The X Factor

   Dream Journal

I AM WORKING AT GAMSTON AIRPORT. My glasses break. I go down to the aircraft hanger and walk around. There is a store built of red brick with people working above it.

I go into a side workshop with an engineer called John. He takes my glasses apart. I can’t see anything. I hang around waiting while he fixes my glasses.

John plaits my hair then shaves the top completely bald. He gives me my glasses back (fixed). I look at the top of my head in a mirror. I look ridiculous. I am annoyed. There is a small hole in the top of my head.

John says “Can you hear me?”

I am confused and say, “What?”

John explains he implanted a telepathic receiver into my head which allows him to send messages directly to me. I touch the side of my head and the implant turns on. I can hear John’s thoughts.

Suddenly I remember I have an audition for The X Factor. I rush upstairs to my Technical Records office. My office has been taken over by The X Factor. I cut my plaits off with office scissors. My hair is a mess. I take my dad’s beanie hat to cover my hair.

There is no time to rehearse. I decide to sing When You Wish Upon a Star but I can’t remember the name of the song. I need a lyric sheet in case I forget the words. I ask someone, “Do you know this song?” and start humming it.

“It’s called Cancer”, they say.

“No, that’s not it”, I reply.

My name is called. I walk through a set of double doors into another office. I turn to a group of three people sitting on a leather sofa and say, “Hello!” but then realise they are not the judges. I turn and say “Hello!” to another group sitting on a settee. Then I realise this is just a waiting room and the people on the sofas are fellow acts waiting to be seen. I am embarrassed at my mistake and laugh it off. 

I sit on the floor. I remember the title of my song and try Googling for the lyrics on my phone but Google Search won’t open for me. I get frustrated and give my phone to a kid sitting on one of the settees. “Can you find the lyrics to When You Wish Upon a Star, please?” I ask. Then I change my mind and think I might like to sing Your Song by Elton John.

I walk up to a member of staff. I remove my beanie and explain what happened to my hair. A black woman approaches us.

“Can I sing…” I begin.

“…Your Song by Elton John?” the black woman and I say at the same time.

“It’s a sign!” I say.

The staff member says it’s ok to change my song. I cry and hug him as the black woman walks off.

I lay on the floor and the office morphs into the living room of the house I grew up in in Slade Green. I am laying by the stone fireplace my dad built. There are a pair of Aviator sunglasses hanging from a nail on the wall. Someone is on their mobile phone talking to their wife about paying the bills.

Lloyd Evans sets up some cameras and light boxes. There are loads of toddlers running around in front of a green screen singing It’s a Hard Knock Life.

I’m still at Gamston Airport, but now I’m in a conference room with my boss, Dave, and my sister. A group of people arrive for a meeting. My sister goes to make drinks for them. She brings the drinks back and then leaves followed by Dave.

I remain in the conference room sitting in the corner working on a laptop computer. People question why I am there. The meeting is confidential and I shouldn’t be there. I leave and go to my Technical Records office.

As I arrive in my office, I see there are paramedics there. Dave is being hauled away by the Police. My sister has been stabbed and is bleeding out. She is put in an ambulance and rushed to hospital. She needs a blood transfusion. I ask her if she will have blood. At first she says “No”, but then changes her mind.

I return to work. Dave has been released and is back at work. He’s acting weird, psychotic, and angry. I decide to steer clear of him. I call my dad and tell him my sister is in hospital clinging to life.