Beryl's Dog Days
Dreamed 1988/1/25 by Chris Wayan
My friend Beryl has a new boyfriend. He drops by and tries to borrow money. Lots of money. "It's for Beryl--she needs an operation." An hour later, I'm still saying no (because I don't believe him), but I'm getting really guilty... when he blows it. He casually asks "Could I also borrow your handgun?" Like it's a cup of coffee! "C'mon, Chris! Just for one day, so I can rob a bank and get $11,000. Otherwise, I'll have to embezzle it, and that'll take too long."
And the worst part is, I STILL feel an insane urge to go ahead and give him the gun and my money, just because he asked! I knew I was a pushover, but...
He has alternate plans to raise the money for her operation: "Interest rates are high--could you provide collateral or a guarantee, so I could borrow a lot and pocket the interest?" And he plans to rob a retail store with sloppy security...
I say "I don't want to know." He doesn't listen. I repeat it. Louder. Several times.
I DON'T say "Someone will get hurt" or "I won't be your accomplice" or "If you do it, and you hurt anyone, I'll say what I know." Not that he'd hear any of that. He's obsessed with Beryl, with proving himself to her. If, of course, that isn't bullshit, too.
Beryl comes in. I don't know if I should hide what he's been saying, or try to confirm it. No need! She says casually "Will he give you the gun? How about the loan?"
She helped PLAN this? I ask "What's the money for, Beryl?"
"Oh, for my operation. You know, to get my breasts reduced. They're too big, you know." True. Huge, unnatural breasts, especially when she's so small. I always thought they grew because she's a nurse, and goes around thinking nursy thoughts and doing nursy things. The Big Breast, nursing others, neglecting herself. No more Mr. Nice Girl, I guess.
I stammer, "But, Beryl--surgery?"
She sighs and straightens up, momentarily, then slumps back under the weight of her burdens. She says "These breasts have made me the hunchback you see today."
"Won't they just grow back? Fat usually does." She explains she grew her giant breasts because she's hyper-thyroid. It's her body's survival response: she's storing emergency fat reserves for her hyper streaks, when she stays up for weeks and forgets to eat or sleep...
I blurt "Oh, they're like camel-humps!" then realize this might not be the most diplomatic comment.
"It's not about vanity, Chris. This operation will free my singing voice! The new medicine fixed my thyroid condition, but right now my body still thinks I'm hyper, because I still have these... these HELL-HOOTERS! And hunched over like this, I can't take a full breath and really resonate when I sing. To be a great opera singer, you have to sacrifice. Chris... they have to go!"
Her hunger for surgery now makes sense. Her breasts are keeping her from the Promised Land! At least in Beryl's mind, they're the angel with the sword at the gate to Eden. Whether they have to go or not, I know now that they will.
But what an idiotic bunch of plans! Well, Beryl's boyfriends never have much sense. I snicker "I feel like I'm trapped in Dog Day Afternoon, where that guy robbed a bank to pay for a sex-change operation for his boyfriend. Bank robbery? Come on, Beryl!"
But there's a dangerous look in her eye. She doesn't care if her boyfriend risks himself. Or others. Or me. She wants to be the opera singer of her dreams, and nothing's getting in her way.
If it isn't a bank robbery, what worse things will she come up with, to be rid of those breasts?
Within a year of this dream, I found out what worse things she could come up with, to be rid of those breasts. Beryl was diagnosed with cancer. Full mastectomy. The cancer returned, and they removed the second breast. That merely slowed the spread.
Beryl died early in 1992. Her breasts got rid of her.
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