Slight Smell

Stephen Pimley | Dreams,Memories | Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Having woken up at 2:30am yesterday I was crashing bad by 10pm. I couldn’t think straight to do anything of use so I went upstairs and sat on the floor in the guest room with the lights off. I often do this when I want a quick nap that doesn’t lead into hours of deep sleep. I find it a perfect level of uncomfortable with my back up against the hardwood foot panel of the bed and my head constantly nodding forward and back. Before I had even made it into the room I noticed that the walls and floor were crawling with hallucinations as they do when I am particularly tired. Turning the lights off I noted that the hallucinations did not change in nature with regard to light stimulus. I suppose these are simply the background radiation of my heavily damaged brain trying to find patterns in the reduced data set that manages to make it’s way through my optic pathway. There were hundreds of tiny brightly colored objects melting and morphing into new creations several times a second. They changed so fast I couldn’t even decide what anything in particular was before it had become an entirely different shape and color. I tried to focus on one small segment in the center of my vision thinking this part of my brain was the most used and would produce the clearest visions if I blocked my attention from everywhere else. All I can remember being able to discern was a series of men made up of yellow squares sliding down red plastic slides at a playground only to have the ground melt beneath them, swallowed in a turbulent ocean of blue and green triangles. An endless array of fish would appear on the surface and devour one another in a chain of no significance. I wondered if they realized how brief and useless their lives were the instant they were created in my mind, or if these truths only dawned upon them when gazing up into the maw of their devourer.

I dreamed that I lived through World War II as a teenage orphan. First we were in an internment camp run by the Nazis and later, after we were liberated, by some obnoxious British female teachers that treated us just as much as prisoners as we had been prior. There wasn’t much to do and I never got along with or played with any of the other kids. I got the idea that the whole point of this camp was to indoctrinate us back into being the good little western children like you would have seen on the cover of a cereal box or family magazine in the 40’s. It was a full two years after this supposed rescue before the war ended and we were finally provided with transportation home from this [barren island / remote village ?]. The other kids were enthused to go back to society but I couldn’t think of any thing to look forward to, wherever I went. We held a small celebration before being loaded onto trucks to leave. During this we mostly just walked or marched in formation while people sang in the background (again with the indoctrination!). Our teacher had us all line up at the gate and read from a sheet of paper where we had written down our personal words of wisdom or reflections from our experience in the war. Most kids wrote something obvious like not to eat too much candy because you can’t be a good soldier for your country if you’re fat and such forth. I was the last in line and when I read what I wrote I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at myself. My all encompassing dream wisdom produced the following nugget verbatim; “Slight is not if smelt.”

There was also some former German soldier living at the camp under the ruse of being a poor French civilian trapped by the conflict. He kept following around and trying to woo one of the teachers so that he could go home with her and create a new identity and life for himself. He spoke fluent English without a hint of accent but whenever he spoke French it was with such a strong German accent I couldn’t understand how nobody else in the dream noticed who he really was.

Now the truly annoying thing is that I have woken up and I have some horrible smell stuck in my nose or brain now. It doesn’t smell like anything real. I think it’s something psychosomatic. I swear I remember it from somewhere before but I can’t place what it is. Actually, I think it might the smell of ozone but I can’t think of any reasonable explanation for this unless it really is just in my head.

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