Jones-the-dreamer and Jones-the-hunter

Jones had always been a dreamer. This had started in his very early days when a most frightening ‘presence’ for example – a bodiless something, not a someone with a body – had tried to catch him in his dream, in the middle of the night, sleeping in his bed in his room in his parents house. And at that moment and to Jones, the only refuge had seemed to be his body, where he scared as hell had fled back ‘into’, as he put it, recounting this story to me afterwards. To only find out then though, that the surroundings of the awakened him – of his setting in the house, at that time and in the dark night – had been exactly the same as those of his dream. How eerie! And furthermore that closing his eyes would sure as hell put him right back in the middle of this unfinished and frightening pursuit. The idea of going back there, much less voluntarily so, had terrified him even more, so consequently he had thought to better stay awake for a while longer. His theory later was that the world of these ‘presences’ was as real as our earthly existence, but as we have learned to exclusively zoom in and focus on our own world, and – through doing this – exclude any other realities there might be (as the ‘world’ where these presences presided), we only rarely become aware of these other existences. This might erroneously suggest that Jones has quite a feel for the super-natural and so on, but the contrary is true, he’s just as practical and sober a man as you and me (at least that’s what I hope). So don’t start to talk to him about any angels you may see, because he will only suggest you’d have a walk and meanwhile focus on the things in your environment.

Around the same time these nightmares began, he also started his nightly ‘flying-career’ in his dreams. To evoke this flying, he often imagined a somewhat slanted street nearby, and in between the people who were flying their kites there, he ran uphill and took off right into the sky, and most of the times right into a flying dream. He had loved this freely moving through the air, unhindered by gravity. He had only been vaguely aware of how special this actually was. Instead, he felt compelled to bit by bit start using his flying as an escape route to get out of his nightmares, by taking off into the sky just before some ogre who was on the verge of catching him, actually grabbed him. But only rarely did he manage to keep a stable flight going in those days, and for several years he was liable to fall out of the sky at any instant. This threatened to happen again and again during those dreams, and this then would make him fall back right into the hands of the villains that pursued him. Then one night a few years later, he had finally learned how to fly properly and keep himself stably in the air while flying. As far as he knew – he didn’t remember this exactly anymore – it was an old witch who had taught him so by making him fly over a wide, dull stretch of a moor. He has never had any trouble maintaining a smooth and stable flight ever since.

These flying dreams repeated themselves over the years, well into his adolescence, and even later they’d still be there every once in a while. During adulthood his dream-life seemed fairly average. Noteworthy might be mention of the occasionally returning dreams in which he was hunting and catching newts – dreams which had their equivalent in real life as well – and his dream in which he had fallen off the top of a radio tower. About the first, he later in his life had become so proficient in catching newts (he had caught his own newts, for example, and kept those in a kind of terrarium for years) and in knowing their habitats and so on, that at a certain time – he was sure – you could put him in any biotope and he would then be able to point out to you whether there would be living any newts in that area or not, and if so, where these would reside. Jones was a hunter as he had caught many, many animals. He remembered catching baby-rats, butterflies, newts, fish, birds, lizards, and even a rabbit (which he had strangely enough caught by hand). He remembered having caught a collared dove in his fathers garage. The only ring she ever wore was round her neck as it had been a ringed turtle dove. He’d known it was a ‘she’, as it had produced little light-colored eggs that he and his father used to fry and eat for breakfast and which had really invigorated them. He had been letting her out as if he had been walking the dog, and she proudly had gone on parade with him, standing freely and untied on his shoulder. Until one unhappy day she’d flown away and taken off into the sky during one of those walks, like he himself used to do in the nights way back when he had flown away from the ogres trying to catch him in his childhood nightmares.

Jones may have been a hunter, but he has always had a strong need for freedom as well. Therefore he had understood her flying away and he had not been in the least bit traumatized by her sudden departure. Otherwise he had caught birds by net in winter – standing for hours in their freezing garage, carefully watching any bird movements there – he had shot them by air gun in summer and he even remembered having hooked a jay on his fishing-rod one morning, when he had been trying to catch some fish. So it even looked like animals did the weirdest things and sort of sacrificed themselves to only get caught by Jones. He himself had been totally hooked on hunting but at the same time he has always wanted to let things go, to do with less. Do you understand the complexity of his opposing urges? He remembered one time when he had been moving to another city, that he basically had moved only with his clothes, leaving behind his extensive record collection, the antique furniture he had inherited from his grandma and the flying Persian rug he’d gotten from his favorite aunt after her death. A guy he used to live with in the same house had either used it in the organization of a rock concert or had used it to fly off to that same rock concert – Jones had obviously loved it to never be clear about that. But he loved that aunt and he has also loved her things and he loved anyway to have things in general – enough money to live without worry and to also collect the beautiful things he cared so much about – but at the same time things ultimately meant nothing to him.

That had been the story of his life, it had always been like that and in fact it was still like that. Starting all over had meant just that for him, starting all over – start more or less from scratch. In the dream where he had fallen off the radio tower, he had been fed up with waking up in shock each time he had this dream, and he had therefore decided to simply fall down and then continue sleeping. The impact on the ground indeed merely had been like a pat on the back, and he also had continued sleeping, and he never has had a nightmare like that ever since. But anyway, otherwise his dream life has been actually fairly normal until the time he had gotten his stroke – sounds a bit like a gift, doesn’t it? – and other weird phenomena had started to manifest themselves. He had nightmares of sorts which he had never experienced before in his entire life. In fact they were so weird that he couldn’t even begin to describe them to you. He only could tell you some of the things – some of the ‘ingredients’ that have been in there, in those spooky dreams he had for months in the first year or so when he was still in one of the hospitals he was put into after he had his stroke. But anyway, although he won’t be able to give you a decent account of what happened in those nightmares, he would like to give you some idea of what happened those days. First of all, he really, really came to hate a certain male nurse. BUT in retrospect he doubted whether this man ever even existed at all, and whether he had not merely been a product of his imagination. That’s basically all he could tell you about these dreams featuring this male nurse. Pure hate he felt for him. That’s all.

Then there was a separate series in which he left by ferry for New York each night, where he worked as a police inspector – as sort of a temporary hand for the NYPD – during the night. The passage by ferry – taking a good deal of hours – was obviously not taking place in time as he had left home by the end of the day but nevertheless arrived that same evening still for his nightshift of police work in New York. To arrive by ferry in his home town the next morning again, even being well rested, and ready for his day’s work there. His arriving back home early in the morning with a crowded people-going-to-work ferry coincided strangely enough with what was more or less the end of his nights’ sleep in the hospital, which also was in the early morning, and so with busy day ahead, consisting of therapy and practicing. With a well-rested and rejuvenated Jones, although he had been crime fighting in the Big Apple all night before as well. This was about all he knew about those nightmares. Except for that it’s kind of lonely holding a night job in New York, with all the emptiness around you, only few people roaming the avenues, and with the moon and the street lights giving off their coldish shine onto the angels and bad guys who have the guts to face this all.

In another series of nightmares he was traveling by train, over and over again – very boring – and nothing else happening in there as far as he remembered.

Or the series of dreams in which he at a certain moment always met a friend of his – a British university professor – in the same and rather boring orchard, back of a bar or a restaurant – that he didn’t know anymore – but only him and always him. Very uneventful. And most of the times these dreams would wake him up in the early morning at around 4. And make him wary later, in the evening of that same day, of getting this same dream again. Or the dreams in which he would be saved in a kind of laboratory by a friend of his – a somewhat nerdy inventor – he’d known since a number of years. Who – in his dreams – had tried to help him over and over again, together with a mate of his. There also had been nightmares that really fell beyond any description. Because we humans simply don’t have the words to make anything of them, to turn and translate them into something we’re familiar with here on Earth. The only thing left had been some loose images about these nightmares. Feverish dreams full of shapeless entities accompanying him patiently through the nights.

At about the same time – right after his stroke – his dreams had actually begun to enter his daily life as well. He remembered for example he had been seeing nurses rushing here and there over the mezzanine of the floor in the hospital where he had been bedded, recovering, being looked after and taken care of. Later he realized, this floor in the hospital didn’t have any mezzanine! Yet he could have sworn to you he had been awake when he saw one. His actual life had in fact only begun to get mixed up with his feverish nightly dreams without him being aware of this. Obviously he had been dreaming with his eyes wide open.

Other than that, he by then had received such great help from people. His then girlfriend had saved his life and had ready made things go right for him during that first period in the hospital, he had received great help and developed a fantastic friendship with his last care au pair, other people taught him patiently and step by step how to talk somewhat again and how to swallow and drink a cup of coffee, and many, many of the others that had contributed in some fashion or another to the somewhat contradictory equation of his present wellbeing as a nevertheless disabled person. That had also made that he occasionally had to pinch himself to find out – much to his amazement – that he had not been dreaming, but that that what was actually had been going on was his real life. Jones anyway had also always been a dreamer about real things that had been happening.

He remembered for example a time when he still had been good and when he had been spending his holidays in Morocco, that he had wanted to make a three-day taxi trip from where he had stayed at that time (Fez) all the way down to Marrakech, through the desert and over the mountains. But it hadn’t seemed very adventurous to him to make this trip all by himself, nor had he wanted to spend all that money on himself. Then, just as he had been thinking this, two Japanese girls had entered the restaurant where he was at that moment, to whom he had immediately suggested to share this trip with him. One of the girls – whose name turned out to be Wakako later – had looked at him carefully then as if she had wanted to make sure that this guy could be trusted, scanning and spiritually undressing this oddball person in front of her nose, who had just made them this very un-Japanese proposal. It had felt very good and he had been faking a most innocent front, even when his intentions there and then had been nothing but good to begin with. They then had agreed they would share the taxi on condition that the trip would last four days instead of three – to which Jones had gladly agreed. So little time it had taken him to let this dream become a reality. In this sense Jones had always been a little hedonistic; dreams – wishes – he had, had better materialize themselves rapidly. His patience has always been far below par, if it ever existed at all. His pleasures had to be fulfilled soon after he first became aware of them. To spend four days on the road while traveling through Morocco with two pretty Japanese girls and a driver who looked like an escaped galley slave, had seemed a most interesting challenge to him. How adventurous life could be? And indeed, it had been one of the best trips of his life. The strange but rigid values presiding in Japan, and taken on their trip to Morocco by these girls, had been broadened up by him to the freer and more contemporary Western lifestyle Jones had been used to. During the time they had spent together, he had bit by bit fallen in love with Wakako, who had been too young and too short for him too. To bring the adventure however still to a complete and successful end, and to make himself really a partaker of it and to not chicken out, Jones had divulged everything he liked about her to Wakako. How exciting it had been to not know her reaction to all this beforehand! She told him he had made a big impact on her after which they had spent a great time in a hotel on the border of the dessert. There she had told him that Japanese people always lived on some kind of a bus. And that she couldn’t wait to get off that bus.

Ed was in zijn jonge jaren directeur van een afkickcentrum, deed verschillende andere dingen, en was uiteindelijk uitvoerend directeur van een succesvol voedingssupplementen bedrijf, totdat hij in 2011 getroffen werd door een herseninfarct en gediagnosticeerd werd met een locked-in syndroom. Sindsdien is hij herstellende, revalideert veelal, houdt zich onledig met dit blog, en houdt zich daarnaast tot op heden bezig met de vertaling van enkele boeken over een bepaalde natuurlijke aanpak van kanker, ontwikkeld door een Britse groep wetenschappers.
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