Dreamed 1986/4/11? by Chris Wayan
I lie naked in the morning sun. The tree over the cabin shimmers like TV snow; the glossy leaves ripple kelpily in the air currents, now reflecting the Sun, now the Earth. The sky is so big. I love it. But I used to get sick from grass allergies and fleabites, and there's always my mom's skin cancer to scare me. Yet I'm lying here stressing my body for a purpose: to get a tan so I don't scare off girls with my sickly fish-belly skin. I'm exercising more, too. It's all a sidestep, I know: trying to avoid having to be braver in speech--and action.
Little puffs of temperature lick my skin like cat tongues. Nice. "Oh nice", says Silky my inner familiar. Just a flicker of her ears in the dark, then I'm outside again. "Feels so good. Do this more." I feel a burst of relief that she approves--I can trust Silky I'm not hurting myself. I close my eyes and feel the hands of the sun and wind. At last I'm healthy enough to handle this! A warm endless moment in light.
A deep mosquito drone opens my eyes. A red biplane whirrs across the cirrus, pulling a message like a kite tail. Little crackling noises as it ripples. I can't read it, I'm right below: edge on. I start to feel nervous, snagged back into the world of symbols by the invisible print. If not a sign in the sky, it would have been something else. I always get nervous living in my skin and dress up again in thoughts. Well, if I distract my brain, Silky can still (I hope) subliminally enjoy the solar massage. I pick up the dream notes I brought out on the back lawn with me. I'm glad I did the dreamwork and lay out here, though I dread walking in late to work "with no good reason." "Uh, I didn't feel well..."? But that's exactly what I did feel. Well.
I pace the house that evening. That dream stuff about shamans and wolves looked predictive, references to the book I was about to read. Did the computer in my dream mean my psychic side, then? I was so rude to it! Just because it was a White Box--do I resent mysteries. Or am I brusque with machines, assume they're my natural servants? Am I a cybigot? I feel ashamed.
Nearly midnight. Turn on the TV at random. BBC Shakespeare... cryptic scene about a wedding ring. The Scots chieftains can't tell if this woman is looney tunes or what. Neither can I. Is she married to the guy or not? I'm going crazy with curiosity. And then the credits come up! Measure for Measure, sliced into hourly slots for busy people! Just when you get into the story and used to the accent and all, they cliffhang you! Damn spoon-feeders!
I grumble my way to bed.
To my surprise sleep soundly; no dreams.
I wake slowly, without a damn thing in my head, and I feel fine.
I'm in the Highlands, my parents' housing tract about fifteen miles north of Stanford. I lie in bed. There's a ring on my finger. I blink at the gold stripe.
How can I explain? Oh, I'm intrigued when I change sex or become a bird or wake on another world, but those things happen all the time. The rarity I treasure is someone who loves me, even for a night, even if we're too different to have a chance to last.
I never dreamed I'd find someone who'd stay.
Quite literally never dreamed.
I'm married! And to Miss Right--to Ariane, my sister Miriel's childhood friend, imaginative, psychic, loving, and unearthly beautiful... who I always wanted and never said a word to. We're newlyweds! She crawls into bed. I stroke her pale waterfall of hair. I'm so excited to be with someone who I know WANTS me--I never believe anyone could. With Ariane I can be sure--the most candid kid I knew. I massage her. Start chewing on her shoulders and ribs and breasts... down her belly, teasing her... and start licking her clit. "Nice, oh nice more..." I'm so turned on my skin is just drumming with electricity. Soon we're fucking. I come fiercely, and I almost never come in dreams. I know it's because she was my unattainable ideal as a child. Half asleep, curled round her, I get turned on again and slip into her from behind and fuck dreamily, dog style, and come again, and slide back into warm sleep holding her.
The bed rocks. What? It's ink dark. Ariane gets up and shambles sleepily along the wall toward the bathroom. I wait. And wait... AND WAIT. I'm not sleepy now. Where's she gone? Something feels wrong. While I can grab her in bed now, I'm still shy outside it. I'm waiting passively for Miss Right again!
I lever myself up into the cold dry air. I grope into the hall, and the bathroom's dark, door open. I head for the living room, and stop as I hear voices. Ariane and... Miriel! Ariane says "He doesn't really talk to me. He's a man! You know. Sex? Well... He's not very sensual. Just shy, quick little... token fucks. To show he loves me. I feel like I'm glass. He never really plays with me." A murmur. Then... "Yes. Yes, I regret marrying him."
Two days since our wedding.
I am devastated. I adore her. The things I've been delirious about--sex, talk, touch, play--she's unhappy with! I'm so devastated I wake.
IN THE MORNING
Write it all down and get up. Heat the kettle while I shower, thinking "Dream lovers are as hard as waking ones. Who writes those pop songs saying dreams are easy?"
The worst part is, I BELIEVE HER. An inner voice tells me this too: "You don't give enough... relationships take WORK." I put that voice on a pedestal. Time to face the fact she's a topdog, a nag. I'll never do enough to satisfy her/me.
No wonder I'm single!
It's hours before I notice how her complaint echoes the deer-dancer in my first dream... What if Ariane's my body? She's not saying she was unhappy with what I did, it just wasn't NEARLY enough! Just token time with her... no play, treat her like glass...
Is she a nag, or just... horribly honest?
Next: THE EVEREST MARATHON The longest, most coherent dream in my life! As we race up Everest, I become an e-snake, cross three habitat bubbles, befriend Simsa Valiha (a wary deer-taur) who splices me... do mysterious dream math, and help Ariane on the run... a climb from fear to trust.
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