This is another dream with an unusual sequence of events. Frustratingly my recall is somewhat limited, for both the details and the complexity of the felt state, so this account is just what I can piece together. But hopefully I can paint some kind of picture. It was a very strong dream.

I find myself in a pool hall, which I will later discover is situated within a large house. Everyone except me is dark-skinned, apparently of African descent.

I am being introduced to a new game by two men. The table is enormous, perhaps three times the size of a full size snooker table. The ends are semicircular rather than square, such that the table is shaped like a running track. The baize is normal at either end, but the bulk of the table, the middle section, is overlaid by four or five rectangular sections of material, some kind of string or rope, each section in a different pattern.

I am bewildered by the size of the table and the impediment of ropes lying across the table. But I want to impress the men. I casually line up a shot, the cue ball perhaps five metres from the object ball. Despite hitting the cue ball with as much force as I can muster, it soon dies and fails to reach its target.

For a while I stand at one end of the table watching the two men discuss the game. In recalling the dream now, it is hard to pin down the feeling I had about these men. One in particular seems to be a strange mix of friend, enemy, idol and, strangely, romantic partner. I remember him as a tall, very thin man, with sparse facial hair, and a decidedly suspicious air about him. At the same time, I hold him in some kind of esteem.

Turning towards the table, I see two scenes overlaid one on the other. The base scene of the pool hall is still there. But on top of this is a street scene. To the right of the table I see a woman walking near the gutter, shops behind her. She seems middle aged, perhaps 50. She stops, spreads her legs apart, and a fully grown child of around 8 years emerges from under her dress. My primary impression is that she had him tucked under her dress, yet the way he drops limply to the ground, face first, suggests a birth. Her affect suggests this event is unremarkable to her.

The middle of the street itself is overlaid on the table. Another woman is on her hands and knees here, stretched out almost stomach to ground, groping her way forward. The sense is that she is pregnant, and that the way she is moving risks damaging the foetus. Her expression is pained. The mood of the dream shifts to danger. In the distance behind her, like a mirage, looms an oncoming hoard of angry, dark-skinned men.

Someone, perhaps one of the two men at the table, tells me that I need to leave urgently. I suggest returning to my room in another part of the house. They explain that this will not do. The gangs are coming and will search the whole area and violently pursue anyone they find. The danger is extreme. If I stay, I will die.

I leave the pool hall and find my way in the dark to my room to collect my keys and wallet. I contemplate hiding in a bathroom, but remember the man’s warning. To leave the house, I need to navigate a series of obstables as if in a game of Mario brothers. I make it out, and drive off in my car.

This is the most interesting point of the dream, yet the one I remember with least detail. As I drive, I can viscerally feel a foetus moving inside my abdomen. I sense that I am two or three months pregnant. I can feel that the foetus is struggling, probably dying. I reflect to myself that this feeling, this sense of knowing, must be akin to the feeling states mothers describe around pregnancy and their children’s wellbeing.

My larger worry seems to be my own health. The loss of the baby seems inevitable, and I worry about what will happen to my own body in the process.

I am angry. I think of the tall African man, who I now perceive as the father of this child, and ask myself how he could have let this happen if he knew about the impending danger. And how he could now have abandoned me.

There is now a sense that the setting for the dream is an Eastern European country. I overhear a dialogue between elderly women, lamenting the loss of their traditional culture.

10 January, 2019