The Missing Staircase

Sometimes I dream that the staircase is missing. I’m in a large building and I don’t know my way around. I enjoy the feeling of being lost, but I know I have to get to the next level up. It can be a huge mansion, or a block of flats. Once it was a tower block with a crazy elevator system running around the outside. Another time it was a hotel lobby with ceiling several hundred feet high and only a hydraulic platform to take us up to our rooms, high above. Last night, it was just a stairwell in a run down block.

Sometimes there are other people. Last night there were other people. They were all taking the elevator. The lift. I didn’t want to take the lift. My instinct told me there was something wrong with it. It was broken. So I tried to see if I could find a toe-hold where I could jump across the missing stair and grab on to the edge of the floor above. There wasn’t.

Then a single person elevator stopped, ding, right next to me. I got in. The door closed and somehow it became a carriage on a train. Trains are good in dreams. Not just the ones that take you through tunnels. Trains are full of interesting people, going on interesting journeys. Trains can take you anywhere. They can also dump you out in stations that look familiar, like somewhere in London, but with no-one familiar around and all the landmarks in peculiar places. Once you’ve gone up the stairs into the sunlight.

One time I was living in a building without stairs right at the top. I worked my way around the tiniest scrap of ledge, no more than a picture rail, on the top floor of a building just to get the door to my room. Another time I discovered a secret society thanks to an elevator that circled a new tower block and descended underground to the hidden railway system. And then again, there was the time where it was simply an enormous train station and no trains. I wound up in the pub next door, which was warm and cosy and full of friends.

This morning, my elevator train sped me across a huge bridge, across a river. I thought we were going to shoot up into the air because I could only see out the top and it looked as if tracks went across the roof and the roof looked like a ski jump. But we pulled safely into a station. I knew I’d have to make it back across the river, over the bridge. It looked like a long way although we’d got there really fast. I like these dreams. Where the staircase is missing and the trains are crazy. I like the feeling of being lost, the sense of exploration, of discovering the unknown.

Many mansions and fascinating places wait to be discovered. I’ve seen some of them in my dreams. I’ll see them again in real life. And I’ll open every door and discover all of the hidden staircases. Then I’ll walk on air without realizing I’m flying until I look down to see my feet aren’t touching the ground.

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