{published concurrently on arkaanalysis.com and ashortdescriptionofmypoo.blogspot.com}

A short description of my dream

I am hungover. I am at work. The sky is already darkening as I chuff, sullen-eyed and greasy, on an afternoon cigarette, casting what has become an increasingly accepting gaze upon the turd which has now sat clinging on to the step by the fire escape in the smoking area for over a week. I receive a text message: 'Yo, would you email me a critical write up of that dream you had about pooing yourself?'

This instantly strikes me as problematic. The pooing dream happened at some point between falling drunkenly into bed on Tuesday night and farting myself awake on Wednesday morning. Sam Smith's Alpine Lager, while cheap, does have the unfortunate side effect of producing something akin to an all-night anal yodel. Though I might as well point out now that I did not actually shit myself in my sleep, I merely dreamed about it. I will return to this point.

On Wednesday night, drunk again, I mentioned the dream. I clawed around in that dark and hazy part of the mind that seems to shut off so quickly after waking from a dream for some more details on the dream, but what I could remember was quite limited. By the time I was invited to critique my unconscious defecatory hallucinations on Thursday, all I could really remember was the dream as I described it on Wednesday night.

In this dream I pooed myself, but a lot. I pooed myself a lot, loads. I think I was clad in some kind of denim trouser of yesteryear, maybe those cut-off shorts I threw away last time I moved house. Anyway they were sopping with brown, and I was in a swimming pool changing room, or maybe a leisure centre, except in some kind of massive toilet hall, full of horrible cubicles and open pits. I can't remember whether this was a horrific scene or something relatively normal. By which I mean, normal within the context of the dream, normal in the way that certain things can seem completely normal in a dream, which on reflection are utterly abnormal and disturbing. Some kind of hosing down happened, possibly with a shower head. All I know is I pretty much cleaned up the mess and got out of there without any adverse consequences. I don't remember seeing or speaking to anyone in between the terrible event and its resolution.

The dreams that seem to stick with me most these days, indeed often the only ones I have or ever remember, are those soaked in the emotions of fear, dread and anxiety. Social anxiety, embarassment, pure moments of panic. One recent nocturnal adventure peaked with a terrible moment of realisation, as I applied gel to my hair in the mirror, that I was completely bald from the ears upwards, with great tufts of hair coming away in my hands. Shock, then horror, then fear, then sheer rage as I went absolutely fucking mental and started wheeling around the room kicking the shit out of cupboards, doors, windows and thin partition walls. I woke up and for a moment was truly terrified, before suddenly becoming aware of the hair on my head and the sound of my alarm going off to wake me up for work.

Am I afraid of going bald? Probably. Am I afraid of shitting my pants? Well I'd rather it didn't happen, but I don't fear it in the same way as baldness. I feel I have more control over my sphincter than I do over my genetic make-up and my susceptibility to hair loss. So why the dream? Was it purely a by-product of the Alpine fart yodels rippling through my guts? Did my sleeping brain detect a peak in activity in that part of my body and convert it into a narrative?

I don't profess to know a lot about dreaming, and I certainly didn't intend for this dream to be subjected to a critical appraisal. I'm sure I've had many dreams far more suitable for such an exercise. Nevertheless, the fact remains that I shat myself in a dream. A lot. At the time this seemed to have no tangible consequences in the real world, in terms of actual pooing. But now I can see that there were consequences. That when I shat myself in my dream, I did produce something, just not shit in a literal sense.

What I did produce was a critical review of a dream I had about pooing myself.