Dreamed 1990/3/1 by Chris Wayan
THE DAY BEFORE
I get allergy shots, but react--sick all day from what's supposed to cure me.
At work in the library, stumble on "A Source Book On Pornography." What a weird take on it! The authors seem unable to tell sex from violence, fantasy from reality, consensual behavior from coercion: using a vibrator is violent penetration by patriarchal machinery, letting a dog lick you is "violent" and "degrading"; even films showing ejaculation outside a vagina are "sadistic, as it deprives a woman..." Men are scum, dogs are scum, cum is scum, lack of cum is scum...
The tone of this book would sicken me--if I wasn't already sick from allergy shots. Being penetrated by the fiendish medical patriarchy. But it's better than perpetually popping patriarchal pills... or allergic pressure from patriarchal pollen (it is sperm after all) penetrating my poor, poor passages...
At work, I talk with my friend Xanthe about that insane antisexual book--how it got to me--made me feel creepy about myself, my motives. I wish I wasn't so vulnerable to this crap.
Xanthe says "But Chris, you grew up feminist, and now their language is twisting around and biting you. It's like being raised in a church that's been captured by right-wing fundamentalists. You doubt your own motives till it exhausts you--aren't THEIRS ever suspect?" I take her point at the time...
But later, I do it again--find another book, by an author I respect this time, Ann Wilson Schaeff. Her new book's "Escape from Intimacy." She says fantasy and romance addicts look for trophy mates... do I? The book makes me very uncomfortable--I fit her description of a sexual anorexic and a fantasy addict... though her picture of intimacy sounds exhausting to me--a full-time job, and not much fun.
That evening my friend David calls. I whine a bit, and he says "Spell out what you want from a girlfriend." I try, but it's hard. Someone sexy, smart enough to be fun to talk with... what else? After Kay (who broke my nose) I want someone easy-going. I need simple reassurances I'm attractive, moral, lovable--Kay's violent temper made me doubt myself. That's about it.
David says "But Chris, those aren't unreasonable assurances to expect from a lover, no matter what Ann Wilson Schaeff says. None of the things you just told me you wanted are addictions--they're real benefits of love!"
I'm getting tired of this pseudo-feminist guilt! I can't blame Kay--I had it before her, and even her abuse of feminist language didn't cure me. What'll it take?
I'm in Greco-Roman times, in the western Mediterranean. I'm a big, hulking guy, and I'm careful to act calm and slow and gentle. For in this world, mythical creatures are real: far to the west live Ogres, and everyone thinks I am one. Maybe I am. I'm headed west myself, to meet a friend. Not an ogre--some of my best friends aren't ogres.
I speak many languages without even realizing it. One, it turns out, is a tongue reserved only for women. I don't recall living with the Amazons, but I must have...
At last I arrive in a town in the far west where my friend and I agreed to meet. I go into the all-you-can-eat smorgasbord. Everyone in the place tenses when I walk in--an OGRE! I sigh, and ask politely about the shrimp plate--I need a lot of protein and can't have dairy products, so here in ancient times my only option is meat; shrimp is my best compromise between vegetarianism and my health. I'm concerned the owner will think I'm cheating, eating an Ogre's portion for a fixed price. But I'm just here to meet my friend!
"After the social revolution," I think, "maybe I can retire to the hills here and become an Oracle."
My quest does lead me, next, into those hills, to find the women's tribe. Hop on the next bus. The driver's a tiny woman--girl really, a high school or college student. She's cute. But she looks at me like I'm a highway robber. Ogrism! I'm sick of it.
Later I return on the same bus, and she's still driving. This time, a cop or detective follows me with creepy, glassy eyes. I try to talk with the bus driver, and this cop comes up to intervene! I'm outraged. This is going too far! I'm just TALKING to her!
But I'm wrong. He doesn't just want to interrupt. He pulls a handgun out and SHOOTS me, and walks off, still smiling glassily... and dissolves into air! He wasn't a man at all, but her guardian angel!
"But she was in no danger," I think, as I lie bleeding to death. "I'm NOT an Ogre."
Or maybe I am, but... there are far worse things to be.
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