I had a dream that I could smell smoke.
Everywhere I went, I could smell it. It was in every room. It was ahead of me and behind me as well.
At first it was faint. It was the kind of smoke you can smell when you walk down the street at twilight, and one or two households have lit the fire for the evening.
You think of how warm it will be inside their houses, and you can imagine families moving around a brightly lit kitchen or dining room, about to sit down and have a nice dinner.
It reminded me of my own family, and how we'd sit around the dinner table and share a meal together.
Mum would say, "Would you like gravy, Todd?"
And I'd say, "Yes, please, mum. And can you pass the voting forms?"
And I'd pass them on to my sister, my brother-in-law, my uncle, and my auntie, and they'd fill them in with my name on the form, and I'd be voted in as the National Party candidate for Clutha-Southland.
And dad would say, "That's the way we do things around here."
And mum would say, "That's right, dear. More gravy, Todd?"
And I'd say, "Keep passing it, mum. I want a gravy train."
So it was that kind of faint, comforting smoke, but then it began to smell heavier in my dream. It began to smell like great clumps of coal had been on the fire, and it smelled sharp and kind of tingling.
Then I dreamed that I was in a smoke-filled room and I couldn't see anything and I began to panic. I was woken up by the phone. I grabbed at it, and knocked over a glass of water.
I had a dream that I was on fire.
I called out for help, and I saw Bill English.
He said, "Don't come near me."
I said, "How could you say that?"
He said, "I don't recall saying that."
I said, "Stop playing games!"
He said, "I'd describe it more as an employment issue, and I'm confident that the standard procedures have been followed, and now we can all get back to thinking about the America's Cup."
I said, "Call 111!"
He said, "I've made information available to the police, but it's hard to know what's happening. You could be on fire or maybe it's just very hot in here. Certainly there's no implication that I have anything to do with it, and even if I had, I really don't recall."
Then I dreamed I ran into the National Party's media emergency room, and called out for help.
Mike Hosking said, "No one cares, mate. What you want to do is think about the America's Cup."
I said, "I have a problem!"
He said, "Speak to Bill. He'll see you right."
I looked everywhere for Bill, but couldn't find him. I saw National whip Jami-Lee Ross, and called out for help. He said he'd drive me to a meeting. I knew what that meant - I've seen The Sopranos - and I began to panic. I was woken up by the phone. I grabbed at it, and cut my hand on broken glass.
I dreamed that I was toast.
Glenys Dickson picked me up and put me on her plate, and reached for a knife.
I wished the phone would wake me up but it didn't ring.
It didn't ring all day.
I dreamed Bill English was on fire.