“Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses.”
Though my dreams may seem completely random, there are some rules they tend to follow. For one, I am almost always alone in my dreams. Only those who are very important to me show up in them, and if you appear in multiple dreams? Well I guess you’re pretty darn special to me at that point. On the rare occasion that I dream of someone who I am not close to at all, it strikes me as odd.
Such is the case of a truly strange dream I had of a friend’s friend…
One of my dearests (S), who is of the rare few to appear in dreams innumerable, introduced me to his best friend (E) a few months ago. E and I have seen each other a handful of times since the summer, and he’s a lovely person, albeit merely an acquaintance. Not too long ago, his father suffered a stroke and was placed in a rehabilitation center. I sent well wishes and checked in via S when I could.
A couple of weeks ago, I fell into a deep sleep that immediately jumped me to the club where E works as a DJ. I was with S, who was, for some reason, carrying my son around on his shoulders. E waved me over and told me that he had something important to tell me, so I met him behind the bar. He said he was very worried about S, and that “he needed his fire back”.
I felt wholly clueless as to what that entailed, so E shook his head in exasperation and told me to follow him back to his house. I did so, and in a flash, we were in a modest house that looked more store than home. E was standing behind a glass counter, similar to what you would see in a pawn shop or jewelry store, and clocks were literally everywhere. On the walls, clocks were hung so tightly together that you could barely see the wallpaper peeking between them. Some were standard round clocks that you would see in any business or school, while some were far more ornate – wood carved masterpieces. The counter also housed many small clocks on the shelves, and the counter-top had so many different alarm clocks that it was almost difficult to see the shelving below.
The floors too, were littered with clocks. These were giant grandfather behemoths that towered over E and me. He watched as I looked at all the clocks, and waited patiently for me to turn my attention back to him. As soon as I did, he began speaking of S again. He repeated his worry, but I couldn’t quite understand what he was saying. The clocks ticked in unison as he spoke, and I noticed that the ticking was becoming louder and faster as our conversation wore on.
He repeated the need for S to have his fire brought back. I furrowed my brow and asked what he thought would do the trick. This time, it seemed I would actually get an answer, but as E spoke, his words became drowned out by the ticking, which was now a constant stream instead of individual clicks of the clock hands. I looked at the faces of the clocks behind him and noticed that the hands were spinning out of control, faster and faster.
As the clocks spun faster, I found it impossible to focus on what E was saying, not that I could hear him over the din. I looked at his face and saw that he was aging, quickly. Changing, too. As the clocks sped on, hands whirling around in fury, he became a different person altogether.
I have never met E’s father, so I have no idea what he looked like, but somehow in my dream I knew that he had turned into his father.
Just as the transformation was complete, all of the clocks struck midnight at the same time and rang out. Cuckoos came lurching out of their hideaways, and alarm clocks danced across the glass counter as their bells chimed. The grandfather clocks rang with low tones, while the smallest of the clocks trilled their alarm. I covered my ears from the sheer noise overload, and looked back to the figure of E’s father.
As the clocks shrieked, he met my eyes and smiled. I took a breath and prepared to speak, but he faded away before I could muster a word. As his body vanished out of view completely, the clocks all stopped their cacophonous racket at once. The silence that followed was deafening in its own right, as I stood alone in the small house.
I woke up with a start, feeling a little ill. The next day, I told S about the dream and he relayed it to E. What I did not know prior to this dream was that E’s father had passed away suddenly a week before.
So, there you have it, folks. Let me know what you think about this one!