At night I dream of water.
Inky black and ethereal. A contorted surface, refracting yellow light. Scattering shards of gold across a field of fluid darkness. I watch this skittish, abstract dance and surrender to its hypnotic rhythm.
I am caught in the headlights, seduced by the lure, like mouse to cobra.
I cannot feel time. There is only silence. Except for the gentle lapping of waves against stone.
The air is inky too. Thicker than it should be, and as I look up I see I am surrounded by towering walls. Omnipresent.
Old stone and brick layer upon layer. I start to walk between them, among them. They are leading me through narrow alleys, down winding paths, across bridges and into tunnels.
I am alone in this maze, except I can feel them. Strange shapeless beings, faceless except for their empty eyes. Two black holes.
They appear and disappear like ghosts. Sometimes waiting for me in dark corners, sometimes brushing past me like wind. But They are not here for me. They are wanderers too, trapped in the same Labyrinth. An architectural matrix of archways, corridors, steps… and water.
We right and left through the gaps, the in-between spaces, squeeze under gothic arcs and slide between the precarious, closed curtains… and yet never make headway. Always returning to the beginning.
This night is deathly cold, and mournful.
There is no sound. Only the gentle lapping of waves against stone. And the whispers of past lives that haunt these endless walkways… gangways between here and the other place. Separated in time and space only by the thinnest and illusionary veil.
This water, this tide, this Ebb and flow, like breath.
Sighing, crying, quietly weeping.
This night is deathly cold and mournful. And yet it all feels so strangely familiar, like scenes edited from a childhood film. Grainy, echoey, flickering. Like I’ve been here before. Like I’ve been here before.
Silence. Except for the gentle lapping of waves against stone and the beat of my heart.
I turn again, this time a tenebrous opening, framed by a stone mouth. Gaping wide, hungry in anticipation of its next prey. I cross the bridge and take a step into the pitch blackness. It is the end. The nothing surrounds me and envelops me like a velvet cape. Smothers me, like a desperate lover, while I gasp for air.
I open my eyes into the darkness. It is cold. I feel around the nothing with my hands outstretched and realise I am in my room, my bed. There is no light… only silence…
and the memory of Venice.