Ellen and I were walking towards the Grassmarket down the steep stairs of the Vennel with my brother, Andrew, and his girlfriend. It was dark and, when Andrew started to run ahead, I called after him to be careful or else he'd fall. Naturally, he tripped quite spectacularly, landing forehead-first on a step several feet below. When he got up, he was bleeding from a cut in his head, but laughing.
Notes for Freudian Analysis
Once, when Andrew was three and I was 14, my girlfriend and I were walking with him down a steep lane in Carnock. He ran ahead, tripped and launched himself down the slope, hitting the ground with his face. Momentum carried his little legs over his head and he ended up lying on his back, wailing and sobbing and bleeding.
When I was in second year at university, I was walking down the Vennel with my flatmate, Stephen Magee, on our way home from the pub. About halfway down the steps, Stephen, having unaccountably decided to start running, tripped and fell, ripping his jeans and cutting his knee. He took it better than Andrew had done, being considerably older and slightly anaesthetised by drink.
The dream uses material from both of those events, but I'm not at all clear why. The only similarity between each situation is that, in each case, I had to look at some idiot falling over because they were running.
For the benefit of my extensive foreign readership, here is a picture of the Vennel.