Friday, March 04, 2005


I woke up in the middle of a seriously disturbing dream earlier this morning.

A couple of nights ago we watched a dramatisation of Guantanamo interrogation techniques on C4. Of all the horrors portrayed, one scene bothered me the most. A chunky guard, who looked uncannily like Tom Sizemore, cuddled up to a blindfolded Muslim prisoner, stroked his neck, and whispered into his ear promising to come round and 'look after' him later on when everyone else was asleep.

Tom Sizemore's a big bloke.

Disregarding the fact that I have met several people in my life who possibly would enjoy a few days in Guantanamo, I was affected by the show and dreamed about it last night.

My dream version of the scene featured me as the prisoner, being subject to various tortures and really having no information to give to my interrogators. Towards the end of the dream, instead of Tom Sizemore I was visited by Russell Crowe. He's an ever bigger bloke. On the plus side, he didn't force me to listen to his poetry.

One thing's for sure. Judging by my reaction to the scenario I can be pretty sure that I have a lot of sympathy with innocent victims of torture and that, not even in the darkest crevice of my subconscious, do I relish the prospect of being gang-banged by Tom Sizemore and Russell Crowe. Actually, it didn't get that far in the dream. Maybe it's just the neck stroking I objected to.

This put me in a strange frame of mind for the rest of the day. Later on for some reason, I daydreamed about a world without me in it. The dream wasn't an updated, South London version of It's a Wonderful Life, showing how much worse off everyone around me would be if I hadn’t been born. No, it was more along the lines of how quickly everyone around me would adapt if I just dropped down dead right now. The imagery was quite vivid and left me with no illusions. I wasn't actually depressed by this vision of the World after Me. That's life. But I did snap out of it with a conviction that I really should make my mark somehow and leave some tangible reminder for those I leave behind. The people around me better hope that I write something interesting and get published at some point. Otherwise there's a very distinct possibility they'll be woken some day by the steady tap tap of me practicing my amateur tatooing and stencilling skills on exposed parts of their bodies.

But these thoughts of torture and oblivion aren’t what vexed me the most today. No.

In response to a masterful tactical first strike made by me at one point in the evening, the subject of, how can I put it delicately, the relative unpleasantness of individual wind-breaking episodes came up in conversation. The Other Half admitted to me, for the first time in ten years, that she can never be too sure of the olfactory outcome of any particular incident and therefore operates on a principle of maximum caution and sneaks off somewhere private to do the do. I, on the other hand, can rate my own impending rip snorters on a sliding scale of severity, and volume, from 1 to 5, with something like 90% accuracy. Unless I'm drunk, under which circumstances, all bets are off.

What I couldn't figure out was, even after carrying out a few experimental runs on my own later in the evening, was how did I know what was coming through? Is it a subconscious prediction based on what I have eaten over the previous 24 hours? I don’t think so, as sometimes there are sequences - Not So Bad - Quite Bad - Not So Bad - Hades On Earth. No, there's some other process at work and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

This level of fascination in the tooting process is a boy thing isn’t it? It's got to be something to do with the fact that we don’t make babies.

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