I am driving someone else’s car. I think it belongs to a woman in the back seat or else sitting beside me. She warns me to be careful as I take corners too fast.
We are driving on the right-hand side of the road with pools of water (recent rain?). There is a kind of stone barrier on the right and beyond that the sea – the waves are beautiful, pale blue-green.
I make a date with this woman to meet at lunchtime in this bar she knows where we can get something light to eat. It seems we have been away together.
We meet outside in bright sunshine. It appears to be closed but we find it open. There are only a few people inside; rows of seats with a centre aisle.
She says something like, “We only want an omelette” to the chap at the end of the room who seems to be the owner. I say something like, “It looks like a theatre” and she says, “Yes, it is a bit like a theatre.”
We sit side by side. Sun streams into the room. She suddenly says, “I’m probably going to have Julian’s baby.” I am engulfed by despair. My face hardens. I murmur rather coldly that I’ll look after her.
I wake up at quarter to six.
I am watching half a dozen aircraft swooping and turning. They seem to be forcing down what turns out to be a twin-engine executive jet which finally lands in the sea in front of me. When the plane hits the water, it suddenly becomes a cabin cruiser which breaks up on the beach. A man and I think a woman, struggle out of the boat on to the beach. The man seems to give the boat a kind of farewell embrace as he comes ashore…
Later, in what seems to be a hotel, someone asks a thin man with long tight-fitting boots what has happened. He replies angrily, “Don’t ask me questions like that.”
Later, we talked at a table. Then, suddenly, we were standing by the door where he greeted a man he seemed to know. The man approached me. “Don’t you recognise me? We met the other day.” I apologised for not recognising him because I’m so short-sighted. He was Jewish and I was pleased that the man from the boat saw that we knew each other.
The man from the boat disappeared and returned without his high boots.
I seem to be landing in the Falklands. A wide bay, pale blue-green sea and pleasant countryside as the small boat/dinghy approaches the shore. I reflect that this is the spot where British troops landed. And I worry about mines as I wade to the beach. A feeling of tremendous isolation – I can’t return home easily from this place: A feeling of extreme anxiety.
I wake in panic. My vision has turned by 90 degrees and I see everything at right angles. Am I stuck like this? It is several moments before I can focus properly.
A man has something wrong with his throat. He coughs up his tongue into my hand. How can we get his tongue reattached?
I’ve just lit a match when somebody gives me a light. I put my match back into the matchbox which bursts into flames. I drop the matchbox and stamp the fire out with some difficulty. The sole of my shoe is very hot and I worry whether it has burned through to my foot.
I’m half an hour late for a midday lunch with “Wendy Smith,” managing director of an airline. She greets me with displeasure. Two bars on her shoulders like an RAF rank. I say, yes, but I have my wife and daughter outside in the car.
I’m supposed to have lunch with Princess Anne. I park my car at right angles to a main road, and for some reason put the handbrake on – I normally leave the car in gear without the brake. I am waiting for Anne. I start to get out of the car to wait outside, remembering to take my keys, when a sports car stops on the main road. Anne gets out. She is wearing white trousers and a white top and is much friendlier than I expected, and not so ugly – not that ugliness around the mouth and the receding jaw. We walk towards the place where we’re having lunch. It seems to be a sort of club of which I am not a member. Anne asks me if I can pay. I say, no problem, I’m on some sort of expenses. I think this is an interview of some kind.
We go into the building and approach a kind of bar. Nobody seems to recognise Anne. We are served Scotch in odd glasses. Anne goes off to make a phone call and I kick my heels for quite some time. People are filing in and out of the dining room.
Anne finally appears around 2pm. She seems to have made up – vaulting eyebrows and fine brown eyes. I look into her eyes as we enter the dining room, and they seem to recall the eyes of ancient English queens. There is a sort of refectory table. A waitress sits us at the near end. Anne says, ‘Can we sit at the far end? The waitress says, no. We sit down.’
This seems to be a public place. I am fucking this black woman from behind, although we are fully dressed, to the accompaniment of pulsating music. I double my own rhythm to achieve an orgasm. Afterwards, there is some kind of recrimination. I am apologising. Why? For making love? For actually ejaculating? Somewhere in the background is my mother disapproving.
You can’t even rely on a wet dream these days.
I’m typing into a computer when a message comes on the screen – “Wrong File.” This starts as a faint typewritten line which becomes handwritten. How does the computer know that the stuff I’m typing is in the wrong file?
My new book had come out.
People were ignoring me. So finally, I asked the man at the table if I might have a copy, which I hadn’t seen.
He was quite affable – his voice resembled an editor I work with. We have never met, only spoken on the phone.
He counted out seven copies of the book and handed them to me. I was shocked, disappointed.
The book was about three inches by six inches, slim, about thirty pages, and held together by two brass staples. The staples were more than half an inch from the left-hand edge, so it was hard to open the book and read the print.
For some reason I was looking for music, and relieved to find a few bars; but these were printed vertically.
Suddenly I saw that the pages at the front of the book consisted only of pictures. Not cartoons as I had hoped and expected, but some kind of exotic paintings. When I fingered the pages they became thicker; and I said somewhat ingratiatingly to the man that I thought the illustrations were very good.
The man seemed surprised.
I am attracted to a tall slender woman. I am nervous about approaching her, fearful of being rebuffed. We meet from time to time but, perversely, I avoid her…
One evening, crowds of people in the streets. We seem to be with other people. I stand close to her and put my hand tentatively half way around her waist. We stand very close for a moment.
Later, I leave her – not wanting to, of course – with another woman talking at a long table, while I wander down the street. From a distance I hear her say something like, “Oh, Roger isn’t interested.” I hurry towards her but she has disappeared among the crowds milling around. I peer in vain at every approaching face. I have lost her through my own stupidity.
I wake in despair. Alas, I can never go back inside the dream and search for her.
Mary and I are in Rome. Mary is lying on her back on the bed. I am kissing her belly, her breasts, which seem unusually flat. She stops me when I try to kiss her on the mouth.
‘I’ve stopped all that; I’ve given up all that sort of thing.’
Later, I am driving her home in an expensive car which is not my own. I can’t find the way. I drive in to a sort of showroom and have to make a three-point turn to get out. ‘You’ve damaged the car,’ someone says.
There is someone, an Italian, who seems to have turned Mary against me in some way. I remember showing him around my house which has a promontory overlooking the sea. He casts doubt on the plans; whether all of this really belongs to me.