Again and Again

20th February 2022

Prompted by the word ‘Dream’.

My alarm went off at 7.00, and I rolled out of bed and went to the bathroom. I looked in the mirror and decided I needed a shave. My razor is one of the more old-fashioned ones that use a flat blade. I spread the shaving cream over my stubble and drew the blade down. A noise outside startles me, and I slip, nicking myself. The sharp pain wakes me up just as the alarm goes off.

It is 7.00, so I get straight up and head to the bathroom. I shave, cutting myself in the process. Because my razor is one of the old-fashioned ones, it hurts and then bleeds. I use a piece of toilet paper to staunch the bleeding, and memories of my father doing the same thing flood back. A feeling of deja-vu rolls over me. I dreamt this, didn’t I? I get dressed and set off to work. After a couple of miles, the car in front of me backfires, and I wake up with the alarm clock ringing.

I go to the bathroom, shave, accidentally cut myself, and then set off for work. During the journey, a car backfires, just like in my dream. Today as started very strangely. My morning goes as standard, a couple of meetings, then some product design work. At lunchtime, I break for a sandwich. I think of my odd morning and those dreams when I bite my tongue. The pain wakes me up.

I go through the motions with everything happening as it has been in my dreams. Today would be like the film ‘Groundhog Day’ if it lasted a day. This time I get through to the evening before I wake again. I was getting a tray of oven chips out when I caught my arm on the oven tray and burnt it. Am I going mad? Is this all just a single dream, or are they multiple dreams?

7.00 am, up, shaved, dressed, work and home. I eat dinner with no incident apart from biting my tongue. I watch some TV and then go to bed. I feel relief that the day is over and there have been no more ‘dreams’. The alarm goes off at 7.00 the following day, and I look out the window. The weather is brighter than yesterday. I go into the bathroom and look in the mirror. My stubble is turning into a thin beard, and the realisation hits me. I shaved yesterday, didn’t I? I run the taps and splash cold water onto my face, which shocks me. I wake up with the alarm going off.

I am trapped. I no longer know what is real and what is a dream. I get up, go to the bathroom and cut myself shaving. Here we go again.

Copyright: Andrew Miles February 2022