The UK is really anti-smoking these days. My friends have a sign in the bathroom that gives them and their guests permission to smoke weed as long as they ‘throw down’ beforehand and they only smoke on the premises.
In public, however, smoking is not only extremely expensive, but must take place in pink booths like bus shelters, shared by huddling, coughing smokers in all weathers.
If you smoke at home, you must not be near children. And your neighbours can complain if there is too much smoke.
It’s not like the good old days when I was a kid and I would smoke packets and packets of the stuff out of the bedroom window. When the neighbours complained then it was because smoke was billowing out as if the room were on fire. These days, I’d be arrested.
It’s worn and warm, less like paper than plastic carrier bag material. about all this when I head to the bar across the road, wanting to write down an idea for a story.
It’s a modern bar and it appears to have pulled a lunchtime crowd of local office workers. On pulling open the swanky-looking but flimsy glass doors, I sense the groups and pairs eyeing me as I walk in alone.
The only other people who are close to being alone are a man with a briefcase full of baby bottles , hunched over a carton of Chinese food with his baby son in a blue romper suit sitting opposite, and the barman.
A the far end of the bar, because that’s the only place there is room for me, I pull a worn, warm, plastic-like fifty from my pocket.
The barman seems unsure about whether or not I want anything. To my surprise, I have to wave the fucker over.
He smiles tightly and approaches, looking as if his trousers are equally tight. He’s about fifty-five years of age, wearing a white shirt and black trousers. No bow-tie, because he’s just hip enough to work here.
“I’d like a beer, please,” I begin.
“We don’t serve alcohol or tobacco.”
I look around, mostly for effect. Behind the bar, there are all kinds of glittering alcoholic beverage bottles and even a tobacco and cigarette display.
“Are you kidding?” I ask
People are drinking fruit juices. Surreptitiously eating homemade sandwiches out of aluminium foil.
My watch says that it’s 11:34am.
“No alcohol or tobacco before 12pm?” I suggest.
“One,” the barman corrects me and then the fucker turns his back on me and walks away.
I take a deep breath, then I walk out. I go back to my friends’ place to start writing this review to share online.
I start with the flimsy glass door.
I wanted to include this dream because it's one of those dreams where I'm writing about the dream inside the dream. It seems to be a direct result of keeping a dream journal in more detail than the tweets and normally not far away from oncoming lucidity.
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