I think I’ve finally cracked.
This afternoon, sitting in my favourite chair in the lounge, I fell asleep for two hours. That isn’t the reason I think I’ve lost it. I’m sure that many sane people have two-hour naps. Some maybe sleep for longer. Although I suspect the mean is somewhere around 30-60 minutes (with a standard deviation of I can’t fucking remember how to do statistics, you should have asked me that about 30 years ago).
Or is it the median? I never could tell averages, means, modes and medians apart.
Anyway, it was whilst sleeping that I had the weirdest dream.
I do most of my dreaming asleep. Well, if you exclude my dreams of being a famous writer, of turning into Captain America or that particularly vivid and athletic one about my torrid love affair with Angelina Jolie. But apart from those (and the endless-supply-of-spaghetti one, but I presume most people have that), I generally dream when in a comatose state. Like in bed. Or in a train. Or on my chair. Or when working.
Disappointingly, this dream did not feature Angelina Jolie. She didn’t even have a walk-on part. Let alone a lie-down one. But I digress.
The main character in this dream was … [Drumroll, please] … the Queen. No, I don’t mean Freddy Mercury. I mean the Queen of England. And Scotland. And Wales. And Northern Ireland. But not southern Ireland, which is actually called the Irish Republic and therefore warrants only a small “s”. And Canada too, apparently, though that’s not part of her official title. Mind you, that would be funny: “All rise for Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth the Second of Great Britain, Northern Ireland, but not the Irish Republic, and Canada too, apparently.”
Of course I was in this dream too. That goes without saying. I usually get the leading role, though now and again I get a more arthouse, cinéma-vérité kind of role as The Man Through Whose Eyes We See The World.
So the Queen and I are on an island. Not the British Isles. Or the Isle of Man. Or even the Scilly Isles, irrespective of their silly spelling and thus perfect suitability for inclusion in the surreal world of a dream. This was just a plain old island, and we were on it. As one does. Or is. Or is it “are”?
Talking of which, did you notice that I correctly and with the required reverence mentioned the Queen before myself, even though I was the star? And did you also note that I wrote “I” not “me”, the rule being that when you take the other people away, the sentence should still make sense? Not that anyone would want to take the Queen away. Nor that I am suggesting such regal robbery. It’s just that were one to momentarily remove the Queen from my sentence – perhaps to another room that had cucumber sandwiches, corgis and some copies of Homes & Gardens for her to read while she was waiting – my sentence would still be grammatically correct. In this case, “So I are on an island.”
OK, that one doesn’t work. But they usually do, and if you don’t stop interrupting, I’ll forget what I was going to say and I’ll never finish my story. Then you’ll be left wondering what the fuck happened and why you’ve wasted all this time reading a bunch of nonsense that sort of trails off at the end because you wouldn’t fucking shut up and listen.
As I was saying, we – Her Royal Highness and I – were on an island of no definite name or geographic location. It was just an island (bear with me on this one). Not only was it an island, but it had a hill. And me and HRH was standing on it (Sorry: I threw that one in to make sure you were still awake).
I should at this point mention that there was a third person with us, although he played a far more minor role than both yours truly and HRH and therefore deserves scant mention. Let’s just say he was there and be done with it, shall we?
Standing at the top of the hill, we gaze down across the water. It’s some kind of strait because I can see the land on the other side. A bit like how I imagine England must look from the Isle of Wight. However, the strait is so narrow it’s more like a big river. Or the Channel if you pushed Britain about eight-and-a-half miles towards the Continent.
We’re waiting for a ship to arrive. Probably the royal yacht, though I’m afraid that was left rather vague. But it was definitely a big cruise-liner type of vessel because that’s what I always imagined the royal yacht being. Even though, given its name, I suspect it’s actually closer to yacht-size than a cruise ship. Not to mention the fact that it would then probably be called the royal cruiser. Unless that already refers to Prince Andrew.
I now realise my brain did rather a poor job making this dream because the strait was so narrow the boat could barely have fit in sideways. So rather than having to sail from the mainland to the island, passengers could simply have climbed aboard the ship/boat/yacht at one end, walked the length of said maritime vessel and hopped off onto dry land on the other. So apologies for my lack of imagination on that score. Now where was I? Ah yes:
As we’re waiting for the ship, we’re making small talk, she with that sort of pebble-in-the-mouth voice of hers, I – coming from a more modest background – with my sort of pebble-less voice. It is at this point that I realise that I’m not wearing a shirt, so I go inside to get one (it not being the done thing to converse with a member of the Royal Family with your man boobs hanging out).
Yes, I know I failed to mention the house up to now, but since it’s not been central to the plot, there was really no point in saying anything. And in any case, it only features in passing and then sort of disappears altogether from the plot. Well, when I say “disappears altogether” I mean “becomes irrelevant,” because although we’re standing on the patio, it really plays no other part than providing a rest for our feet. And stopping us from falling on the ground below, of course, even though I distinctly remember this being grass and therefore unlikely to do anything worse than putting a green stain on the royal dress.
When I return, beshirted, the Queen is still standing where I left her on the patio, still gazing down the grassy hill towards the water. The ship is about to dock. “Look,” she says. “I think it’s about to dock. I’d better get my speech.”
And that’s when I woke up.