I HAD A MEETING WITH A FIREMAN. We sat in his car. He stank of cigarettes. He went through loads of fire training documents with me.
I bought a car from a Jehovah’s Witness called Fred. He was now living in my old house. I lived two doors up from him and wished I hadn’t moved because my old house was nicer than my new one. I drove my new car down a hill and hit a huge pile of sand in the road. The sand obscured my view and I scraped an oncoming car. My brakes were spongy and it took ages for me to stop, but when I did, I ran back up the hill and apologised to the driver I’d hit. He said the collision had broken a belt in his engine. I asked him how much it would cost to replace. He said £12. I gave him a £20 note.
I was at the house of a JW elder called Tony. The Tuesday night book study was taking place in his back room. I was upstairs in the bathroom with my sister, Sue. My mum shouted up to me that I was antisocial. I was upset by her remarks and decided to go home. As I went to leave I noticed an elder called Peter and his wife were in Tony’s front room. They were talking to an elderly sister. She told them she knew a Witness who was into the paranormal. I told Peter I had a load of fire training documents for the Kingdom Hall.
Tony could see I was upset and offered to drive me home. We got in his car. It was an old, green, Russian car. I wanted to buy it off him. He told me he would sell it to me for £1,000. Tony never took me home. He just drove round and round the block speaking encouraging words to me. I was making clay pots as we drove along. They were cracking because the clay was too dry. I was licking my fingers and wetting the clay to smooth the cracks out.
We arrived back at Tony’s house. He told me I should come off pioneering because it was making me ill. Then he said he’d done a lot of renovations on his property. It was a 1920s house with black art deco window frames. I was stood in Tony’s front drive with an ironing board. I put it in my car and waited for my (now ex) wife and children to come out of Tony’s house. Then we drove home in the car I’d bought off Fred.
Back home, my young daughter had picked holes in the living room wallpaper. To mask the damage, I painted the entire wall dark pink. It looked good, but suddenly the wall was no longer painted, but had become a patchwork of many pieces of wallpaper. I felt strange, like my reality was warping. I stumbled out of the house into the street.
I got into a small aircraft. By small, I really mean small. It was a model aeroplane and I had shrunk in size to fit. My children, also miniaturised, joined me. I took off and flew the plane around for a while. I saw Gamston Airport, where I used to work, below. I landed and walked around a hangar containing replicas of things my dad owned when I was a child. I took a red oiling can.
I took off again, only now my propeller-driven aeroplane had become a jet airliner, although still miniature. I saw Nottingham Airport below and landed, except I found myself in what seemed like a tennis court with high fences all around. I realised I had landed in a disused airfield next to the current airport. Security had been called and were on their way to detain us. It was getting dark and we needed to leave quickly in order to find our way home. We had lots of camping items we needed to pack into the aeroplane but they wouldn’t fit. My van was there. I put all the items in my van and then, somehow, the van fitted into the jet. Strange! I saw the security guards coming and fired up the jet’s engines. My sister was there. She was finding it hard to shrink, but in the end she managed and boarded the aircraft. We took off and escaped the security guards just in the nick of time.
I found myself in a disused aircraft control tower. I was with my sister and we were signing a massive card for a girl called Anna who was getting married. I wrote CONGRATULATIONS! in huge letters across the card. Sue told me I couldn’t do that, but I said I could. She started questioning whether we had done something wrong, referring to us landing our aeroplane in the disused airfield. I said it was fine and she should stop worrying. Then we heard a loud voice over a public address system. There was an air show going on some miles away and our voices had travelled. They had heard everything we said and the air controller was speaking to us directly. He wanted to know what we had done wrong. I told him we had been flying model aeroplanes and he said we needed a licence for that. I told him it was okay and that I knew what I was doing because I used to work in aviation. I made several spelling mistakes while writing in Anna’s card. I went back and touched it up with a white-out pen and then signed it “Daniel Torridon”. I noticed my daughters had also signed.
I found myself working as the Technical Records Manager at Gamston Airport again. I was walking around collecting paperwork to compile lists of technical alerts to publish. I went to the engineer’s room except it was my childhood bedroom which had a huge train set with a cupboard underneath. The engineers were in the cupboard working in the dark. John, Damien and Dave were there. Dave turned the lights on and I could see they had a sweet shop. I took some sweets and left with my piles of paperwork. I passed an old friend called Stephen and we joked that I had some light reading material to catch up on. Everywhere I went doors were shutting in my face making it difficult for me to get back to my office while carrying so my paperwork. I walked up some concrete stairs to my office and passed my childhood friend, Matthew.
I found myself walking around the airport again, this time searching for airworthiness directive books from the CAA and FAA. Everywhere I went I saw bookshelves full of Watchtower publications. I kept opening doors on various levels of the office block and nearly falling to my death because someone had removed the staircases. I took a large marker pen and wrote on one of the doors DO NOT OPEN. Later, I found John boarding up the doors using clear sheets of perspex. All this time I was wearing my grey dressing gown. I had nothing else on and kept adjusting my dressing gown so people didn’t notice I was naked underneath. Everywhere I went there were sweets. I kept taking sweets and putting them in the pockets of my dressing gown to eat later.