Dancing in ankle-high mud with only a book to shield me from the rain, I am joyful and careless, surrounded by friends at some sort of music festival where I feel a sense of belonging. I stroll straight from this scene into my conveniently nearby home, the sprawling party outside could very well be in my garden.
Up the stairs and into my room an almost naked Marilyn Manson calls me over and points to some books on the shelves over my bed. He pulls out one covered with satanic symbols, turns to a page and finds what he was looking for, an intricately illustrated demonic figure. He points to the page and then to the space above his heart, and then to that self-same space on my chest.
Marilyn puts an arm around me, cradling my head with his chest and we lay back on my bed as his tattooist emerges from the corner with the loudly buzzing gun in one of his black latex gloves. He copies the image directly onto Marilyn, before me. It feels extremely sexual – I am uncomfortable and uncertain about what follows, but dismiss these feelings thinking that either way it’s pretty cool.
On the drive back from this festival a sudden commotion is diagnosed as the result of a flat tyre. We hop out and examine the damage.
… All of this I tell Noah as we drive to work. I have forced him out of bed very early to accompany me on my drive to work so that he can take the car back for me. A real beauty who would jump at the chance to play in someone else’s car.
I reward his kindness by telling him of the bizarre dreamworld I had inhabited moments earlier. This unsolicited monologue ends just as there is a loud crash and jolt, and the sound of metal grinding on concrete as we start to lop to one side. The giant pothole that I had not seen until too late has torn my tyre apart.
A few days later I wake to see a message from Noah at 2.30am, he is stranded on the way back from work. Two nails have puncture his tyre. The very next evening, at 1am, my colleague messages to say that she is stuck on the side of a road with a flat tyre.
A spooky coincidence that we all drive on the same fucking poorly maintained roads. I should start hovering.