Friday, 26 December 2008

I had a dream...

I have had 'flu this Christmas.
I don't recommend it.
This was the real deal
where you look and feel as though
you have done 10 rounds in a heavyweight boxing match.

On Christmas night I slept feverishly,
floating on a sea of Lemsip Max.
In the middle of the night
I had a moment of terrifying clarity:

I had forgotten to buy any presents for little Joshua.

I saw his trusting, jolly seven year old face
and I knew that this experience would scar him for life.
He would remember going down stairs on Christmas morning
and finding an empty stocking
until he was an old man.

He would sit in therapy as an adult
and agree with the therapist
that this moment defined him
and separated him from people who were
loved by their parents.

How could it have happened?
How could I have been so busy that I forgot
to buy any presents for my own child?


I lay there and racked my brain for emergency presents;
a spare calendar with pictures of Geisha,
a box of chocolates from work
a pound coin,
a tangerine.

In the end it was all too much for me
and I fell asleep.

When I woke on Christmas morning
my first thought was of little Joshua.

The overpowering sense of relief when I realised
that I did not have a seven year old called Joshua
who would be going downstairs to discover an empty stocking
was possibly the best gift of all.

17 comments:

Lynn said...

Oh, Alice, I hate to mock your pain, but I'm guffawing here. Splitting my sides. Thank goodness there's no little Joshua for whom to start a Therapy Fund.

My husband thinks this would be a good time to reveal the dream I had about 20 years ago in which I gave birth to a cheese pizza that promptly turned into a siamese cat and ran away. Full disclosure: I did not have a fever at the time. (Get better soon!)

Suse said...

I am laughing so hard.

Oh dear for the flu and fever though. Get well soon!

RW said...

oh. alice. I hope you are well soon.

the sad thing is that there are many, many Joshua's out there.

JuliaB said...

hehe I was really feeling for poor Joshua there! Hope you are feeling better today! x

Alexis said...

The flu can do very strange things to us, can't it? I hope you're feeling better--and I hope Joshua gets a stocking wherever he is...

Eleanor said...

I think you're wonderful...you even care for your IMAGINARY children!

I hope you feel better quickly.

kristina said...

What a relief! But how dreadful about the flu. I hope you're feeling better very very soon :) K x

Karen J said...

Now, was this caused by the flu ... or the Lemsip Max! Sometimes the cure can be as bad as the illness!!!
Hope you're feeling better soon - here's to a better New Year! xx

Sarah S. said...

Oh the flue! I hope you are feeling better really soon. Now more wierd dreams for you!

dottycookie said...

Oh, yuk, poor you- get well soon. Flu is no fun at the best of times, let alone Christmas.

I can send over some sprouts if you think it would help - no seriously, it would be no trouble. We catered for at least ten and forgot that our children don't eat anything other than chocolate coins on Christmas day ...

readersguide said...

Oh dear -- what a relief.
Merry Christmas!
We are trapped in a sea of tooth pain here.
Ugh.

driftwood said...

oh poor you, feel better soon.

and from what I know of Mr M I feel he would have looked after Joshua whilst you were ill, as would the lovely Master and Miss M......

Diane said...

You had me going! I had a similar dream whilst on vacation. I woke up blathering to my husband that we were going to be out of town for 10 days and I had forgotten to ask anyone to take care of the dog. We were going to come home to a DEAD DOG! He gently reminded me that we didn't have a dog and told me to go back to sleep. Dare I say, you write just as well under the influence of delerium? Nevertheless, feel better soon.

peppermintpatcher said...

Every Joshua around the world is immensely releived right now.

Get better soon.

Fairlie said...

The only time I've ever been to Paris I was afflicted with a full-blown case of the 'flu. As I lay dying in my hotel bed, I had Skynews channel on in the background...I'm not sure what the headlines were, but I went into a constant repeat hallucination about an Anglican Bishop and his lovechild. Everytime I think of Paris now, I think of bishops. We should get the Bishop and Joshua together.

GMS said...

I think Joshua was probably made a bishop after he trumpet blasted down the walls of Jerusalem.

The Coffee Lady said...

being so poorly that you bear imaginary children is a proper illness.

But it did make me laugh rather a lot