A Train

Attack of a Train

Mr Riquemale, the commissioner of police of La Ciotat, dreams on March 13 that a band of Italians are gesticulating in his office. Using their arms as semaphores, the Italians explain to him that the train from Marseilles is in a tunnel near Cassis, and it doesn’t want to come out. Mr Riquemale visits the scene of the problem: indeed, there’s the Marseilles train in the tunnel. “Come out of there!” he says. The train doesn’t answer. The Italians, who have followed him, gesticulate in a way that means he mustn’t provoke the train, or else, like a trapped animal, it will attack. Mr Riquemale doesn’t give a damn what a bunch of Italians who can’t speak French might or might not think. “Are you coming out?” he asks the train. “Or am I coming in to get you?” The train doesn’t answer. “All right,” says Mr Riquemale. “Then I’m going in.” He goes into the tunnel, followed by the Italians who go No, no, with their arms. The train attacks.

Paul La Farge
The Facts of Winter

All humans dream, usually three to five times a night. And every time a man dreams he has an erection; every time a woman dreams, the blood vessels of her vagina become engorged. These changes in our genitalia are apparently unrelated to sexual thoughts before sleep or to sexual content in the dreams themselves. Rather, erections and vaginal engorgement seem to be the result of the state of dreaming itself.

Jerome Groopman
Review of The Mystery of Sleep by Meir Kruger in The New Yorker Magazine, Oct 23, 2017.

Europa and the Bull

June 3, 2018

Bull and woman

Lust, in the beginning. A fire in the blood, merging and diverging, comingling in the brain of the Father of all things, mighty Zeus, at his first sight of the beautiful Europa, sister of Cadmus and daughter of Agenor, the Phoenician king of Tyre.

And, oh, that first fleeting glimpse of the maiden, so incendiary to the God, birthed the desire in his burning brain to have her at any cost! He would have her maidenhead! Would destroy it with his great God cock –

This pure, beautiful, slim and magic girl, this glowing gold beauty would be the most glorious fuck he had ever had.

Swimmy-headed with sex and madness, mighty Zeus plotted.

What to do about his sister wife, Hera? The first madwoman of the universe. Jealous Hera; eternally suspicious Hera. She knew of his addiction to cunt – knew that he would be irresistibly drawn by Europa’s clean, smooth cunt, her tiny flytrap now a God-trap that could make him cum and cum all night long. Hera would sniff that out. And her God-like rage over his horseplay would be beyond contemplation!

So much of her life had been dedicated to revenge on the nymphs who had enjoyed congress with Him –

True, she renewed her virginity each year. Gave herself to Him as an ‘innocent’ to ravage. But it wasn’t enough –

Had she not had Eileithyia’s legs tied together to stop her giving birth to mighty Zeus’ illicit child, Heracles. And, because Galanthis, assisted in that birth, Hera had turned her into a weasel, hadn’t she? Or was it a cat?

And consider Lamia, queen of Libya, who Zeus loved and royally fucked. Hera had turned her into a grotesque monster and murdered her children.

Hera must be deceived; must be diverted from these shady revenge shenanigans, her usual murder rehab programs, when it came to Europa. Oh, yes. Zeus would transform himself (not for the first time) into a – into a what?

Why, of course. Into a Bull!

And in the days that followed, his dreams became a life sentence, served in solitude, of smooth virgin flesh, of blood-letting, and of violent penetration. Dreams that dominated his God-slumber, but worse, ruled his waking hours. His God cock grew so stiff that it hurt, an old fashioned pain, an inner anguish so severe it dominated his entire being!

A Bull! Yes, yes. He would become a bull!

Oh, wouldn’t she want such a beautiful creature?

Immortality.

Mortality.

‘Please, please don’t think me weird, sir, but a bull’s cock is something to dream about – in my arse; in my cunt.’

Oh, little maiden, this cock is so engorged – and just for you! Only you!

‘Zee,’ Hera said, interrupting all mighty Zeus’ train of thought; his God fantasies of innocent girl flesh. ‘Have you been wearing my panties again?

Zeus feeling confused and disoriented, said, ‘What are you on, H? I don’t wear girls underthings. I’m a fuckin’ God!’

‘But my panties, the new black pair, have stains in them. Like pre-cum. So who’s responsible, if not you?’

Zeus, quietly whistling ‘Zorba the Greek’, held back the sunset with its brown and orange thunderclouds, looking like fluffed-up pillows on a messed-up sky of gray chaos, and said, ‘Mother of summer, you might be. But all the Gods know that Hades likes to gallivant in your lacy panties. He’s been doing it for bloody years.’

Hera retreated in an unusual silence.

Zeus had his chance. Finally.

Europa sat in the shade of an olive tree away from the dazzle of sun-burnished sea and sky. Glancing up, she saw a bull – a beautiful bull in the field beyond the silver olive grove. She stood and advanced on the creature. She had never seen such a beautiful bull before.

The bull watched her slow approach. It remained totally passive. Not the usual behaviour from such a creature.

Europa, hesitantly, reached out to touch the bull’s flank. She stroked its sleek hide. The bull remained quite still. And then, the temptation too great for her to resist, Europa climbed onto the great beast’s broad back –

Oh, what madness!

The bull started round. It bucked and charged towards the emerald sea. Europa clung on for her dear life. The bull carried the little black-eyed girl out into the silver surf.

Zeus in his bull form, bellowed his jubilation into the clear bright dome of the sky. He’d done it. He had Europa on his back. Crete would be his final destination. And there on a strip of burning white sand he’d have his prize. At last –

Poor Europa woke later from a troubled sleep. Half-undressed on the Cretan sand, she had a half-remembered dream of a powerful bull – its massive cock between her spread thighs. She sat up, and there indeed stood the bull before her.

‘Europa,’ it said. ‘Know you have been fucked by the king of the Gods. Mighty Zeus has opened you and filled you with his God seed. It will blaze forth from the fertile soil of your womb. You will provide me with three sons, and in return I will make you queen of this island.’

‘But you are a bull? A talking bull – can such a thing be?’

‘Unfortunately,’ said the bull. ‘You see me as a bull. Being mortal, if you saw my true self, you would go mad and die.’

And so it was Europa gradually lost her fear of the creature. Willingly offered herself to its mighty cock there on the sand. Wound chains of wild flowers round his horns in nearby meadows. And the ruler of the skies bellowed his happiness, his muscled neck bulging, as he came again and again deep inside Europa’s slender body.

AFTERWORD

“The dream dissipated, were one to recover one’s commonsense mood, the thing would be of but mediocre import – ‘tis the story of mental wrong doing. Everyone knows very well and it offends no one. But alas! one sometimes carries the thing a little further. What, one dares wonder, what would not be the idea’s realisation if its mere abstract shape thus exalted has just so profoundly moved one? The accursed reverie is vivified and its existence is a crime.”

D A F de Sade
Justine

Virginity traded for an island paradise. Did she regret? She swam, Europa, naked under water. She ran barefoot on the sand. Abduction and rape was a woman’s lot in this modern world. A woman’s worth, so it seemed, existed secretly between her legs –

Memories of bull breath on her body no longer disturbed. Nor those bull thrusts like hammer blows tenderising meat. And she, stretched out, like a newly slaughtered lamb for the delight of this God, this Zeus. Brother and husband to his own wife. She, Europa, cast in the role of victim, would give the God three sons: Minos, Rhadamanthys, Sarpedon who would, when they died, become judges in the underworld –

The Zeus bull had made this promise to her. After he’d said, ‘I’m sorry.’

But she hardly paid attention. She felt only fire and suppressed rage. Europa, whose hair smelled of wild flowers and summer meadows, was promised a husband, too, a powerful king – all these gifts to catch between her breath at sunrise. As if the God feared she might swallow his sky –

Or tell on him.

For mighty Zeus feared his sister wife Hera. He was pussy-whipped indeed. And he gave more and more gifts to counter each of Europa’s many silences. Oh, yes. Hera constantly looked for lipstick stains or hidden receipts in his clothing, evidence of betrayal –

And her rage was thousand-headed, apocalyptic, so great in fact that mighty Zeus knew what it was to be totally helpless before her. Like a quivering mortal.

‘Truly,’ he said to Europa, ‘I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself.’

Europa frowned and waved her slender arms in the air, as if she were trying to erase and recreate the universe.

‘Alright,’ she said. ‘Alright. I forgive you – for now! But I’ll never forget.’

Dreams

May 29, 2018

Dreams came to me with a particular sweetness and intensity after a little debauch, they came with repentance and tears, with curses and raptures.

Fyodor Dostoevsky
Notes From Underground

Voices

April 12, 2018

Ideal voices and beloved
of those who have died, or of those
who are lost to us like the dead.

Sometimes, within our dreams, they speak;
sometimes the mind can hear them in our thoughts.

And with their sound for an instant return
sounds from the early poetry of our life –
like music in the night, faraway, that fades.

C P Cavafy
Trans. Anthony Hirst

desecrate it at a touch

February 24, 2018

Dreams, memories, the sacred – they are all alike in that they are beyond our grasp. Once we are even marginally separated from what we can touch, the object is sanctified; it acquires the beauty of the unattainable, the quality of the miraculous. Everything, really, has this quality of sacredness, but we can desecrate it at a touch. How strange man is! His touch defiles and yet he contains the source of miracles.

Yukio Mishima
Spring Snow

Dreams

February 15, 2018

Dreams come from the night.
Where do they go?
Everywhere.
What do you dream with?
With the mouth.
Where is the dream?
In the night.

Jean Piaget
The Child’s Conception of the World
(Interview with a seven year old child)

dreams

February 8, 2018

I desired always to stretch the night and fill it fuller and fuller with dreams.

Virginia Woolf
The Waves

I’ve used dreams in my fiction in various ways. In order to keep from writing a long essay on this subject, I’ll provide only a few examples. In some of my stories the protagonist will have a dream that advances the plot, which is the simplest and most often used function of dreams in fiction. In “The Sect of the Idiot,” for instance, a dream turns out to be a vision of something fantastic that turns out to exist in reality. In this case, the dream prepared the revelation of a fantastic metaphysics. The inversion of this method is familiar to readers of ghost stories in which a character meets someone who is later revealed to be dead and therefore could only have been a ghost. In other stories of mine, a dream might explicate a concept, theme, or something that might otherwise come across as too cerebral in the waking section of the narrative. The dream in “The Sect of the Idiot” also serves this function. In “The Bungalow House,” I described a series of what I designated as “dream monologues” that were recorded on tape and intended to be works of art. The first dream monologue was a transcription of an actual dream I had and wrote down soon after I awoke, so it was also initiated my writing of the entire story. A second dream monologue in “The Bungalow House” was only summarized, while a third was simply given a title, because at that point I had established the nature of the dream monologues in their incidents and meaning. For my purposes, to describe each dream monologue in its entirety would have slowed the pace of the story. All of the dream monologues were used to characterize the peculiar nature of the main character’s psychology. Sometimes I’ll characterize the events of a narrative as being dreamlike in some specific way, because over the years I’ve noted qualities that characterize dreams, such as that they have no beginning, an idea that was recently used in the movie Inception to prove to a character that she was functioning in a dream and not in conventional reality. A very short story I wrote called “One May Be Dreaming” is pretty obviously a dream from beginning to end. The whole point of the story was that the protagonist was having a dream at the same time he was dying in real life. Usually, it’s not exposed until the end of the story that the whole thing was a dream. For his story “Where He Was Going,” William Burroughs employs this method, his use of which he credits to Ernest Hemingway’s “Snows of Kilimanjaro.” “Man from the South” was Jorge Luis Borges’s rendition of this narrative structure. Perhaps I should say that I don’t think that dreams are anything more than rearranged experiences, sensations, and emotions. While they may easily be interpreted as symbolic or premonitory or whatever, I don’t believe that they are anything but intrusions upon what might otherwise be wholly unconscious hours of sleep.

Thomas Ligotti
Interview with Wonderbook

the language of dreams

October 28, 2017

The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real…for a moment at least…that long magic moment before we wake.

George R R Martin
Included in Pati Perret’s The Faces of Fantasy