I fell asleep more quickly than I expected last night and woke up in the early hours of this morning wondering where I was… curled up by the back door, with my face turned to the garden outside. Sleep walking again.
Vivid dreams too. I had been in Greece, not at my beloved Parthenon but at the Delphi Theatre, sat on warm stone and ready to watch a performance.
It was a tragedy, complete with masks, about a young girl who became obsessed with knives. She had collected great boxes full of them, and was eager to show them off to anyone who would listen. There was another knife enthusiast, who shared his collection with her… and I was the only one who could see the tail of the devil he went to great lengths to conceal from her. Of course it ended in her death, a scream from behind the scenes rather than a bloody death on stage, as is usual in Greek theatre.
I sat speechless and stunned as people around me began to leave, and only looked up when I heard a voice address me. Here was the man in the mask, smaller than I’d thought from a distance, and the mask he wore bore a slight smile rather than the scowl I’d imagined.
“She’s not really gone, don’t worry yourself about it… It’s just the performance. So much of life is a performance, wouldn’t you say?”
I nodded my head in agreement and noted the accent he spoke with, not the voice I’d expected to hear at all. As if he’d read my thoughts, he said, “I’m not at home here, I’m from the land of dragons. But this is a good place to visit for a while.”
He held one hand out to me, and pointed down towards the stage with the other, “Look, here she is.” I followed his gesture with my eyes and saw the young girl, still wearing her mask, standing at the foot of the seating. I started towards her but stumbled, and the distance between us suddenly seemed so much greater and more dangerous than I’d thought. I took hold of his offered hand and felt myself lifted off my feet. “Hold on tight,” he said, “and with me you’ll fly.”
I looked at his mask, wishing I could see behind it, a wish he seemed to acknowledge with the slightest shake of his head. I turned my gaze down and realised we were soaring through the air, on the back of a huge red dragon, over green fields and bright blue waters….
And then I woke, by the back door, looking out into the garden.
I did warn you it was ridiculous…