After sitting through The Cell, a disturbing bit of gratuitous nastiness involving Jennifer Lopez, dressed to thrill, plodding her way through the subconscious of a serial killer, I realise just how banal my own daydreams are. Though men are supposed to think about sex every nanonsecond, although hopefully not with quite the same warped surrealism of The Cell's protagonist, my own fantasies tend towards soft furnishings or rapid weight loss. However, recently, at my best friend's wedding I was listening to the happy couple exchanging vows at the altar, promising to love, honour and forsake all others - when it occurred to me that I haven't actually managed to keep many of mine: not to mention half the commandments which I've romped through on a break two get one free basis. Maybe that's why people cry at weddings - we're all suffering from advanced guilt.
But I'm not talking about real mortal sin here - more along the lines of harbouring impure thoughts. My conscience is clear - but my subconscious also troubles me. You see, it's the dreams.
In my waking hours I'm mostly well behaved, sober and circumspect. But at night, just occasionally, it's a parallel universe of embarrasing behaviour.
I fly, of course, and occasionally have been known to run through the streets in my underwear. I kiss the resurrected dead and scream furiously at the living. And I still smoke like a sailor on shore leave. I see people whom I haven't heard from in years, and wonder how they have the nerve to suddenly turn up in my sleeping hours when they never bother to call when I'm awake. Jennifer Lopez arriving uninvited is one thing, the person who stole all your records in 1976 quite another. You are not pleased to see them. And frankly, if La Lopez trudged through my psyche in those too high heels looking, as she does, more like a manicurist who got lost on the film set than a psychiatric social worker, I'd be worried.
However, mostly I'm happy not to share. Who would want a witness to your worrying libido problem?. Accessorised lust: I find myself in bed with men who, often, I don't even know.
I can't help it. I don't ask them to suddenly audition under the covers of my casting couch. If I did, believe me - there are several who wouldn't have made the final cut. It's true to say that my subconscious has remarkably bad taste.
Nor are dream lovers always very satisfactory. Just like real men their timing is usually off. Invariably they leave you standing on the platform with a ticket in your hand as their train draws out of the station. Then they're always gone in the morning or, even more likely, just vanish in the middle of the night without bothering to say good-bye.
And they never ring.
Then you're embarrassed the next time you run into them outside the school gates, or at the office, or on the bus. In fact you can't look them in the eye without blushing while they just continue to act as if nothing ever happened.
They're talking about sales figures and you're having a lewd flashback. You smile knowingly and imagine a new kind of intimacy between you. Or maybe you're thinking - what a rotten kisser, or expecting some sort of apology after their mediocre performance the night before. Dream lovers are often unpredictable - and few of them read Men's Health for sex tips. But while you're runnin glittle movies in your head and re-evaluating your relationship - they remain silent. They're oblivious - they think you just got out of bed on the wrong side that morning. They just don't realise it was their bed.
So, while I'm sitting there amongst the candles and the incense, listening to the bridal march, I'm wondering whether or not it counts as infidelity if you smooch with a stranger in your sleep. Is it adultery or repressed wishful thinking? Either way - I'm not that worried. It's a lot more fun than counting sheep.
What's worse is that I'm
As I glanced in the mirror on the way to a friend's wedding, I suddenly realised that with my fifties flick and bright red lipstick, I looked as though I was just off to a fancy dress party as Marilyn Monroe - if she'd lived to survive to forty and gained the same number of pounds. Now, in the cold light of ecclesiastical day, the gold silk dress that looked very glam in the shop, has effortlessly transformed itself into an old nightie, and me into the kind of person who wears it under her coat to buy milk first thing in the morning. Maybe that's why it was reduced. Furthermore, the Italian gold lame sandals make me feel like a sort of junior tart in training heels. I'm Barbie for big girls.
It's a great day to be gorgeous but I just don't seem to have the genes for it. I look like a gay icon in the making - if I could sing - I'd do drag clubs.