Dreamtime: The parrot in my pocket.

Started by Gyppo, February 05, 2023, 08:11:13 PM

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    WARNING:  There's a little over 1000 words here, so allow yourself time to read it.


    I swear there were no drugs or alcohol involved.  I've never needed hallucinogenics to have strange dreams.  For a long time I always believed all writers minds work this , but apparently not.  I must say I'm glad it doesn't happen all the time.




    My eyes were feeling a bit tired this afternoon -  too much screen time - so I lay down for a while and closed them.  I fell asleep, which doesn't always happen, and had one of those bizarre day-time dreams.  Over the years I've noticed that the day time dreams are usually very different from the night-time versions.  Usually more bizarre and pointless.  The night-time versions can usually be linked to something I've been worrying or thinking about.  Sometimes they even show me a way forward from whatever the problem has been.

    But sleeping in the day seems to latch into the most bizarre and inconsequential thoughts and tries to link them together.  It's a bit like the times I sit down to clear out the odd notes on scraps of paper which have accumulated in my pockets and on my desk.  Sometimes I can't recall what made them noteworthy at the time of writing ;-)

    Anyway...  Today's dream involved a red and green parrot.  A sizeable parrot, proper 'Pirate Sized', not one of those neat little crow-sized African Greys which some Yuppie types have living free in their flat.

    It started in Bevois Valley, a local area which used to be famous as a run-down area with all sorts of dodgy and semi-legal businesses.  It used to be said that you could get anything in The Valley if you knew where to look, or indeed if you stood still long enough for the more shady denizens to notice you ;-)

    Cheap knock-offs, illegal weapons, cars and motorcycles whose owners hadn't even had time to tell the police they'd been stolen, willing women with the associated social diseases, etc.  Drugs, definitely.  And contract killings were hinted at, but never proven.  Plus some gratuitous violence.

    But there were also long established genuine businesses hanging on despite the odds.

    Therefore it was no surprise to see a stunned or doped parrot propped up on the outside display of a secondhand shop, its wings secured tight against its body in a plastic carrier bag, head sticking out of the top between the tied handles, and feet through the bottom, legs tied together with  a couple of turns of rough hairy string.

    The shop owner saw me looking and sidled out.  "I think he likes you, he's ignored everyone else all morning.  If you can take him away now he's free to a good home."

    A few minutes later I was walking up out of the valley with the parrot tucked into the poacher's pocket of my Cammo jacket, with it's still dopey looking red head peeping out through the side-vent.

    He was a very quiet parrot, not a squawk or cuss word leaving his beak, but beginning to take an interest in his surroundings.

    I had convinced myself my eldest daughter would like him.  (In the  real world this wouldn't happen, She's really uncomfortable around birds.  Loves watching them through the windows, but that's as close as she gets.)

    Then there was one of those odd time-slipping moments you only get in dreams.  I was back up on the main road, waiting for a bus back home.

    At the bus stop there was a man with a disabled daughter, who sat on the wall alongside him.  She was about ten tears old, a vague little blonde creature, with scrawny and floppy legs - cause unspecified - and I wondered if perhaps there was something dodgy about the duo.  He was looking for someone to help him get his daughter on the bus and other people in the queue were avoiding them.

    The bus was a double decker, so I helped them on to a downstairs seat, and promised to help him get her back off when they reached their stop.  This involved me going a few stops past my own destination, but it was a pleasant day for walking back the half a mile or so, through a favourite stretch of woodland.

    (This dream was playing fast and loose with the local geography.  All the bits were pretty much spot on to look at, but they'd been rearranged to suit the dream-logic rather than reality.)

    I went and sat upstairs on the bus and checked my pockets, in case the man and his daughter were a pick-pocketing team, but everything was as it should be.

    The parrot was having a good look around but nobody else seemed to notice the red head and bright green neck sticking out of my jacket.

    A few miles later I went back downstairs to help the odd pair off the bus, at a location which truly isn't on that bus route but it made sense in the dream.  (Interestingly enough it was in an area we call The Bird Aviary, because all the streets are named after birds.)

    At this point they vanished from the dream.  Not in a spectacular puff of smoke or anything dramatic, they just ceased to be there and this didn't bother me at all.  But I did check my pockets again ;-)

    I walked through the woodland, quietly enjoying myself, and the parrot wriggled out of my pocket and flew up into a tall tree.  He perched there, ignoring my efforts to coax him back down.  I was thinking my daughter would be upset, and probably think I made it all up.

    A fat blonde lady turned up with a pushchair and I recognised her.  She was the woman who had been wandering the estate years ago looking for a parrot which had genuinely escaped from her flat.

    She volunteered to go home and bring back her now empty cage and set it up with some food in the hope the parrot would fly down and go inside.

    I got fed up with waiting for her, and after a few more minutes of standing there, with my left arm held out like a falconer calling his bird back, I decided I'd had enough.

    I muttered a fairly untypical "Fuck you then," and walked away.

    Then I woke up and found myself laughing and decidedly disorientated for a couple of minutes.

    After a cup of coffee I decided to write it all down whilst it was still fresh in my mind.


   As a writer I'm used to chasing thoughts into strange places, some of which make sense later.  I also tend to dream in colour with quite detailed visualisation.

   But there is no way I would ever try to stuff a live parrot into my jacket, even if the pocket is big enough for a pheasant or rabbit.

   There you go, I feel much better for clearing it from the 'in-between worlds' part of my brain.