July 4th, 2020

I Do Like To Be...

I had a dream in which I was a number of things I've chosen not to be in this life- extrovert, flamboyant, shameless- and gay.

I was watching and simultaneously acting in a movie- they way one does in dreams. I was also having an affair with Charlton Heston. He was the star of the movie but I was definitely outshining him- and giving the performance of my life.

There was a scene that was cut. Me and Charlton were swinging on ropes out over an abyss. We had filmed it at somewhere like the Grand Canyon, it was early evening and the light was fabulous. I couldn't see why they'd cut it because it was such a great scene.

I was very good looking. I had glossy black hair which I cut in a sloping fringe. I looked rather like a young Sean Connery- only more boyish. And I walked with a swagger.

The climax of the movie was a song and dance number. It was ecstatic, dionysiac. The song we were singing morphed into "I do like to be beside the seaside"- and I was singing louder and faster than anyone else, and stamping harder.

I woke up out of breath.

You Be Mom And I'll Be Dad

Generally in dreams I'm identifiably myself- a roving consciousness with characteristics I recognize as my own. What made last night's dream so interesting- apart from it being the most tremendous fun- was that the roving consciousness had taken on characteristics that were so very different from my own. I am not flamboyant, extrovert, shameless or gay. And yet the consciousness never paused to think, "Hey, this isn't really me;" it just launched into its adventures with a gusto which is also (perhaps) somewhat alien to me.

We are all actors. Shakespeare said it so it must be true. Some of us are method actors- so deeply embedded in the characters we've assumed that we don't think of it as acting. And some of us wake up in the morning and put on our daily faces in full or at least partial consciousness that we're playing a part. Could we wake up and choose to be someone else? Theoretically, yes. And practically too. Confidence tricksters do it consciously, people with multiple personalities flit from persona to persona without conscious control.

For the sake of the game it's important most of us stick to the roles we've chosen and developed. A few wild cards add spice to the mix but the game would become unplayable if- like Alec Guinness in Kind Hearts and Coronets- we were all of us flitting between roles- a playboy one day, a suffragette the next and a pedantic clergyman after that...

Last night's dream blew the whistle on me. You've chosen your role, it said, and you'll play it through- but, look, you could have played this other  character if you'd wanted to.

Maybe next time.