The Law Train

I don’t have good dreams. Never have. Nor do I have ‘bad’ dreams, except on extremely rare occasions. No, what I have are weird, surreal, fucked-up dreams. I also have the usual recurring dreams sometimes about running away from Something Bad, but here’s the thing: I figured out long ago that, though running forwards away from some terror is practically impossible, because as you might entirely expect I forget how to run, all I have to do is turn around and run backwards. I can always remember how to do that. Maybe something to do with facing the terror?

This morning, after I’d gone to sleep for the third time after a night of sleeping not particularly well:

I’m on a train. Lots of people, seemingly young and American, but that makes sense; it’s where I live. The train itself doesn’t seem out of the ordinary, but it’s very busy. We’re all together, it seems. There’s this one slightly creepy young man, I think he has a camera or a camera-phone, and he’s acting like he knows me, talking about stuff we’ve done together, or are going to do together. I don’t think I know him, so I brush him off, to everyone’s amusement — they think he’s creepy too, apparently — and then he seems to continue hassling some of the girls. But soon he disappears. We look out of the window, and one of the guys — reminds me of Johnny Depp? Or actually is Johnny Depp? — looks out of the window and admires a place selling trailers (except they’re much more like British-style caravans). Says he’d love one of those. I can see that, apart from the trailer place, we’re travelling through a desert wilderness.

Walking around, a girl beckons me slightly conspiratorially. She seems to be a friend, but I don’t remember her. She tells me that she left some documents for me. She names them, but the names don’t mean any sense to me. I feel both relief and foreboding. She says that she left them with my stuff. I’m not entirely sure what she means, so I go looking. I start to realise that we are all together. We’re on the train heading for some sort of training to become — lawyers, I think. I get the impression I’d had second thoughts and tried to back out, but that the girl had believed she’d done me a favour by keeping me in the system. I’m partly glad she did — it’s something to be doing — but also realise that this isn’t going to be right for me. Way too many people. The train is very very social, and I feel, as usual, like an outsider.

I wander around looking for my stuff. At this point the train becomes unfeasibly wide. The carriages are like hotel rooms. It’s getting dark. At the end of the train I find what looks like a dormitory. Some young men are already there, settling into bed. On each of the other beds is a pile of documents, each named as belonging to one of the students. I look through them all, but don’t find mine. Heading back to the main part of the train, I realise that the girls’ dormitories are way at the other end of the train, to keep us apart. I see some of them in pyjamas, doing girl things and getting ready for bed. Then I find a second boys’ dormitory. It’s dark, smaller than the other one, and feels very cold. The walls are lined with shelves full of something I can’t make out at first, but which turn out to be packages of wood. I assume it’s to fuel the train. Through the window I see the desert; it’s cold and dark now, but the train keeps steaming along.

I find the bed with my stuff on it.

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