Birthday Guilt

It is a dry, warm, sunny day. You know the kind. I am in a large, open, pretty valley dotted here and there with the occasional business unit.

I walk over, casually, to one of the business units. Each is made of modern metal materials and I go inside and inside I see lots of antiques laid out. Even though I’m unaware of this at the time, I am, subconsciously, looking for a present for my girlfriend.

A lady tries to sell me two of these empty, ‘special’ bottles that are apparently very old. She tells me they were used during the First World War for storing liquids underground. I notice that one looks much older than the other, but she tells me that the older one is worth less than the new one. Then she tells me, with a strange excitement across her face, that both bottles are worth two-hundred pounds each.

I think, ‘ok, that sounds very expensive to me’, but I don’t say anything. I just smile and nod a bit.

So, I’ve listened to her sales pitch, but I only want one bottle. I buy the cheaper bottle for £80, which she tells me is a huge bargain. But then, as I’m walking away with the bottle in a small, brown paper bag, I start to regret my decision and wonder, in a swell of anxiety, if I should have got both bottles anyway. But I also ask myself, doubtfully, ‘is the bottle I got really worth eighty pounds?’

Anyway, I leave the shop and walk along a road and who do I meet but an old school friend called Richard and some other guy I don’t know. I walk along with them for a bit, but they’re going in a direction and I don’t want to go that way. I suddenly realise I need to tie my shoe lace so I ask my old pal, Richard, if he can hold the bag containing the bottle for a second. He does. I bend down and tie the lace. Then I straighten up again, say goodbye and walk back down towards the antique shop.

Bizarrely, I look around the shelves again, but I’m confused more than ever. I start thinking that I’ve left my bottle in the antique shop, but there’s no one around to ask anymore. I’m thinking, ‘who’s got my bottle. Where have I left it? What happened?’ Then I realise I must have given it to Richard to hold and for some reason he’s walked off with it and not given it back. I can’t believe it! He didn’t say, ‘hey! Don’t forget this!’ The bastard.

I can’t even find the other bottle to buy, so now I don’t have either.

Just now, the lady appears again and she says, ‘oh, you’re back again.’

She informs me that the bottle she sold me is probably only worth five pounds, so I was right, and that annoys me, but she promises me, far, far in the future, it will be worth a lot more than eighty pounds. But this means I’ve got several problems and they start to weigh heavily upon me:
1. I feel guilty for not having a girlfriend present
2. I feel irked someone’s taken my bottle, even if it was a friend
3. The bottle was a massive rip off and I’m angry
4. I wish I’d chosen the other bottle because it was worth more after all; and
5. There were two bottles, but now I’m reluctant to buy the other one to replace the first because they’re clearly overpriced rubbish.

It’s a disaster.

I ask the lady if she’s seen the previous bottle in a brown paper bag bag, but she hasn’t.

As I leave the shop, I see a group of kids outside playing and that cheers me up a bit. I think to myself, rather optimistically, ‘oh well, that was an unsuccessful day.’


I felt tired after having this dream. It was taxing all right. I didn’t get my girlfriend a present for her birthday this year, really, so this was a true-guilt dream, the worst kind. I guess I thought, deep down, I’m a bad boyfriend, even though you said the things we did for your birthday were good – like going to the cinema to see Darkest Hour (which you loved) and having a meal out at that nice Thai restaurant. It’s interesting how I could hear my thoughts in this dream, because I wasn’t sure that was possible, but then in other dreams it’s like I have no thoughts. It’s a more introspective dream I guess. I wonder if other people can hear their own thoughts in dreams? I’d like to know that. I also find it funny that sunny open dusty spaces (like a few places in India) are symbolic of being diddled! Damn those touts.

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