In the dream my Christmas vacation continued. I was travelling with my family to Tampere. When we arrived there, I called to some friend of mine with my cell phone - and said I would be there until Jan 18. I also said I was already having a hell.

(Real world correlation: For this whole vacation, I had been in Kuhmo - and didn't have any time to do anything really interesting there. Some minor lack of privacy, my computer wasn't there, too much background noise...)

But while I was in Tampere, I noticed there was a pinball machine in the second floor/attic where I usually slept. It was a pinball machine with a pirate island theme, my parents said they wanted a Pern-themed game instead but could only get that one.

I talked about the game with them but they said I needed to pay to play it. I inserted a 1 markka coin, and got one playing credit. Then I inserted a 10 mk coin, but the display said I had 10 playing credits, not 11.

I played the game as a two-player game with someone else (can't remember who it was). It was a sort of an adventure game. I remember I was the worse player, but the other player was really good at it. We got to the second "level" at which point the other player got bored (all because he couldn't shoot the ball...). He said I could just power the machine down; the game would continue where we left.

We were in the bedroom, and she had that look on her face, the one that told me everything I needed to know.

I didn't want to fight, but she kept taunting me, calling me on, throwing things at me. She kept making fun of me, that was the problem. She kept laughing at me and making fun of me. I wouldn't have hit her, if she had stopped. I wouldn't have touched her.

Even with her eyes unfocused, face scratched and bleeding, she kept laughing. "Now you've done it," she said, "now you've really done it..."

I knew I was dreaming, because Samuel Beckett was standing behind the hedge at the bottom of the garden, smoking a cigarette whose glowing red tip floated in the twilight like a firefly. The dusk had brought a thick feeling of summer and smoke to the air, and I wandered across the uncut grass to talk to him.

He was dressed all in black, wearing a leather jacket and turtleneck and jeans. His face was deeply lined and his hair stiff like a yellow brush, just as he appeared in photographs towards the end of his life. He was reluctant to make eye contact, and pulled irritably at his cigarette, which I noticed was held the wrong way around, so that hot ash and unfiltered smoke poured into his lungs with every breath.

What are you doing here? I asked.
Well, they say I'm coming back into vogue now.

He shuffled slightly, staring at his feet. He wanted to tell me something, but was looking for words that wouldn't sound false. Finally he looked up and spoke softly:

You've got a strong heart. I can hear it from here. It'll carry you through.

He flicked his cigarette into the grass and walked away without saying goodbye. It was obvious to me that he hated melodrama and falsity above all things, and that he knew, with a painful awareness, how hard it can be to communicate truly and sincerely in words, so that someone can understand exactly what you mean. I listened to my heart for a few seconds - that barely audible pulse in the inner ear that tells you you're alive.

This is a dream of mine from years ago which I wanted to node so I can forget about it.

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