Rolling around in bed, you can feel the strains of the day moving up your arms. It is as if they fold around your back and up your neck, finally exiting along the pillow rather than heading into your brain. And then, while in this relieved state, your brain slips away. You can listen to it, as it begins to make it's non logical connectives. I am considering the feeling of a shirt, lying on the grass in the park, and then next I am flying over a rapeseed field next to a motorway - they feel the same.

Then come the dreams which offer to tell you about yourself, or your future, for a small sum. If you can actually inspect them in their deeply metaphorical state. If you've always played the disgruntled English student, such as myself, this is a nightmare. This is my bullshit, of which I cannot remember saying, and do not want to be held accountable. This is literature which I've written in that sickeningly poetic, spiritual part brain (of which we shall speak no more). And as if all that wasn't enough, this is material I've written about myself.

What she told me was quite simple. I was in her dream last night and I owned two animals. I had a ginger cat called Manchester and a baby giraffe. The cat hated the giraffe.

Ignoring all past and present, mentioned and unmentioned, feelings between us, I realize that Manchester was a really good name for a cat. A ginger cat. It has that same snap you get breaking a ginger cookie. There is the thin layer of orange dustiness. It has the same slyness, and gives the impression of a big, round, cheeky cat face. This is exactly the kind of cat I would like, if the cat were to be ginger.

The giraffe was a bit more difficult. I imagine they can become fairly impractical when they leave the baby stages, and even then, they are pretty large. Still, I liked the idea of keeping a giraffe, if only for the novelty value, so it wasn't something I was willing to dismiss right away. I can't really think of any reason for Manchester's hatred toward the giraffe other than the usual competition for attention and perhaps the giraffe's goofiness in comparison to the indeterminable elegance of Manchester.

So it was decided. The giraffe was subject to some conditions, and I would decide on that later, but I liked the cat. {I really would quite like that cat}.

I considered, would she have told me about her dream had things been different. But this is almost certainly a moot point, because had the feelings between us been different I don't think I would have played any kind of role in her dream at all; these bindings are what dreams promise. The animals, all the rest, would never have happened. And so with the preliminaries out the way I began to inspect the dream a bit deeper.

I imagined sitting in front of the fire, in a comfortable armchair, with my cat Manchester poised loyally on my lap. And the baby giraffe, I don't know - banished somewhere to the corner, or the shed, or somewhere that he could stand up without breaking his neck; a gentleman's gruesome intrigue. The house I could not decide if I wanted cosy or grand. Cats and giraffes, really. I felt I could almost see the rest of the house, but it wouldn't quite form. Perhaps I was not quite relaxed enough on my pillow, or the house was missing some kind of warmth, memory. Either way, I realized I could not continue; I had to stop. This wasn't my dream to decide upon. So I turned to face her, sitting on the other armchair next to me, smiling up at me, curious as to what I could be pondering, with Manchester sat like that on my lap. With her eyes looking at me in that way I panicked. I didn't really know what to do - actually, I didn't know what was expected of me. I knew I wanted the cat, this much was sure. The giraffe was a matter to decide on later, it was a simple issue of practicalities, nothing else. The rest - I was still unsure. I paused, and gave myself time to open back up again. Then I asked myself the question. Did I want this? Did I want all of this?

After some time, the answer came to me, echoing quietly back through the air like the calls of a giraffe locked in a shed.

In her dream I turned toward her and that look of panic had disappeared from my face, I smiled. Yes. Yes I did.

LoveQuest 2011: Chocolates, Sonnets, and Alcohol

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