Faux Hunting with the Human Caterpillar

I’m on shore leave with the original Star Trek crew. I see a truck that has shed it’s load of huge vegetables. I help to move them. They are some kind of hybrid between pumpkins and mushrooms. Someone helps me. Deep down I know that they are hallucinogenic.

I walk along a canal and road, trying to get home. I see across the road, a car park full of giant sliced vegetables with eyes in their natural grain staring at me.

I am barefoot. My feet are dirty. A lady thinks it is fashion. I tell her I am tripping, and not being Sandie Shaw.

She points me to a hospital. Inside the floor is wet, “Like Moses and the Red Sea”, another patient says, I splash through the wet, dirty floor, thinking, I have medical insurance, why am I doing this?

At the end of the corridor, I am outside. There’s a church and I am following someone up a path.

In a garden a mother plays with her child. I am an angry, terrifying monster. Only the child can see me. It is very scared. In the doorway to the house stands the father with a greyhound. The greyhound can see me. It runs over to me to defend the family.
It saps out all my anger, and I apologise to it as I rub its ears.

I wake up in a conservatory full of old, damp carpets. I search my pockets for money, I have some, and a huge number of stamps also. I find my keys. Looking out of the window I’m not sure where I am. It’s not Wolverhampton. Or Manchester. I go into the main building. Ann is there, my landlady, and lots of middle class and middle aged women wearing yellow. They are all talking. I’m aware I look a mess and pass straight through on the way to my room. They don’t like the fact I prefer solitude to talking about nothing with them.

In my room, the floor is covered by scrapings of blue paint, I realise I have already cleaned this up and that I have travelled back in time. I browse some books, aware of the complete story of each, though I haven’t read them yet in this reality. There are guitars, stacked on top of more old carpet. My YouRock guitar is there, but missing a string. I remember that it was easy to replace.

On the bed is a note from Ann, asking if I could move into number 3, as it wasn’t available when she let me this room. I remember this too, I cleaned this place up, and got moved to a shittier place. I don’t mind this time, either. My clothes are muddy and lie in a pile on the floor.

I decide to take a shower. The mushroom trip has completely removed any craving for alcohol. I find what I need, and notice a giant container of sandalwood shower gel.

As I am about to get in the shower, a neighbour comes in, asking about his discount. I remember this too and explain how it works. He is followed by a youth football team, I explain how I can’t even head a ball properly.

I head off to the shower. All the shower rooms are full, I keep going and find myself back in the Red Sea corridor of the hospital.

I am sat in the back of a car with some middle class tosser listening to his band. They are surprisingly good. We drive to meet them. They wait on the roof of the building. They appear to be armed cyborgs.

I steal the car. I have to remind myself to brake, and turn the lights on, as it is getting dark. A boy racer passes me, followed by the police. I am glad of the distraction and take a different route. I still drive badly, though I manage to swerve to avoid ducklings in the road. I am on a seaside road. It is daylight.

I am walking home, but the road has changed. Home is now a multilevel construction like a car park. People are outside, their doppelgängers inside. I climb the building.

Inside, completely grey, like an unpainted Airfix model is my double. He doesn’t even look like me, I tell him. The young, grey, Trainspotting era Ewan McGregor smiles and says “You’ve no idea what you look like”.

He is correct.

I grab him and carry him away from the building to talk. He becomes a shifting grey rag in my hands, eventually gaining colour, a tiny face and Mohican.

We walk along a narrow path. Diane is there and glad to see me after my trip to Japan or wherever. I didn’t go to Japan, but can’t be bothered to explain. I walk along a footpath until my grey doppelgänger is fully colour and integrated back into me.

I am walking up a wooded path, ahead, a lady with two pairs of stumpy arms and one pair of stumpy legs smiles at me, and asks me to teach her about the fruit on the trees. The cobbled street is covered in leaves, yet strange fruits are still on the tree. I explain that I am a teacher. She is like a very elegant caterpillar.

I continue up the road and see a line of hunting dogs having a rest with a fox. I stroke one of the young dogs. In the distance a hunting horn sounds, and the weary animals stand up, ready to recreate the facsimile of a hunt for the humans on horseback in red.

I am talking to a conservative MP who recognises the name on my anti-republican t shirt. I’m impressed and so is he.


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