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Bake Her Photo

Dreamed 1993/10/24 by Chris Wayan


Battered old photo of a gray-eyed, dark-haired girl.

We're putting old photos into a Pueblo earth-oven, molded of adobe. Each of us puts one in. They are to be baked. Like developing photos, like firing pots? Or... baked for food, like pizza?

I don't understand, but I still do it--pull out an old photo I've carried around in boxes, for 17 years. A portrait of a beautiful girl with straight black hair and pale gray eyes. She's pale-skinned, thin, and has that swan-look of a dancer. I don't know her name--just that I wanted to date her but never had the nerve to ask her out.

Seventeen years, and I still kept her photo. Who knows where she is now, who she is now?

Well, now I'm going to bake her.

NOTES IN THE MORNING

Baking memories? Faces? Why? Who is she? Why 17 years? A girl did start appearing regularly in my dreams about 17 years ago--Silky, an anima figure who expressing my sensual, emotional and sexual longings--especially petting and reassurance after the abuse I endured. But Silky doesn't look like this girl--yet her face in the dream was utterly familiar.

(My original journal had whole paragraphs of bewildered speculation about this face. I'm skipping them. You'll see why.)

LATER THAT DAY

Go to ballet class. A good session. Afterward, I'm talking with Heidi (who I'm going on my first date with soon), as she sits on the steps waiting for her self-defense class... and the girl in my dream walks up! She's in the self-defense class too. A total stranger, yet totally familiar.

I'd like to end this anecdote by saying I took the dream as a sign, and talked to her, and asked her out, and we found we were soul-mates and we're married now. But the truth is... I was so flustered seeing a dream walk up to me that I could barely talk to her, and soon left.

And I never saw her again. I've regretted that for years. And wondered.

I don't know what baking her in the oven meant, either. I suspect my dreams were just being practical--they know I forget names when I'm flustered, so they were telling me "Her name is Baker, stupid!"

But my dreams underestimated my timidity. I never spoke up. And now I'll never know.



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