Michael Blackburn's ART ZERO


Most diaries are boring, and most dreams are boring, because most lives are boring. I offer this small item because it amused me a little when I first read it. I extracted it from a private diary uncovered in a junkshop in London. All I know of its author is that he was called Lawrence Elman and that he lived in Fulham at the time of writing. This dream came to him on the night of January 21st 1980.

A note for the non-UK reader: for 'chips' read 'fries'.

Last night I dreamt I was summoned for a private audience with the Fuhrer himself. I knocked on a large dark door, heard him reply, and walked in. He was seated at a small table. There were a few other people in the room I didn't recognise. I sat down opposite Hitler and a plate of chips was placed between us. The chips were rather scrappy and pale. I noticed a couple were cut flat and square. They were nonetheless hot and tasty. As we ate, Hitler said how much he loved cricket because of its elegance and timing. I said there were mythic elements to it and he agreed. That was the extent of our conversation. I ate more chips, removing a large hair that was stuck to two of them. I think it was a human hair.

Elman's handwriting was clear, legible and regular. In all of 64 pages, however, this was the most interesting entry.