Variations on a Dream
There is a car park. A huge lot.
Kind of place you get lost in on American holidays.
The (always Very Young) kids fed. Humorous tee shirts purchased, hands full of do (without the ugh) nuts.
Now where did we put the hire car? What does the hire car actually look like again?
That kind of place. But much, much, much bigger.
There's one way in, exotic landscaped gardens and small rivers separate the roadway from the billions of nose-in parking spaces.
A maze of signs crisscrossing, allegedly pointing to a carefully but bafflingly laid out escape route.
One way out.
The unfindable exit is at the rear of the main structure, a monolith – spaceport, vast mall, small fruit and veg shop, terraced house, airport check in, zoo.
An elevator zooms skywards, into neither day or night, towards distant planets, moons and purple clouds.
It is comfortably big enough to take cars, motorbikes, helicopters, spacecraft and Kwik Save shopping trolleys (carts) as it ascends the huge greased central column.
Numerous neon arrows, prehistoric vines, gaudy billboards, Victorian sash windows and post-apocalyptic gun turrets whizz past on all sides.
Upwards, ever upwards, then, through doors big enough to accommodate aircraft carriers with ease, entering vast caverns and tiny rooms, adventures and unsavoury deeds often happening deep within the star-scraper.
More giant doors, and then down the vast high-tech escalator-style sloping highway, (or the ancient rickety wooden staircase if you've just won the lottery again), back into the vast one-way-in, one-way-out, huge desert of a car park.
People, animals, things, can take several lifetimes trying to find the way out. Or die trying.
Gigantic ribcage bones and the rusty carcasses of supertankers tell the tales of Those Who Failed.
Unless you are escaping from dinosaurs, late for your flight or just sick of carrying suitcases and steal a Kwikky shopping trolley and are now being chased by the flying, laser weapons firing, and rather skeletal Trolley (Cart) Guardians.
Unless a bored ghost or psychic fox guides you in return for Kindness.
Unless you are being hunted by cyber-skinheads, maniacal giraffes, dodging ninja assassins or trying to chase down a lost vampire hedgehog, then you may find it.
Yes, there's Another Way.
The Underground Tunnel to Escape, Victory, or just Plain Confusion.
A thirty-odd-foot-long 1970s concrete underpass.
Dimly lit, slightly graffiti prone, swaying gently in a wavy un-concrete-like way, and smelling of bread from Fahy's bakery.
The Tunnel is the usual welcome, but always unexpected, escape route.
It is constantly spanning different worlds, different times, different realities, but always, without variation, letting you Out.
To stand, heart racing, blinking in the normality of Market Street, Hoylake, on the Wirral.
Taking a deep breath and checking your kids/limbs/bags/donuts/hedgehogs etc, before you wake up.
If you ever find yourself wandering around in my Dreamscape, please, whatever you do, do not – repeat do not – follow the Exit signs, you'll be stuck in my head forever....and it's not a very safe place!
Sweet dreams, my friends, and may they all have an easy way out!