Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dreamed conversation of 12th December

-Did you ever wonder if a building could be ill?

-In the sense of dry rot, collapsing floors?

-No, on a different level. The feeling that a certain part of a structure is working in opposition to the other parts, that somehow the equilibrium, the purpose of the building is being subverted by something within.

- Two men used to work on renovations in the church by the river. I remember them walking past most of that summer and each time I saw them they were a different age. Sometimes teenagers, sometimes old men. The same two guys.

Once I went in to watch them working; they were chiselling away at large, dank stones in the wall. For a week afterwards, people called at the house. People from different times. I remember men with sallow faces and greasy hair, odd accents and car tools in their hands. Faraway eyes. They were there but not there, and I think it all came from the church, there was something catching there, some contact was missing its mark.

One night, outside in the garden, a creature spread itself like a sheet over a long expanse of grass towards the back of the house. It was under the washing line, and right up against the fences. Indistinctly in the darkness, I could make out a breathing mouth, and eyes in the middle of the lawn. It reminded me of a time I had been walking towards an intersection on Shaftesbury Avenue as a bus swept round the corner. I caught a quick glimpse of a woman sitting on the near side, staring at me, utterly absorbed and fascinated in the contemplation of my face; I had felt shaken and upset, totally objectified by that split second’s exchange of glances. The same thing was happening here. In the morning, the creature had gone.

I spoke to the renovation workers, who were perfectly ordinary in every other way, and they were also convinced it was the building, that the building was ill, at odds with itself; they even went as far as to say that anything could malfunction in this way, any physical object, in fact even any proposition or idea. They said they’d seen it before, that it happened all the time in nature, just on the verges of our sight, and if you were patient you could see it everywhere.

4 comments:

Allison said...

Interesting. If you'd asked me that question when I was 6 years old, I'd have had a definite answer for you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y881yjtFluQ

To be honest, I see faces in houses and cars to this day, thanks to old cartoons. Although, my thoughts aren't quite as ontological (or as menacing) as this one that you've shared.

Alasdair said...

I find that disney cartoon incredibly creepy!! significantly more nightmarish than anything i could invent. Thanks Allison...

newpsalmanazar said...

Clearly, you have far more coherent (and interesting) dream conversations than I do.

The creepy Disney cartoon is based on a 1942 children’s book of the same title, written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton.

Thumbs up on the new EP, by the way.

AdeJB said...

Only just discovered the band and been fascinated by your blog too. This post and the one about the pond ring true. I've had very similar experiences all through my life. There's a world just beyond or behind our human perception and at certain times ir places some people are lucky enough to glimpse it.