ACORN AND PELT
Dreamed 1983/7/19 by Chris Wayan
this is the way the dream ends
this is the way the dream ends
this is the way the dream ends
not with a bang, with a bunny.
It's a sunny day in the park. I lie lazily on the grass, seeing animal shapes in the clouds. A cotton bunny, a fog horse, an ice cream hippo... Two curving powerlines cross overhead, making an odd shape--almost a curvy swastika. I close my eyes...
A while later, a shadow wakes me. I open my eyes just a slit, to see two girls kneeling by me, whispering. They look sexy, but I pretend I'm still asleep. They start gently tickling me. I shift "dreamily" and touch one girl's back... Still with eyes closed, I start massaging her. She likes it; gradually, we start touching more intimately. At last, when I start to pull her pants off, I open my eyes and admit the obvious. I lick her and she sighs in pleasure, stroking my head. Strange... she has tough, leathery labia. And when I seek her clit, I can't find it at all! Does she have one? I ask her. "Yeah, it's there, but I've never seen more than the tip. My clitoral hood is thick and covers it completely--so I need heavy, rough stimulation, since it's all indirect."
So I really nibble and gnaw and stretch her so hard it'd hurt most people. But she likes it, and comes at last. I say "Wow, your cunt really is different."
"I'm writing a book for people like me, since normal sex manuals don't mention us, and their exercises don't seem to work for me at least."
She calls her clit an "acorn" after its barely-visible tip, which, on her, DOES resemble one. Teasing, I start calling HER "Acorn", and mention that the Chinese term for clit translates "yin kernel" or "yin nut." Acorn's an anthropologist, and says "It's weird how cultures nickname genitals--some personify them, some use plant- or flower-images, or food, or animals, or tools and machines. Says a lot about that culture's orientation--not just about sex, either!"
As I lie in Acorn's arms, I slowly realize we're no longer on the lawn. We're in a boat, a little boat floating through a maze of canals, walled in by hedges. Beyond, I can hear the sounds of calliopes and loudspeakers. A county fair!
As we float along, Acorn tells me her theory that sexual orientation is more a matter of choice than we think; but it's such a convenient defense against rabid fundamentalists to say "I was born this way and there's nothing I can do about it." Also, outcasts band together partly by excluding the fuzzy cases--in the case of gays, by putting down bisexuals as if they're somehow disloyal, as if it IS a choice, a cause. Contradicts their own claims of innateness! "I want to tell the truth as I see it, but my lesbian friends just get mad and won't listen--they're so TOUCHY!"
I feel awkward. Privately I think she has the facts right; I know from my experience that minorities are no more tolerant of oddballs and wafflers than the majority is... Still, it's not my job to go nagging all my lesbian friends, is it? Oh, I can see them now, lining up, eager for this new experience of being told they're wrong. Nagging--the big shortage in lesbian life. Yeah.
Oops! Now our boat's become an elevator. We're standing in it, side by side, her arm around my waist. We're wrapped in big golden-yellow Towels of Power. Good! A happy-colored magic. We'll need it.
For we're rising toward a dangerous meeting, a boardroom confrontation. This is a John Varley novel, so I warn Acorn about his Genial Fascist motif--friendly, blunt, folksy, Reaganesque tyrants, like Gaea at the top of the Big Elevator, in his book TITAN. Well, above us is a whole group like that. And we have to fight them! It's why we came. Time to fight the Charm Nazis.
She plans to face them directly, up on the third floor. I want to ambush them. We can't agree, so we're splitting up. I wish her "good luck" and kiss her deep, then leave the elevator on the second floor while Acorn rides up to the top for her frontal attack. CRASH! THUMP! BAM BAM BAM... I hear the battle through the ceiling--but it's short, too short for her to have beaten them all. I'm sure they captured her.
Lots of clomping next. The enemy's trooping into a capsule that circulates through their whole fortress like a corpuscle in the blood. I recall this motif, too, from TITAN--yeah, I'm trapped in John Varley all right. It's not gonna be easy, tracking fascists in the blood. In the building's capillaries, they can go anywhere, be anywhere. To follow them, I'd have to walk through walls.
So I will! I'm strong--I can smash anything short of neutronium or collapsed-core material. Unless they've reinforced their capsule with that, I can crack it. All I have to do is catch them.
I tear through the walls toward the capsule. Off they slither in a panic. I follow happily though their fortress, smashing it methodically. Sure, they know where I am and can flee me, but in the meantime I'm causing massive damage. Eventually I won't have to free her; they'll have to give her up or lose their whole headquarters. I wander up, around, making a network of tunnels I can use, not hurrying our final fight.
At last, I come out on the roof, and they attack ME. Forcefields create a billowing fishnet of sticky light, a hammocky surface a yard above the physical roof. It can't stop me but it slows me down... Their commandos see that and move in, attacking me with weird martial arts. I'm less skilled, but a guy who can punch through walls can take some punishment.
At last, I'm hit, by a clever trick. A burly giant simply picks up a dwarf kungfu master and THROWS him at me like a football, right over the forcefield, over the battle, and over my guard. He drops right by me and bites my thigh! Except for his safety helmet, he looks just like Toulouse-Lautrec the painter. It IS him, I'm sure of it! I think "That's not fair! Artists should be on my side!" I start kicking Toulouse-Lautrec, but he clings to my leg like a horny poodle.
He throws something over me, something that smells like fur, and suddenly I'm terribly dizzy and confused. A sorrow pours through me--a love and support I've always had is leaving me forever! Whaaaat? I look at my paws... paws? The fur stuck on me, merged with me! It's turned me into a... what? I circle round trying to get a good look at myself. My enemies pause as they realize I've been hit. Even Bulldog Lautrec lets go. I have long ears, white pelt--I look like a giant rabbit, except for a much longer tail.
The pelt still radiates inexplicable grief... the loss of its true rabbit-owner? I don't think so, it feels more like the loss of ME! It knows me, has known me for years, perhaps centuries. This makes no sense but it's very clear.
My own emotions flip-flop: first defeat, then defiance, then fear that they now control me, then shame that I'm a harmless little bunny now. That doesn't last long either since with one rabbit punch I knock down a chunk of parapet. My attackers still hover, warily, not too sure just what they've done, what I've become.
My feelings stabilize. I feel powerful, stronger than ever. I'm a rabbit all right--the Trickster! I'll call myself Crusader Rabbit and tear down this castle!
And as the symbiotic pelt settles in, I start to understand why it felt such grief to meet me. For the pelt, time flows backward. It remembers the future, not the past. For the fur, this is the end of a centuries-long symbiosis, the loss of an old friend--me! Even though, to ME, we've just met.
And the depth of that passionate wave of sorrow proves just how long and warm our symbiosis will be, in MY future.
The most auspicious grief I've ever felt! I'm gonna be one heroic bunny. Wow, did their rabbit suit backfire!
And at the glint in our symbiotic eye, the dwarf-tossers start to back away.
With good reason. I want Acorn back. Now.
And that's not all. Oh, no. That's just the start.
Now that I'm not just me.
NOTES IN THE MORNING
At the time, I was rather depressed and passive. I now think the dream explained why: I was in shock from having psychic experiences tossed at me! Having been raised as a scientist, my shock was natural. Years later, I'm still adjusting to remembering the future, to putting on a shamanic trickster pelt. Hard for traditional shaman's apprentices, even with a mentor. To do it alone in a society that says it's impossible... it's a miracle I'm still sane at all. (Yeah, yeah, I heard that!)
But also... seven years later, in one of the most complex and intense of my thirty thousand recorded dreams, I woke up on RABBIT WORLD. Not as a tourist, either--I was a long-tailed, intelligent rabbit with psychic powers--like all my species!
But since I hadn't typed up my earlier dreams on computer yet, or even indexed them, I'd completely forgotten ACORN AND PELT, and was shocked when I found it in my handwritten journals while building this Dreambank. What a strange thing to predict, and have come true years later--that I'm going to be a psychic rabbit! Do dreams plan that far ahead? "Let's make his pelt's memories of the future come true--we'll make him a rabbit. But let's wait, oh, seven years." Or was the later dream quite independent, was the pelt's memory just what the dream said: not a plan, but time-reversed recollection? In short, a premonition?
Whatever you want to call it, my conviction's sure persistent! I'm convinced I'm really not human, but a long-tailed psychic bunny with a backward sense of time.
Maybe I am. Y'all told me I couldn't be psychic, either.
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