Sometimes I write down thoughts as they occur to me, only to forget them and discover them years later.
It often looks like this:
I dreamt of a picture in black and white that resembled a child’s drawing more than anything else – it was crude and looked like the sort of design you might see on a brand name tote bag, masquerading as an off-the-cuff one-of-a-kind piece but actually designed by a team of graduates wearing glasses they don’t really need and woolen hats indoors. A line split the page horizontally and appeared biro-like while strange appendages, random lines and an odd weeping eye hovered indecisively above it, eyelashes spiking out of the cornea directly with no mention of an eyelid. Beneath, shaded capsule shapes submarined aimlessly, creating a ying yang balance. There was an innocence to the image that irritated me, that you would expect to find on your Facebook mini-feed, posted with fake casualness by a girl whose internship was about to take her to high places. In my dream I was suddenly struck by my own genius with such vigor that I couldn’t see straight for a moment, then hastily sketched out my own interpretation of the drawing. My version, titled “Nothing Is As It Appears” showed the world as I saw it for what it was – the eye was not weeping sightlessly, but intently ogling a naked rear end beneath the horizontal line, the capsules were sharks circling beneath a collection of lines that transpired to be seagulls. I posted it to my Timeline, knowing that in doing so I was securing my place in the World of the Interesting.
I woke up before I could receive my first Like.
I have no recollection of writing this. It feels like it was written by someone else. What goes through our minds when we write? The passage above looks like pretentious drivel, but I’m sure it meant something to me at the time. I suppose that could apply to all writing. But I don’t think that’s true. There are some stories that I look at and can’t believe I wrote them, they’re that darned good.
However, there is a grain of truth to the passage – this wasn’t the first dream I felt like I had created something stupendous, and that I had better wake up and write it down before it eluded me. Upon actually awakening, however, I quickly realised the joke that had seemed so funny in sleep was complete and utter bollocks in the waking world.
In our dreams we are fearless geniuses on the brink of discovery. Once we are awake, we dismiss our ideas as the ramblings of a sleep-addled lunatic. That’s a shame.