By Chris Limb

The equally absurd worlds of modern celebrity and ancient mythology collide when pop singer Genie searches for her dead lover in the afterlife

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Advent 20: Two People

I had one of those dreams again last night. Where there are two of one person - but you don't actually notice. Or rather you think, "There's Person X oh and there's Person X as well." Sometimes you think, "Oh Person X just told me this - I should tell Person X, it sounds like it would be right up their street!"

It's always most peculiar especially the way that—within the logic of the dream—you don't even question it.

Last night's was a subtle version as there was only one version of the person present but the existence of the second version was known. In it I met the actor Kevin Eldon and though "You know if they ever made a film of Kevin Eldon's life, they should get Kevin Eldon to play him - he'd be really good and they look so similar" where the first Kevin Eldon was the one present and the second Kevin Eldon was the one I knew about.

It's usually other people who are duplicated in this way in these dreams. But I wonder what it would be like if there were two of me in a dream and I didn't realise?

20: Wernigerode, 1995

Five years before meeting Genie, Wendi is on tour with Beam in Europe.

Clouds of steam rose from the engine at the front of the train. This was what Sean was excited about. It was a steam train, the archetype that always came to mind whenever Wendi thought of trains, despite the fact that she'd never seen one before. The Science Museum in London didn't count, despite how impressive they'd been close up and how small and vulnerable they made her feel, they'd been carcasses, gleaming and polished, mounted as trophies in the hall of the museum. Whereas here...

The engine was dirty and smelly. Dangerous. Sean stopped to admire it but Wendi dodged past him and continued to follow Hans closely. The sooner they had this sorted out the sooner she could sit down again and possibly get back to sleep. Now that the nightmare had evaporated she was keen to resume unconsciousness.

Ten minutes later Wendi climbed up into the carriage and dropped into the window seat in the compartment. The sky was still pitch black. Their destination was the top of the mountain which loomed over the town and yet despite its close proximity the train would take over an hour and a half to get up there winding its way through the foothills and looping around the summit before arrival. Wendi closed her eyes. The others bundled into the compartment and slammed the door. Someone sat next to her, the nylon of their coat hissing against the seat. She didn't care who it was. Her head lolled to one side the cold glass of the window pressing against her forehead. She didn't mind. Now that sleep had been cleared of the infestation it was an alluring prospect.

The carriage shook and jerked as the train pulled off, the sound of the steam engine so familiar to her despite the fact that she'd never heard it in real life before.

The rocking motion and the repetitive sounds became increasingly soporific and even the cold itself was numbing blanket, wrapping her in anaesthesia. It was always like this on tour, trying to sleep on the move, never truly rested, never unexcited, always looking ahead, ahead to the next night, ahead to the next, never wanting to go home, wanting more, wanting more, wanting more...

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