Dream #1

I dreamt I saw Agra and the Taj Mahal, suspended in the air like a mirage, impossibly haloed by the Northern Lights, from an abandonedment apartment near the top of a tower block on the border of Greece and Bulgaria.

The sun was low and the town’s golden hour made the room feel like a pharaoh’s tomb. The view made for the ultimate prize. I was surprised no one had taken possession of it. Perhaps it was because the building was in a rough part of town. But all the more reason to at least squat the place.

On the uppermost floors of a neighbouring tower, there was a birthday party. A Russian family were celebrating their patriarch. The father shared his birthday with Vladimir Putin and insisted on showing a flamboyant state-broadcast celebration on television to his guests.

As Putin greeted his generals and sycophants with stern handshakes, the father quietly sobbed and kissed the cheeks of those who had arrived for him. No one wanted to cause a scene and protest the showing, so most pretended that the televisions (of which there were about a dozen) simply weren’t there. Let the men have their rituals.

I arrived having just seen the mirage from the neighbouring building and quickly told a friend who was in attendance to leave the party and come join me. They did, and we raced through the streets, through shadows and the foyer of a bank, to climb the tower in leaps and bounds. I so wanted them to see it for themselves.

I was also desperate to get back to the apartment because I had not yet photographed the vision visible from its vantage point. Unfortunately, I woke up before we reached the top floor.

On waking, I thought about Hervé Guibert’s “ghost images” and took further significance from the fact I did not have an image of the marvel to share. Then, as my wits returned, I realised that Guibert’s images fantômes probably didn’t apply to the photographs you fail to bring with you from your dreams.

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