I woke up this morning in a cold sweat, stumbled out of bed at 6am and cascaded down the stairs in order to get coffee. Or tea. Or water. Some sort of liquid. My mother, who was making porridge, looked at me quizzically.
"I had a nightmare," I said as an answer to her unasked question.
She started talking about the dream she'd had, which wasn't very interesting - it involved my cousin who lives with us and hold-ups on London trains - and then went on to criticise my diet. But I wasn't listening intently. I was too wrapped up in the dream I'd had.
It's a really upsetting thing that I was dumped by The Drinker almost a year ago and that even with a new direction, new friends and new lady, I'm still having dreams about her. She was a very important, positive part of my life and nobody can deny that, despite what Nanna might think. But the truth is that I haven't heard from her for a few months now, my assumption being that she is in a library somewhere beneath Liverpool covered in dust, and that every time I play a song by The Scaffold, I quickly think of her.
Nobody who likes The Scaffold can be all bad.
But I don't want to dream of her. I specifically don't want to have dreams where I'm in a relationship with her - that stage of my life was terminated at the beginning of 2011. I haven't had any dreams that are particularly memorable featuring cutieloveheartgirl, and that's the sort of dream that I'd like to have, especially as I miss her so much. Hell, the dream I had two nights ago with Blacksilk, Lady-P and Nimue in it was nice enough (there was no sex, ladies, don't worry!). And then, for no reason at all, last night I had a variation on the same dream I've had before, only this time, the sex is full, it's in plain view, it's with someone I know (and yet someone she's never met), and I'm just sitting there and letting it happen. The only mercy being that it's in softcore and for some reason The Divine Comedy is playing in the background. But I digress.
"I don't like island life," my dream-self says over breakfast. I can only assume "island life" is the name for this form of allowed sexual digression. It's also the title of the Divine Comedy track that comes around the same time as Assume the Perpendicular, the track that was playing.
"Okay," she grinned.
"I don't like you having sex with another man," I pressed on.
"Okay," she responded.
"Okay?" I said.
"You're allowed to touch someone, right?" she said. "And you're allowed to give medicine?"
"Well, he was giving medicine." She giggled.
I wake up and I'm hurting. Why am I hurting? It's just a dream. She's not my girlfriend any more. She wasn't on my mind the night before. I wasn't even thinking about him - I haven't seen him for Glod-knows-how-long. Since May, perhaps? But it still has the power to hurt, to wake me up with an aching sense of betrayal, angry at the world, all the unanswered questions, the ghosts of history stabbing at my insides, and at myself, for letting this get to me when, as far as I'm concerned, it's no longer relevant. It shouldn't even hurt that much, anyway - there are lots of other dreams I could have had which would have hurt even more.
I don't deserve this, I really don't. H said the other day that I've gone above and beyond the call of duty for those I care about. And I have. H, 47, all my friends. Rebecca, TD, clhg... the ones I love. I've coped with so much and I've even managed to keep afloat through the murkiest of waters if someone I love needs me to. I've given my heart and soul to people who have thrown it aside. So why must I endure such pain during sleep as well?
Answers on a postcard?