Nightmare on Scrutton Street


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Time to get a bit personal. I have this recurring nightmare where I am trapped in Scrutton Street in London.

It is always 9.30 in the morning. It is a cold, misty morning, and I am stuck behind a desk in a dreary office. Various zombies are going about their business, and I am tapping away at a computer keyboard when suddenly a vision appears. It is an old and grey man, obviously on his last legs. But the shock is always terrible when I realize the vision is an older version of myself. I never get used to it. The vision stares at me and I begin to shake. He speaks to me, “Michael, you must leave this place of horror. Leave now. " I speak to the vision, “I can't leave. I'm stuck here. " The vision becomes angry and speaks again, “You must leave. Leave, or end up like me. I was young once and had everything to live for. Then I fell in with the wrong crowd. They were office workers and they destroyed my life. Leave! Run from this hell of computers, phones and photocopiers!" But I am paralyzed. I can't get out of my chair. I scream at the vision, “I can't leave! I'm trapped!" Then I wake up in my bed, drenched in sweat, and realize I am not wasting my life in Scrutton Street. The relief is overwhelming.

What does it all mean? Will I really become like that vision? No. No. I am far away from Scrutton Street, and I will never return.

Michael Fowke writes at


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