This is, image-for-image, action-for-action, a genuine dream I had last week.
As a rule, my dreams are boring. I don’t know why. It doesn’t really bother me. I once dreamt that I woke up to find a poster in my room on a different wall. At my grandparents’ house I once dreamt that I went downstairs, opened the fridge and drank a glass of milk. The next day I found a small ‘dream dictionary’ in a bedroom and went through it, laughing with my sister as we ‘defined’ one another’s dreams. I looked up the definition of milk. Naturally, it was semen. So apparently I dreamt of drinking a glass of semen. Despite the obvious fact that the book was spiritualist bullshit, I was weirded out. But what’s weirder; drinking a glass of semen or keeping semen in cartons in the fridge?
My friend once said – quite accurately – that my dreams are boring because they could all feasibly occur in reality.
Anyway, the dream I had a couple of weeks ago is weirdly complex and layered. So it’s best understood as I ‘lived’ it – live action, present tense, short story-esque…
I’m on a train that has just pulled up into King’s Cross Station. I probably caught the train from Newark North Gate. As the train groans to a halt, everyone on the train is suddenly – I don’t know how – acutely aware that there is a bomb somewhere on the station.
Everyone gets panicked and for some reason choosing which carriage from which to leave the train becomes an incredibly important detail. What’s better – the carriages closer to the exits but the heart of the platform or the carriages further away from the station’s nucleus but a fair distance from a main exit?
Boringly, I choose a middle carriage and rush off. Everyone is running in one direction – towards the main gates – and like a sheep I follow them. Soon it gets to the point where there are so many of us being shepherded along we can no longer run, and instead we are all huddled together, waddling like penguins.
Suddenly, as I approach a pillar separating several ticket machines, I hear a cluster of screams behind me. I turn around.
For some reason, Kanye West is appearing on a podium that rises out of the ground. Some people forget they’re in the middle of a London bomb scare and start weakly cheering. Kanye looks typically pissed off, and holds a microphone in his hand. Everyone stops, like the exits have been blocked off and all we can do is watch.
Kanye takes a bomb out of his pocket and holds it up. People are getting more worried, as you would. Then he starts ranting into the microphone about how this is an elaborate publicity stunt for his album, which – naturally – he thinks is going to be the biggest and best record ever produced, world-renowned because he bombed a train station while promoting it. He doesn’t care about the small issue of his own death, but he seems to think that, like Jesus, he will get up and walk off three days later.
After this strange and lengthy rant, he starts singing Coldplay’s Viva La Vida into his microphone, and in a weird gamble to get on his side, those around him start weakly singing along with him, as if he’ll notice their musical talent and decide to let everyone off.
But, when he gets to the chant-y bit of the song, he hurls the bomb and everyone starts running and screaming.
The blast sends me into the air and, in an act of dexterity the real Me would never be able to pull off, I pull myself around and behind the nearby pillar so that I’m shielded from any shrapnel.
Somehow I’m not hurt. After a few minutes I open my eyes and the whole world is ringing in my head. I look around, and bodies are everywhere. Next to me there is someone I vaguely recognise. I only realise who it is by reading a name tag attached to their blazer.
For some reason, it’s Donna Tartt, author of The Secret History and The Goldfinch (the latter of which has obviously partly inspired this dream, as anyone familiar with the plot will know). Beneath her name, the word ‘deceased’ is written, which really freaks me out because it suggests that the tag is somehow linked to her brain.
Eventually I make it out with other survivors, and walk down a series of nearby corridors until I reach the nearest place of safety – which is, apparently, my old sixth form form room, where a smattering of people are sat quite calmly. I walk to the back of the room and start calling my mum.
She doesn’t pick up. Then, I notice her sat right near me. ‘Mum,’ I say, relieved. ‘I was in the explosion.’
‘Ah, right.’ She seems quite relaxed, all things considered.
‘I’m safe now. I’m not hurt.’
‘Oh, well that’s good.’
‘Yeah. Weirdest thing – Donna Tartt was there. She died.’
‘What? Donna Tartt?!’ My mum is distraught at this news, and the dream ends with me feeling pretty pissed off that my mum is apparently more concerned with Donna Tartt’s welfare than mine.