Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Dream Taxi

He was standing on an erk in Erko, a long hair, with pony tail, waving, not frantically, rather amused that, dreaming, I hadn't seen him. He climbed in the front seat and said if I hadn't stopped he would have phoned for me. Wanted to go to Chelmsford. To pick up a mobile home. Chelmsford? I said. Yeah, he replied. A long ride. I knew you’d be pleased. They were digging up Wilson Street, one side of the road only, so I had to go carefully through there. Where in hell was Chelmsford? Way out west? In London? On some other planet than ours? There was too much blue on the map, as if it segued from Horsham into the Fens. The sky darkening by the minute and water rising. We were lost in Darlington, lost in Golden Grove, without a destination. Locomotive Street flashed up on the computer screen but that was no help. Something was tugging at a forgotten corner of my mind. Deep sleep therapy. A man called Hart, with complications after eyelid surgery, pumped full of barbiturates by Dr. Herron and kept comatose for two weeks. He was never the same again but at least he was alive to work his griefs, for thirty years, inconsequentially, through the courts. Mr Hart had now to sue Cashman and Partners, solicitors, for negligence. They cited a precedent that upheld advocates’ immunity from such charges and extended said immunity to the preparations for a court case by solicitors. They had never put medical evidence of Mr Hart's Post Traumatic Stress Disorder before the court. Why did this long hair want to go there, I wondered? It was in Pennant Hills, 2 The Crescent. Why? When I get my mobile home, the man was saying, I'll be able to sleep anywhere. Imagine my dreams! At Lake Mungo. In the shadow of The Olgas. In a red gorge of the Bungle Bungles. I was feeling grim now, it was a long way to Pennant Hills, it was getting darker by the minute and I still wasn't sure we weren't in London. Dr. Heron, I said, dredging the name out of the murk. You are Dr. Heron? No, he said, looking troubled. No, no, not at all. My name is Heart. My relief was indescribable. I settled back into the seat. Oh, well, that's alright then, I said. I'll take you to Horsham Downs. The taxi accelerated through the rising waters, throwing up sheets of silver spray. Reflections in the slick wet streets made garish cathedrals of light. Underground, all over the City, sleepers awoke.