Texture Dream

By Vexen Crabtree 2000

I realize I work for a hotel during a long quiet holiday period. I am more of a caretaker, as the hotel is not in use during the holidays. It's a plain hotel, simple, but I realize there is something wrong with the running water. I think that the loud banging sounds emanating from the water pipes must be caused by loose fittings on the pipes in the basement. I imagine them banging against the wall as if there was high wind.

I dread what I know: The basement is very big, complex, and extends beyond the actual footprint of the building. I am walking in the basement. The corridor through which I am walking is thirty meters wide, thirty meters high and extends for a long time ahead. You could fly a helicopter down it safely.

The walls on the left and right are covered in pipes, at vertical intervals of 30-40cm. Something stranger, the pipes are not fixed to the wall - all of them are 20cm away from the wall, but they seem perfectly stable.

Still walking, I see some animals. They are like cats, but very tall, vertically stretched cats, long legs, long necks, Siamese in complexion and aesthetics. A cat looks at me. Its teeth are external to its mouth - it has very narrow yet long teeth, and multiple rows thereof. I consider running away, but do not.

I formulate a plan; if the cats are dangerous I will climb up the pipes as they form an ideal ladder up the walls.

Further down the corridor I realize there are dozens of cats, they are all motionless and watching me. I feel out of place. I realize there are cats behind me too. I climb the pipes as far as they go, taking me almost to roof height. I sidestep along the pipes to continue going down the corridor.

Taking a breather, I survey the opposite wall. Something shocks and frightens me. On the opposite wall there are cats sat confidently on the top pipe. This means they can climb up to the top pipe on this side of the tunnel too.

I move quickly and realize I am just about to reach the end of the tunnel.

The tunnel ends not with a turn to the left or right, but in a vertical turn 90 degrees downwards. The pipes follow the curves of the walls, all of them dropping into a huge hole big enough to drop a cathedral into. The hole has no visible bottom. The walls and pipes fade to blackness as they descend.

I have a thought: This is where I normally like to wake up.

I realize I have jumped into the hole, my heart jumps but I realize it is going to be ok. I am confident the fall won't harm me. There is silence, and a little panic, as I fall.

I land silently in water and see what is around me.

The entire area is a dark, ambient red colour. Looking up I cannot see the roof. I am in the centre of a room which is so large I cannot describe it.

I am floating in water, deep red water which is hard to see into and quickly becomes opaque at about waist level. If I died my body would float downwards for many hours before resting on the floor of the room.

There are no proper walls to form this room, instead are four massively huge red drapes. They seem a foot thick, they are made from a soft red material. I know that for no reason.

I move through the water towards one of the curtains. I can duck under it to leave the room.

It takes a long time to get there and before I know it I have passed through. The other side of the curtain is another room, the same as the one I had just left.

This time I cross the room much quicker. There is a fast black skinny ghostly shadow in the water. There is more than one. They zip around me with no definable features, very fast, and deep in the water.

I cross the room in a slight panic to escape the lightening fast shadows in the water, and enter a third room just as immensely big as the others. I cross this room even faster, and quickly reach the half way mark.

You're not going to believe how this dream ends.

I look back, and realize there is a platform hovering in the centre of the room, a meter above the level of the water with no discernable method of suspension. I am approaching it, it looks like a plain concrete platform, the size of a double bed, it has a pair of large double doors, black and gothic, perched on top of it. On the edge of the platform facing me is a frame with a big pastel-red square button in it, the sign above it reads "Exit". It is a replica of the exit-level button from the original computer game, Quake. As I approach the button the dream ends and I wake up.

The meat of that dream was the texture of the walls in the basement, the hugeness of the tunnels, the blurred graininess of the water, floors and objects. It was a satisfying dream, a good measure of scariness, of being very small in a vast [dream]world, of there being incidental yet potentially lethal living things.

A Bottomless Pit:

The bottomless chasm is traditionally a symbol of despair, or chaos, but it need not have these connotations [...]. If you manage to cross, or move around, an abyss that can be a positive sign that you have the abilities to overcome obstacles. If you fall into the abyss, take it as a warning to be on your guard against obstacles which could prevent you from fulfilling some important aim.

"Teach Yourself Dream Interpretation" by Leila Bright (1999)1

To dream of an abyss, crevice or cavern, signifies that you will soon enjoy happiness.


I think in this case I overcame the chasm.

A Hotel:

This can symbolize irresponsibility and can be a warning that you should be more responsible, perhaps in your relationships, or that you should try to drop some of your responsibilities and have some fun.

"Teach Yourself Dream Interpretation" by Leila Bright (1999)1

I don't think this interpretation fits the dream... I think I'm more likely to have simply been recalling the hotel from the screen version of Stephen King's "The Shining", the emotion of the abandoned hotel is a close match to the way it felt in the dream.

There are many books available, more or less in dictionary format, that attempt to tell you what individual elements of dreams might mean. They're useless.

"A Realistic Guide to Dream Interpretation" by Vexen Crabtree (2005)