I dreamed of a cave. It opened out of a shower room where I was showering and dressing with a friend. In the mouth of the cave was an alligator, maybe six or seven feet long. Alligators scare me for sure. I’ve seen them from a boat in the Everglades and been scared even from that safe distance. I haven’t had much opportunity to be afraid of being eaten, I guess.
There was a child in the mouth of the cave, gender uncertain, maybe three years old. I was outraged and scandalized by the negligence of its parents. How could they let a child dally around a creature that could so easily and obviously eat it! Then I understood that the child really wasn’t in danger at all; the alligator paid it no attention.
As I continued to watch, a pig came along. It wasn’t a huge pig, maybe sixty or seventy pounds. It put its head in the alligator’s mouth and the gator bit down. The pig didn’t resist, and I could hear its bones crunching and breaking. There was no blood, no struggle, and it was horribly interesting, rather than horrifying. After a while the pig kind of opened and a young knight came out of it. He was very shiny, beautiful, pure, radiantly beautiful wearing bright silver armour that was very becoming.
About a million years ago I went to a ‘high-end’ boarding school in Toronto. Nothing high end about me; I just managed to win a scholarship. The boys there were young scions of Empire, what columnist Alan Fotheringham later called “the tired seed of the titled”. Among the bullies and the mean-spirited acne could be found the occasional golden boy, a young cricket god decked in white ducks, noble-hearted, blonde, golden cannon-fodder for some imperial war or other. I knew one of these at that time. He bailed me out of trouble once, was kind to me in a remote and fastidious and maybe gently revolted way.
Similar to the knight, radiant with purity, who emerged from the riven pig.
Clues. The little child is safe, and in fact the only chewing the alligator does is consensual.
I think the pig is me. My carcase, aching and aching to release me. I’m a mass of aches and pains and generational misery and post-traumatic damage and blindness and sorrow. The alligator? Death, real or figurative. The young knight? Me? Under all these slabs of tired flesh and broken-heartedness. I don’t think the knight is an angel. Although his fastidiousness was gentle, it was definitely there. He didn’t have much to do with the pig, really. It had hosted him. Is this how it is? That my spirit is untouched by all my life experience, blindness, illness, melancholia and loss? That I’m a conveyance, something like a tank, for use in battle?