Photo by Yohann Lc on Unsplash

I rarely ever dream. But on the rare occasions I do, my dreams are often deeply surreal, disturbingly violent or just very unusual.

I usually don’t remember them. But one night last week, I had a dream which felt very profoud.

It went like this….

I’m in a theme park. It seems to be closing. It’s towards the end of the day.

But I have notions in this dream, as I often do, rather than knowing things for certain.

So, none of these things are total truths. They are feelings.

I’ve got the notion that I’m with a group of people – perhaps family. I’m not sure it’s my family but, they are people I know and there are children. But I’m separated from them and perhaps just with my girlfriend and maybe one child. It could be my brothers step daughter. But I’m not sure.

It’s a feeling.

I’m slowly heading towards the exit of the theme park, but I’m looking at things on the way out. The gardens. A recreation of a medieval castle wall. Stalls selling various items. There are lots of small shops selling gifts. Key rings, t shirts, coins.

I don’t know what this place is, I’ve never been here before. I don’t know its name or why I’m there. It’s not a place I’ve been in the real world. But it might be built of parts from theme parks I’ve been too – it gives me some of the same feelings as Alton Towers.

It’s noisy. Like a fun fair. But it’s closing. I’m generally walking, slowly, towards the exit via all these small shops and side attractions.

Only I’m not walking. I’ve just got the notion of walking? It’s actually more like I’m just looking at a slide show of pictures. It isn’t exactly real time. It’s just what my subconscious mind can do at the moment.

And suddenly the people I was with aren’t with me anymore.

And I’m outside one particular small shop.

And within a moment, now I’m inside it.

It’s a barbershop. There are people, mostly children it seems, getting their haircut. There are two or three chairs, maybe four. There is hair on the floor. It isn’t a place I’ve been in the real world either.

It’s odd there is a barbershop inside a theme park. It seems to make some sense.

I’m stood up. I don’t seem to be taking a seat to get in the queue, although the thought goes through my mind. Instead I’m stood up behind where people are getting their hair cut. It’s a little noisy here too, people are chattering. Kids are laughing.

There’s a feeling of expectation in the room. Like the people there are surprised to see me but also they seemed to know I was coming.

I say something, only I don’t know what I say. It’s a notion again. It’s a joke. It’s an expression of surprise at being there and of seeing people get their hair cut. It’s light and jovial. It’s non serious.

A lady who is cutting a childs hair turns and looks at me directly. Shes black, sort of chubby but very friendly looking. She has a huge smile. She looks nice.

A man, who I take to be the owner or someone important of talks to me.

Only he doesn’t talk to me and I can’t really see him at first. I hear his voice in my head. Like telepathy?

And he says three things to me. The first comes mixed in with the rest of the noise in the room

It was a challenge getting here?

It’s a statement but also a question. I get the notion his voice is deep and easy to understand. I don’t know what his accent is, because even though I hear him, I don’t really hear him? I just know what he has said.

I laugh and joke about everything being a challenge? I don’t know exactly what words I said but the feeling was it was a brush off. Meh, not really? It’s ok.

But I’ve got that feeling in my tummy, that I get when I’m trying to make jokes but someone else is being very serious?

He interrupts me.

You don’t eat good food do you? Because you don’t like yourself.

I’m mumbling now. I’m taken aback. I don’t know how to respond. It’s like this man is reading the code of my soul. Hes a stranger. But he knows my deepest secrets. It’s frightening but it also feels – interesting? He knows me as well as I know myself? How? How does he know this? My confidence is all gone. How is it possible? I fee suddenly very emotional. Writing this sentence here makes me feel the same way.

I see the notion of an image of the man. But his back is to me. I can’t see his face. He is stood looking out of the window. I get the feeling he is black too, with very short grey hair. He is elderly. He is wearing a purple or blue suit. He might be carrying a walking cane but – I can’t be sure.

I know it’s he who is speaking. But he isn’t speaking out loud, he’s able to put these words in my head.

I feel sad but, more in a, “someone really knows me” kind of way, as much as a reflection on my problems.

How do you know? I get the notion of asking him. How do you know this? Who are you?

He doesn’t reply. I just hear another series of words. This time, it is all I hear. Total silence apart from his words.

You have dreams and secrets. You have things you want to do and experience?

I weep. I can’t stop myself. I don’t know what is going on, but this man knows me.

Yes. Yes. I almost plead with him. Yes. It’s true. It is.

He only speaks once more.

Let it happen.

I’m fully awake. I didn’t wake up in a panic or a jump like one would from a nightmare. Just immediately awake. Comfortably.

And within a few seconds tears are streaming down my cheeks. Only, I’m not crying uncontrollably. It’s more like a release of pressure or tension? Or like watching something incredibly profound or sad in a film.

I get up and go to get a drink of water, carefully without waking my partner.

I sob quietly to myself on the stairs. I feel like I’ve experienced something important. I want to go back. I want to ask the man questions. I feel like he can give me answers. I want to know who he is.

By the time I’m at the bottom of the stairs and in the kitchen, my brain is telling me that if I wasn’t an atheist, I’d probably believe this was a spiritual experience and I’d just spoken to god or something.

But I am an atheist and the super natural doesn’t work for me.

No. It doesn’t do to try and explain the unknown with more unknown.

This is my subconscious. It’s my brain.

And perhaps that makes it all the more important?

I drink my water and wait a few moments. Then I go back to bed. But I can’t go back to sleep. I feel, unsettled, but in a strangely calming kind of way? I watch videos on YouTube for an hour or two until my girlfriend wakes up.

I won’t speak of any of this to her. It will raise too many questions. Questions I couldn’t answer. And those that I could would change the course of my life and her life entirely. I don’t want that. At least, my conscious brain does not want that.

As I’m cooking dinner the next day, I search online for the meaning of dreams and the first result on Google makes me feel uneasy

I don’t know what to make of this dream. I do know, I want to have it again and I’ve waited four nights so far to see if I will be able to talk to the man in the barbershop once more.

But so far, nothing.

I think hes out there, or rather in there, somewhere. And I hope he’ll come back and give me answers to the question he asked.

But knowing he is really me, perhaps the answers are in me already? Or perhaps all of this is the result of too much caffeine, alcohol and computer screens.

To dream and to wonder is to be human. But this doesn’t mean it’s easy.