Buzz

Numbers, Numbers, Numbers
14 Oct 2017
Dream Blog - S.P. Somtow • Somtow Sucharitkul

Another epic sleep disorder day when — this has become a sort of pattern — I can't keep my eyes open at 5 pm and have to sleep, then wake up 3 hours later bewildered and wide awake, usually with some kind of dream attached.

In this dream, I am rehearsing Beethoven's 9th, but not in the cultural center; it's some kind of hall on the odd side of Sukhumvit, around where the Siam Society is, but it's a building with a façade of thin trapeze shaped concrete buttresses that seem to emit a golden yellow light. 

I wake away from the hall and I am carrying a folded eiderdown comforter, as if I was planning to bed down somewhere. A car pulls up and I get in. It is a big, black embassy car and it's being driven by Peter Prügel, the German Ambassador.

"Lucky I came along!" he says. He tells me that even though it's not his concert, he could not help coming over to see how it is going because he is so excited about it. He drives down Sukhumvit a little way in the direction of my house (but the traffic is on the wrong side of the road, so it might not be Bangkok) and pulls into a tiny alley which I recognize as the way into the German Embassy. "Oh, you're not coming in?" he says, surprised. Halfway down the alley, on the left, there's a bungalow which appears to be his office. He steps out. Looking ahead, I see a woman doing laundry wearing a black dress, and I wonder why his wife is doing it hinself and not letting the maid do it. She is hanging it on a clothesline.

"My house is just a little farther," I say. "I could drop you off," says the ambassador, but I tell him, "Actually my own car is waiting and probably wondering why I came with you. I'll just call my driver."

Still clutching the eiderdown, I wander back out onto Sukhumvit. I realize I was just being polite and my driver wasn't with me or is lost somewhere, and I'll have to take a taxi. But taxis don't stop. Presently I see that a tuk-tuk driver has been stalking me and he says, 94 baht. I ask him to go to Soi 24, not sure why.

He goes for a while and then he asks me, "44?" I say, "24, but actually 33." (24 and 33 are approximately on opposite sides of Sukhumvit.) The thing is, 24 is my childhood home and 33 is where I live now. 

In the tuk-tuk, the driver's son is also sitting in the back. He has a page-boy hair cut and is wearing a blue "mor-hom", a Thai peasant shirt. As I sit down, he leans back and rests his head on my belly, which is kind of unnerving.

The driver leaves me on the street on the odd (low 50s) side of Sukhumvit and he seems to have overshot the alley, so I tell him I will walk. Only when I leave the tuk-tuk do I realize that I've left the eiderdown. But he is gone. The road is completely empty and the middle of it is all mud. I start to go towards 24, on the even side of Sukhumvit, towards my childhood home, even though I know I live on 33 now.

Walking down the muddy, earthen unpaved middle of the road, I stumble on a white cord and realize that there's an iphone attached to a white charger cable. I can't kick the phone free. It's silvery with a polished front and back totally devoid of any screen, in fact there is a silver-rose pattern instead of a screen. It's attached to a backpack which is also on the ground. The cord is sort of wrapped around my leg and though it is not my phone, I have to take it. My real phone is still in my trousers so I did not lose my phone.

I walk now with the found phone dangling weirdly from my belt from the cord. I am on the even side of the street now, and there's more and more mud, ramparts, in fact, of mud. It is tough slogging and the street is dark ... I am only a couple yards from the entrance to 24 and I realize the dangling phone is an obvious mugging target. Like a mantra, I repeat, "The streets of Bangkok are safe" over and over but a feeling of dread comes over me as I wake up.

This is one of several dreams I've had recently about walking home and going in the wrong direction to get there. The dreams are characterized by having very few of the psychedelic fantasy elements my dreams usually have, they are quite mundane in terms of resembling a real world setting. They are full of lefts and rights. This one, if you want to buy a lottery ticket, has a LOT of numbers: the 9th symphony, 94 baht, soi 44, 33, 24, and the low 50s.

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