I found it difficult to sleep last night. It was a night of odd dreams.
I dreamt of an old friend sitting in a bright white-marble room, weaving a giant tapestry. He wore colourful robes with a high collar, looking almost incongruous on his small frame. It was a tapestry full of strange images – silver robots, domed automatons, black suns, blue boxes, piano lounges, beaches, planets, stars and so many people. The small man smiled up at me as the last thread fell into place, his robe gone and replaced by a more familiar tuxedo. He’d found a martini from somewhere and finished it off with one gulp. He winked at me with one of his large eyes, reached out and in one sudden move tore the tapestry from the loom.
The room filled with a blinding blue light, and I shielded my eyes. When I reopened them I was elsewhere. It was dark and I was in his photographic studio. He sat at his workbench, looking more like he does now, a flickering light playing across his face. He was surrounded by unspooled kinematic film. It spilled from the desk and covered almost the entire stone floor. He turned and beckoned me over to see what he was doing. He was winding through a reel of film on his home made editing equipment. The images on the small screen whirled along, too fast to follow as his hand spun the feed wheel. With no receiving reel fitted, the film continually cascaded onto the floor. It was impossible - that small reel couldn’t possibly have held all that film. He must have read my thoughts as he tapped the side of his his nose and whispered “it’s bigger on the inside”.
I don’t know how long I stood transfixed, catching a glimpse of familiar scenes, people and faces in the hypnotic glow of the screen, when suddenly it stopped on a single image…an empty white room with a circular motif repeated across the walls. Had we come to the end of the reel? I glanced over to see it still had plenty more to go. His hand slowly, carefully moved up to the guillotine he used for cutting his movie footage. His hand hovered there, almost as if he dared not touch it. His gaze wasn’t on the, film or the guillotine, it was out through the glass windowed walls of the studio.
On the lawn, beneath the bright starry sky, stood his Cabinet. A warm light spilled from the open doors and the blue beacon atop the device pulsed reassuringly. The silhouette of a figure appeared in the doorway, and as I heard the sound of the guillotine slicing through film, the figure stepped out onto the grass…
…and I awoke.