooves clip the fence to my rude awakening to the unwelcome audio of next door’s hound. It’s all getting documented, I’ve even left a jotter pad beside my bedstead in case I need to make notes before any mental etch-a-sketch wipes the memories clean.


Dreams and their meanings have always fascinated me. One’s subconscious can be capable of laying on quite the stage show while the sleep pixies sprinkle their Rohypnol. I can guarantee bounding bunnies in fresh meadows but what I cannot foresee is whether said wabbits won’t be utterly wascally. It’s all up to my psyche and it will paint whichever picture it sees fit, whether pink and fluffy or bright red and congealing. I supply the canvas and, other than that, engage autopilot. That’s the deal, full artistic freedom is allowed, and all that I ask in return is that my sleep not be eternal. Seems a pretty fair trade to me.


For tonight’s performance I have decided to enable access all areas, nothing off limits, the grand tour if you will. If a thought is thunk then I shall share willingly and any co-stars will be credited accordingly. I have to warn you, Sesame Street takes habitual residence inside my noggin so there can be no guarantees made that a little light education won’t be on the cards. We may well learn a dash more about the number seven and Guy Smilie has been known to flash his junk at Elmo from time-to-time but I promise I’ll attempt not to shatter your childhood dreams. At the end of the day, I’m just a vessel donor. You can blame the sandman for the rest c/o Jim Henson.


Right then, Scotty beam me up. Fuck a woodchuck in a dump truck, I’ve only gone and necked too much cheap industrial strength lager. That stuff is lethal. The last thing one needs as they lay down to sleep is to inherit Liza Minnelli’s peepers and suffer the jingle from the last household detergent commercial viewed playing on perpetual loop. Looks like my plans have been scuppered, that wedge of extra mature cheddar I binged on before flossing my teeth may well have been in vein you know. I feel like a big fat disappointment, a turd on a throne, thus I must inaugurate plan B.


Plan B is a far more cunning proposition, I shall live the dream, and do so whilst still very much awake. Consider it missing the fun on the big screen but catching the last thirty minutes on Netflix. I shall cherry pick a few most recent phantasms and see if we can make sense of them together. Heads on swivels Grueheads, I have no idea what they mean either, that’s where y’all come in. Together possibly we can make sense of these nonsensical imaginings although I fear not as they are ridiculous in the extreme. In my defense, I am out cold when I receive any visitation, they just play out regardless. Please don’t shoot the messenger.


One dream which has visited me the past three nights on the bounce is that of a malignant nun. Now, I have a little fleshy spot for those of the habit and this particular nun just happens to be stripped nude and oiled up accordingly. I just say it like I see it, if it were a gas station attendant named Cleatus sporting a gnarly facial mole with lashes like Snuffleupagus then that is what I would report, but I have perused a helluva lot of nunsploitation flicks in my time and they do tend to stick. Anyhoots, this fallen angel is way beyond confession. A real filthy little sister with soiled panties around her knocking knees and a most unholy glint in her eye. She chases me nude through a dense thicket whilst reciting lines from the new testament and flicking poisonous jelly beans at my bare shoulders. I told you I would share but what I didn’t promise is that it would make a blind bit of sense.


Okay, scrap the nun, let’s move on shall we. There’s this other dream which reoccurs often and it involves a badger named Darren. I shit you not, blame the architect, I just lay the foundations. Allow me to elaborate, it’s not nearly as preposterous as it sounds. So there’s this badger anyhoots and he has been taunting me continuously about my paltry collection of marbles. For fuck’s sake, what now? What do you mean, you’re not interested in Darren the badger. Y’all are a tough audience ain’t ‘cha. If you had allowed me to continue then I would have enlightened you as to Darren’s chocolate briefcase. He carries it with him everywhere he travels and stuffs it full of parsley to fend off any sniffer dogs at customs. Beneath the sprigs however are meticulously lined cocoa bullions, the likes of which would put Willy Wonka out of business. He rides around town on his segway, scattering Reese’s pieces as he goes and muttering something about squirrels being inherently evil.


Is it any wonder I suffer insomnia? I’m scared to close my eyes as the freaks come out at night and most of them reside inside my cranium. It’s like a crack house for midgets. Most folk need only wade through water or suffer the sensation of falling during their slumber whereas I engage in lengthy discussions about income tax with potty-mouthed fruit bats and there’s just so many in my belfry. It’s exhausting, this mind of mine never switches off. I guess running it at full power 24/7 weakens the nodes, granting access to all manner of oddballs and kooks. They form a disorderly queue and wait until I close my blinds each dusk before pouncing when I’m least expecting it. Bastards.


In addition, my method of dream transportation is all off-kilter. You would imagine me to cruise about in a 1960 corvette convertible with dazzling chrome alloys but the truth is that I travel from A to B in a shocking pink roller boot. I know right? It’s a bitch to parallel park and sucks on fuel consumption let me tell you. However it does come with a built in neon sock and it’s quite the chick-magnet for cruising down my dreamworld boulevard with my window down. If I’m on even the slightest incline it has the tendency to stall and that does little to boost one’s street cred but I suppose it’s better than taking the bus, especially when the vehicle in question has been constructed from out-of-date spam and laddered fishnets.


It is now nearly 6 am, true story, and I am no closer to dropping off. Is it any wonder? If tonight has been a learning exercise then all I have accomplished is to ascertain that I really ought to be committed for my own safety and the sanity of others. A nice padded cell with whitewashed walls and a snug-fitting straitjacket should help fend off these recurring night terrors. I am actually beginning to feel a little tired but think I may just throw an all-nighter as I owe Darren six bucks and he’s threatened to call the bailiffs if I don’t pay up. His Segway has far greater horsepower than my boot so I will never be likely to outrun him. Word has it that you can tell a lot about a person by the dreams they have and, if that’s the case, then I may have just blown any chance I had of running for congress.


Read The Chronicles of Slumber





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