MY BLACK EGG
Dreamed 1999/3/25 by Chris Wayan
For Terry Tempest Williams, and the ghost of Georgia O'Keeffe
I'm in Capitola, California: a small tourist town, at the cliff-lined mouth of a creek. I'm driving a top-down convertible, not mine, through the tiny downtown, all diving shops and cutesy galleries. My old college roommate Wayne Self is riding by me. I park under a stone bridge in the canyon. We're supposed to meet a powerful person flying in on a special helicopter, but as we get out and walk toward the landing pad, the wisps of fog coalesce into a thick sheet, white at first, then darkening gray.
A faint drumming grows. I feel a senseless dread as the chopper hammers above us, echoing off the rock walls. It's as if I fear the man I came to meet! At last the noise fades: the pilot gave up. Good. He'd be crazy to try landing in the narrow canyon, crowded with buildings and lines and poles--not in a blind fog like this.
I spot a black oval stone the size of my fist, and pick it up. It's shockingly dense, weighs more than my head. Feels like it holds Power too. I show it to Wayne.
He drops it! The end cracks off. Just a chip, but I'm mad at him. Spoiling it.
On impulse, I roll the stone across the four-lane street toward a tourbus. Wow, bowling for tourists! The stone seems to grow as it goes. Watch in horror as I realize how much I misjudged its size--it was so heavy because it's really a boulder, nearly as big as a VW bug! The black egg barely misses the bus, and I slump with relief. My commonsense growls "That could have been expensive!" and my conscience scolds "You could have killed those tourists!", but my ego whispers "Wow, I lifted and threw that with one hand! The gym is really helping!"
But Wayne... Wayne runs across the lanes, grabs the stone, brings it back effortlessly in one hand, as if it's a lost baseball--and bowls it again.
Only he aims to hit that bus head-on. Again the stone gradually manifests its full mass as it crosses the street till it's a black boulder, rumble tumble SMASH! The ground shivers as the rock hits the bus. The whole front end of the tourbus caves in.
I hiss "Wayne, you fucking IDIOT!" They'll blame ME, I just know it! I jump back in the car, hoping to flee before the bus driver appears. I don't wait for Wayne--let him deal with his crime! (A crime only dumb luck saved me from, but I'm too mad to be fair.)
Wayne's too fast for me. As I'm grinding the gears, he leaps over the closed door into the passenger seat and says cheerfully "Good thing no one saw. Let's get out of here!" I snarl "You SHITHEAD!" helplessly over and over, but he's oblivious to my rage. I don't order him out--feel I can't afford to stop and fight.
Tires screeching, I drive off up the canyon, and the crash site fades behind us into the fog. Wayne starts whistling happily. "Wasn't that cool? A magic rock!"
And I want to punch his face.
I'm curled up writing my dreams in the sunny bay window overlooking the street. CRASH! Below me, a car accident on our corner. The car I can see clearly, facing downhill, has a smashed front end, just like the dream bus. The other car, a convertible, as in my dream, hovers guiltily a minute, then abruptly flees, tires screeching! Hit and run. I couldn't spot the license.
The only thought in my head is "Okay, that ties up all the loose ends. Except why a black stone? Why not just a car?"
Reading a Terry Tempest Williams book, I stumble on a tale that photographer Edward Weston told her:
"Once, I walked up a canyon with Georgia O'Keeffe. She really does hear stone's voices. I found this black egg. She said 'that one shouts!' She wanted it bad, but I'd found it, and I hung on to it. Months later, I invited her to dinner, and left the black egg out to tease her. At the end of the evening, it was gone. But I saw the black stone again. It was in a magazine, in a photo, in the hands of Georgia O'Keeffe."
Canyon, black egg, famous people, snatch and run... yeah, Georgia.
Is there a moral to this story? Well, maybe not. An amoral, maybe. The psychic, the sensitive, the great-souled can be thievish coyotes when they get obsessed. But I knew that. I am that. Only... I restrain it. Maybe when things or people call out that strongly to you, you should break the rules and bruise some feelings.
"To make an omelette you have to break eggs."
Or steal them.
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