Category Archives: weird

Partial recollection

Yesterday I had the weirdest dream. I was called, along with a dozen people, to go to Mars to try and test the living conditions or something.

Now Mars wasn’t really comfortably inhabitable yet, there were no cities or other settlements, no vegetation, nothing more than the current dusty red emptiness, really. We were no experts in anything, like engineers or biologists, sent there to build things or start an ecosystem or whatever; we should just go there and see how we do. And indeed, it felt like being sent on holidays for a few weeks, there was definitely no sensation of isolation or anything bad like that involved while being up there.

I remember that we were living in some kind of large appartment, or a cabin, which was pretty comfortable and in particular had Earth-quality breathable air. We also regularly went out on the red and dusty plains, for walks or on errands (I don’t know), and the outside air was much thinner. At the start of my stay, I had trouble staying out for very long before getting difficulties to breathe; after a while though, while it was still hard I could stay out as long as I wanted.

Outside there was always a heavy sensation, possibly due to difficult breathing, and which felt like higher gravity (although I was aware that it couldn’t be the reason). Maybe the desolate ochre landscape contributed to the feeling.

A day or so before finally leaving, I went to a second-hand bookstore to browse through their crime fiction, looking for Maigret novels.

dusty red Martian landscape

There’s clearly enough fun to have in there for weeks.

Back on Earth, I went to a sunny beach with some friends. I reflected that the two features striking me the most about our planet were how crowded it is, and how vivid the colours are.

Picture: Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech. More about it on Caltech’s JPL page.


The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled

For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not — and very surely do I not dream. Continue reading

And the ashes blew towards us

I had the weirdest experience tonight, a dream which woke up a memory long forgotten. You may remember from an earlier story that I have, or used to have, quite vivid memories attached to my grandmother’s house. When I was a lad, my family and I used to visit her in Sèvres near Paris. Ubiquitous in her house was a very specific fragrance, which I found again in a soap a few years after the house had been sold, and which I have tried to find again ever since. Much to my dismay, I realised last month that I was no longer able to conjure up at will the memory of this fragrance; but I digress. Continue reading