The philosophy seminar was almost upon us so I’d spent the day reading Schopenhauer. I’d spent the day in silence. When my attention started to wander I’d occasionally speak out loud. I’d say things like ‘Come on – get on with it.’ Schopenhauer wasn’t so easy: just when I thought that I’d understood parts of his philosophy something would come along to make it plain that I hadn’t. That’s why I had to exhort myself to keep going. BUT Schopenhauer must have thrown a handful of sparklers into the cave of my unconscious because that night I had a dream:
Like a curtain going up on the theatre of the real, I was instantly aware that I was in a frozen silver birch wood with Sarah Lund. I knew it was Sarah immediately. She looked as beguiling as ever. She was wearing jeans and a soft leather jacket. Her presence drew me in, made me feel comfortable. I felt comfortable because I liked the distant between us. Above all, I knew that I could rely on her.
We walked together through the birch wood. I noticed that the trunks of the trees were hanging a few feet above the ground. After a while we passed a derelict cinema: an old poster was stuck to one of its walls. It was so torn and faded that I couldn’t read any of the words that once announced details of the forthcoming films. I shivered and pushed my hands deep down into the pockets of the jacket that I was wearing. Sarah was by my side. She did the same and I wondered if she had a gun hidden away from view.
Sarah walked on and on into the bleak landscape. I followed. We passed fallen trees swathed in sodden moss and tracts of glimmering marsh-grass, the black needles of which punctured the surface of dead swamps. And then the pale light of the distant fading sun gave way to crimson, then burnt orange, then rose, and then to ashen grey. We came to the banks of a river and Sarah led me to the water’s edge. In front of us was an old wooden jetty and, moored alongside, a small wooden rowing boat.
We sat down on the jetty; in the distance, on the other side of the river I could see some huts. I could make out a few tiny distant figures close to the huts. I opened a huge map of France to see if I could find out where we were. I could see all the details of the north and the east of France on the map and yet some panels in the centre were completely blank. But that’s where we were. Sarah and I were nowhere. We were in a blank space. I didn’t even know if we were in France. But we were in France – in the place where the old volcanoes once lived and died.
I turned to look at Sarah. She wasn’t wearing her usual clothes. Whatever it was that she was wearing was ripped and torn. I wanted to touch her. I reached out my hand and as I did so I heard her singing some words from the Rolling Stones’ song ‘Let it bleed’:
‘Well we all need someone to lean on – And if you want it, well you can lean on me.’
At that point I awoke – feeling an absolute happiness. The happiness stayed with me all day.
As the sun went down I typed the heading, ‘Last night I dreamed of Sarah Lund.’