(Yeah, once again, not raining — though we’ve still got our snow — but I am clearly unable to resist the Hendrix references.)
The most extraordinary dreams I’ve ever had are the ones I’ve had while suffering from bad fevers. My fever-dreaming is fascinating and frightening. I’m aware that I’m dreaming but don’t try to change anything. I just go along and see what happens.
The first time I remember a fever dream was years ago when I went to Portugal. I was in Viana do Castelo, a small town in the north. I spent the day wandering around the city, marveling at how pretty it was, wondering how it could be that I didn’t know anything about Portugal, that I had missed learning any history about it.
I walked a lot that day, all around the town, up into the hills, out to look at the water … and the whole time, I wasn’t feeling normal, was feeling like I was drugged, like I was sleepwalking or something. (Yes, any other person would have figured out that they were sick, might even have guessed that they had a fever, but I’m always slow to pick up on that sort of thing.) As I was making my slow way down to the center from the basilica that perches above the town, I started to feel much worse. I found my way into some tiny church and sat in a pew listening to the end of a mass with the five or so parishioners who were in attendance. I thought I might not be able to get up, that I might just die right there in that church and be buried in the cemetery I’d noticed in the back. Then I thought the problem was simply that I was hungry, so I dragged myself down the street to a restaurant. The waiter was lovely. He brought me all kinds of delicious food and crisp, dry white wine because I couldn’t seem to figure out what or how to order. For dessert, he said I should have some fruit because I didn’t seem well. I agreed. Fruit sounded like a great idea. He brought me a bowl of pineapples … soaked in port. It was delicious, but when I was done I was feeling what I thought were the effects of the port, so I dragged myself further down the street to my hotel.
I crawled into bed and proceeded to sleep for about two days, waking only because the hotel staff had gotten worried about me and had sent someone to find out if I had died.
During that sick-sleep, I had a series of mutant technicolor dreams. All of the dreams were completely different, but all were the same, too. In each dream, no matter what the set-up of the dream might be, the action would build and seem to go mad and then there would be a horrific crowd scene with lots of people being trampled and crushed. In one dream, I was at some kind of theme park, riding a gigantic, crazy-fast tea cup ride that went off the rails and crashed over a cliff. In another, I was at a picnic at my high school and during a massive tug of war half the crowd went, again, over a cliff. There was a third dream, but all these years later I don’t recall the details, only that the crowd in that case was pushed off the roof of a building.
When I finally woke up, the fever I hadn’t actually acknowledged having was gone. I shook off the dreams as just some random subconscious wackiness.
And then a few days later there was this in the newspaper:
Brussels: 39 fans killed before European Cup final when Liverpool fans breach segregation and charge their Juventus counterparts, who are crushed against a wall that then collapses. English clubs serve a five-year ban from European competition.
Of course it doesn’t mean anything. Even the fact that this has happened more than once doesn’t mean anything. Fabulous coincidences. Of course. But it still freaks me out.