Dream Fragment 1: The Connection

I am so used to out-of-town travel that I even dream of it these days, even though I can no longer afford the luxury of being able to go out and see the world in person much, any more.

I dream of attending conventions out of town, and travel in these dreams involves going by train, and a stop at Connection Station.

Connection Station, my name for it, is a railway platform out in the middle of nowhere. There's supposed to be a village nearby, but I have never seen it. The station has a ticket machine, a rude shelter, some street lamps and that's it. Trains from Out Of Town come here, and I connect with those trains at this station.

Some of my convention-going dreams involve me heading along the coast, which in my dreams seems to conflate the North Wales coast and its little resort towns with the larger coastal towns along the North West of England to produce a garish, Vegas-cheap ride through endless seafronts and promenades and vulgar arcades, hotels and funfairs.

Out Of Town itself is a foreign place to me. I don't have a map for the place, naturally, so I have to make my way around. Out Of Town is every place I ever got lost in; and while the hotel where the convention takes place is easy to reach, I've managed to come up with an alternative arrangement.

Apparently, I have a second home in Out Of Town. Big place. Mostly empty, most of the year, unless I'm visiting and attending conventions. This second home used to be part of a hotel / resort complex, and a lot of the outlying areas are abandoned and falling to the steady encroachment of Nature. But the place is mine.

In today's dream, I was actually returning home from a local journey which had taken me away from my dream home town, to one of the outlying areas which kind of feel like the suburbs, and occasionally like the rougher spots on the periphery of the real town where I live. I was on a train coming in to Connection Station, my business having been concluded, and I got out of the train onto the platform of Connection Station. As always, I turned away for a second, and the train was gone as if it had never been - a theme I have noticed with all the public transport in my dreams. The train was gone, and I was alone, free to explore the environs of Connection Station to my heart's content.

I had something like an hour to wait until the train heading for home, and I'd already headed along the northbound track to look at the abandoned station twenty minutes' walk away (I always pass by it in the train journeys in my dreams, and it looks identical to Connection Station in almost every way) so instead, I wandered along in the opposite direction, towards the bottom of the footpath beside the embankment, nearer to the trees.

I had hardly moved away when I realised that there was a train on the platform. I had barely registered its presence before it rumbled past me and headed along the tracks. I thought I had missed the train at first - but for some reason I remembered that an outgoing train always stopped at Connection Station ten minutes after the other train arrived, so that one would have just taken me Out Of Town again, and that was not where I wanted to go.

Instead, I found myself wandering around the almost-empty car park, and found myself looking at a double-decker Arriva bus which was parked there, empty, with no sign of any driver. As if it was waiting for the driver to come along and take its passengers home.

Well, just me, at any rate.

And that was it for that dream.

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