So, my subconscious is creative.
Here’s the nightmare plumtreeblossom
woke me up out of last night:
I was in a very old apartment in a university; I think it had sometimes been used as a dormitory suite for students, and at other periods of history it was a residence that went along with some particular endowed chair. It was all very dark and Gothic and reminded me of the older buildings at Yale. (Actually, I think the dream was partly inspired by talking and thinking about my college years recently, and partly by reading Terry Pratchett’s description of Unseen University
— I’m up to Sourcery
in the Diskworld novels.) On one doorframe, generations of residents had carved their names over the centuries, one after the other from the mid-1700s. Somebody was there with me, a close friend or a family member, and we were listening to answering-machine messages. Somehow, it struck me that something violent and terrible had happened here, and that some of the long-dead residents had had some sort of bizarre secret. I (we) had been away for a long time, and there were a lot of messages on the machine, but they got progressively vaguer and more ambiguous and stranger, and the notion came to me that some of the messages were from dead people trying to tell their secret. I was in a little washroom (no toilet, just a sink and mirror) washing my hands, and the mirror was all steamed up.
As I reached up to wipe the fog off the mirror, I realized that I was acting out a horror-movie cliché, and I expected that I’d see some ghost or assassin behind me.
Instead, what I saw was somebody else’s head on my body: slightly darker skin, bushier eyebrows, a heavier brow and more angular jaw, a slightly flatter, broader face, stubble, and curly, almost black, shoulder-length hair. But this face in the mirror accurately reflected my shocked and puzzled expression, and my hand in the mirror went up to touch the stubbly cheek as my own hand went up and felt my smooth one.
I think I was crying out in my sleep, and plumtreeblossom
says she woke me up out of the dream — I remember waking up, but not that she woke me up.
It would make a good scene in a movie, wouldn’t it?