I woke up unfiltered, camera still rolling in my head, from a disturbing but probably meaningful dream. It seemed very bright, what was I doing in bed? Clock: 10.34, duvet thrown against the wall, waterfall of piss barneswallising across the toilet then gushing as if poured from an old metal jug. Steaming hot shower, the mirror condensated, my face dissolved into it. The dream started on what appeared to be the moon, or maybe just a distant desert, where I was sitting talking to someone I didn’t know who slowly turned to reveal he had no face. We were chatting for a long time I think; the subject eluded me now, perhaps about perceptions of “oneself” or the high price of imported bottled beers. He suddenly pulled out two silver automatic handguns and blew me away, like in a flamboyant ritual. I looked up, his face now clear; it was mine. I woke up; it wasn’t the first time I’d had this dream.

Fast forward to later. I was slouching in an overcrowded trendy bar in Manchester drinking an overpriced imported bottle of beer. Quite good though: nice balance of rich maltiness and tangy hoppiness. Where the hell is Ben? My watch was usually fast, so my eyes cut to the station-large clock on the wall: 9.50. Day? Date? Of little interest to me but it might help put things in context, so I’ll pluck 1997 out of the air. Better now? My head then scanned and quickly edited the people in the bar: old one-eye to the left sporting a purple patch, a fashion accessory rather than ophthalmic, I’d imagine; two ‘pretty’ boys over there, all androgynous make-up and Adidas T-shirts. The music was Radiohead, morose but moving. He looks nervous – is he out on his own or has he been stood up? Beautiful dark eyes, deep-set into his face causing mystery-laden shadows around them; can’t quite see his soul. Smart short formerly blond hair, subtle earring, drinking South Australian Chardonnay perhaps: certainly a golden colour anyway. Black-ish jeans, bold red shirt, quite trim, in his 20s… or 30s maybe: one of those who appeared younger than they were (or dolled up to be). Enough of him; Ben obviously wasn’t coming. My mind raced, a combination of free-fall thoughts, one too many beers and that strong weed Bob and I had inhaled earlier. I couldn’t stop glaring at red-shirt, not just that I found him alluring but he reminded me of somebody from the past; several people in fact. I dissolved into my glass of previously frothy beer.

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