The most glorious and terrifying fever-induced hallucination I ever had was this one:
It was a gigantic, I mean collossal turd, rolling with the ponderous inevitability of death after a skinny little boy pedalling furiously on a rickety little bicycle.
cue hysterical laughter
What, you were expecting something profound maybe, like Jesus descending from heaven for the final battle in a solid gold flaming chariot pulled by the twelve apostles, all the martyrs and the angels and saints charging after him with swords singing "We Are The Champions" while God sits back in a galaxy-sized armchair eating planets like popcorn and wondering if he can be bothered reaching for the remote to switch the channel to the universe next door?
No. Otherwise I wouldn't be here noding about this shit. I'd be locked up in the lunatic asylum, or on television making obscene amounts of money.
So, maybe you could start looking for meaning in my vision. Maybe you would look for Freudian symbolism. I mean, a gigantic fucking turd threatening to crush a frightened little boy, that's about as Freudian as you can get without actually going back in time to engage in coprophilic acts with Sophocles and his mother. Maybe it's an anal dream, fear of authority, fear of restriction, discipline, control? Fear of being crushed under the fetid weight of an angry elimination? Well, maybe there's something useful to understand out of all that - these things might have been an issue for me at the time. But what's more interesting to me is the feeling of the dream, which I want to describe.
The turd was vast, spacious and bulky, a huge brown cumulus shit, a solid cloud of digested food rolling along the narrow streets of a deserted city. The boy was tiny, stick-thin, with glasses, riding a rusty old bicycle that shook and rattled with the road. The boy was scared, but not fully aware of what was chasing him. He couldn't see the turd. He was frightened, he was running, but he didn't know what from.
The details help, but really the most important thing is the feeling, the overwhelmingly urgent feeling that made it a vision rather than just a dream or a meaningless hallucination:
- The turd: huge, slow, bulging, bulbous.
- The boy: tiny, skinny, vulnerable.
- Hugeness:tininess. Like an atom adrift in intergalactic space. A feeling of space and size, the comparison of enormously different scales and measurements.
- And death: the terror of obliteration, destruction, non-existence. The fear of being destroyed, crushed out of life. An existential fear, from skin right through to bone, a feeling with its origins outside mortal flesh and life.
Scary, if you're seven. I ran out of my bedroom and into my mother's arms, screaming, but unsurprisingly I couldn't explain to her what was wrong. I was probably just babbling "the poo...the poo..." and making her think that she'd really screwed up somewhere along the line in my toilet training.