We’re walking towards that place I keep dreaming about. Every other night now for the past two weeks, it keeps inexplicably appearing just before I’m about to wake up. It’s a row of buildings in a part of town that’s off the beaten track. Half the buildings are boarded up, while the remaining ones consist of a mixture of greasy spoons, discount stores, and someplace that appears to be selling the shittest bric-a-brac you could imagine. You want me to kiss you, but I don’t want to because if I do, it’ll mean I’m just a man, and therefore, weak. Turning my head, you huff and puff and try removing your hand from mine, no doubt in some attempt to storm off or attack me, but I grip it tightly while staring at this row of unassuming low-rise buildings. Why do I keep dreaming of them? To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never set foot in any of them, not even as a kid. I’m half tempted to phone my mum and ask her if she ever took me inside whatever incarnation they were back in the day, but decide against it. As I’m stood there looking confused, you demand that I let go of your hand. When you realise I’m not listening, you scowl at me before attempting to stamp on my feet, but I turn and subdue your temper with a kiss, and even though at first you pull back, when I give you my tongue and bite your lip, all is forgiven. You even cheer up enough to suggest we have something to eat in one of the greasy spoons, but something doesn’t feel right, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Holding hands, we pass each building while you tell me about the film you want to see at the cinema, and while I am listening, I can’t help but search each window for clues as to why this place keeps invading my subconscious. Sensing my attention is drifting, you dig your nails into my flesh. It hurts, and I want to cuss you, but think better of it. Apologising, I ask if you want to see the movie later in the day, to which you smile and nod. And yet out the corner of my eye, I keep picking away at each brick. Maybe it’s déjà vu, or maybe this moment is itself a dream, and my dreams a reality. Turning to you, we both stop mid-stride and look at each other. What year is this, I ask. You don’t have an answer, and nor do I.