I got up as a weather forecast and met June as the early morning news. I went out into the garden with a mouthful of rock and spat out a flower bed. I had to prepare the garden for the arrival of a sea monster – making sure that the speaking trees were ready for a storm of words and random numbers. June was busy indoors making cakes for King Alfred to burn. After all the people I had ever wanted to be had walked to the end of the pier and looked down I came in like a high tide. By then June had curled up into a monosyllabic word (although a polysyllabic dinner was talking to itself in the oven). I decided to wear a transistor radio instead of clothes – only to be told off for continually changing channels. I later thought a long number had entered the house but found only a decimal point.
I woke up as many times as a cartoon character in the night. The wind was plaiting itself into the hair of an Anglo-Saxon princess and the usually whispering trees were shouting obscenities – I went back to bed leaving a silhouette of concern in the window light. When I finally got up in my sedimentary rock suit I found the multifarious entities that live in the garden had remained safe. As the metamorphic sky brightened I made a promise to the hidden people to meet them inside my own head – the film crew were already prepared. I looked at the spaces they had once occupied and wondered if time could be measured with elastic bands. I looked up from this thought and saw a man walk down the road with several belts round his waist; none of which appeared to be holding up his trousers.
I woke up in a strange room in an even stranger house. June was downstairs talking to an open cupboard; she shut the door quickly when I descended the stairs with an apricot fairy in my hands. When I gave it to her it had changed into a peach and family of sub-temporal snakes made a series of exclamation marks on the unreality of the wooden floor. I would have waited for a series of question marks to appear but the dog had already put on her reading glasses and was studying a map. I pulled a place off the paper and we suddenly found ourselves there – it was only when the clouds formed bookends for an extended line of unread books that I realised it was a long walk back. When we finally got in I found June sat on a shelf with the cupboard now talking to her.
June stood in the bedroom as the end point of feline evolution (in my science days I never thought that evolution was that linear) while I went downstairs hearing the constant drip of dirty clothes hitting the bedroom floor. Be both coalesced as wet paint on the ceiling of a railway carriage with a little prince and princess below. We painted a multicoloured line beside a neutral grey river, overlapping like the neurons that make thoughts and sometimes stopping as silver and golden figures moved up and down the periodic table. We had a meal in the dorsal turret of a Lancaster bomber before coming home via the bomb bay, hitting the ground as the light faded and a small group of Edwardian craftsmen crawled out of various holes in the floor and walked to whatever had become of their homes.
As usual for a day that begins with a gargoyle balancing on the rim of a teacup I left the house early, an aerial pinned to my lapel and a television handkerchief in my pocket. I gave the man sat in an over ripe vegetable marrow my money and he spat out several numbers and a white dove of paper which I caught before I or it could fly away – I knew I wouldn’t go far but doves sometimes become peregrine falcons. After shopping in a blue whale carcass awaiting resurrection I boarded a long tongue and sprung back into a cavernous mouth. The chameleon was toasting a fire alarm and we sat down in a wind tunnel and made up words out of smoke. The lizard king left before I had climbed a tree but after a tree had climbed me. When it had reached the roof we knew everything was safe.
I woke in a sea – there was a lifeguard on the windowsill but he was looking the other way. I pronounced all liquid as coincidence and then brought all distant things close and banished all close things to the other side of the partially leafed horizon. Immediately outside a man sang in a dustbin and a short piece of string turned into a flying bird and then a moustache – the moustache laid an egg and I caught a worm (I put it back straight away, after drilling a hole in the floorboards and watching fires in the sky turn to flowers and then drop their petals). I found June downstairs sweeping up leaves; underneath one was a foreign coin, I tore it into two and sent both bits back to their country of origin – moments later a man with a hole in his chest emerged through the floorboards.
On finding myself as a Belisha beacon at the start of the day I waited until the traffic had gone and it was safe to cross the road. I met my sister on a golden bough (she had just got off an ivy stem with her five legged friend) and we drove to town in tandem wheel barrows – I pointed out the smoke from a distant chimney and she showed me a picture of a chimpanzee on her wristwatch. I met June moonlighting as a lamp post and then met my father who was in the process of making a pet out of his beard: he said that some beards will bite and then fed a biscuit to the wild animal on the top of his head. We went for a meal in the upper atmosphere of what I assumed was the Earth but it could have been a similar planet on the far side of our galaxy. I saw the flowers in the sky again.