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THE CYGNET BALL

Dreamed 1996/3/26 by Chris Wayan

THAT EVENING

Just before sleep, I tell myself to have lucid dreams--and to act assertively for my good. Selfishness has always been hard for me. A little moral weight-lifting will do me good... right?

THAT NIGHT

I'm at a party--the Cygnet Ball. My cousins parade in, graceful as the swans that are our clan's totem. They're not the cousins I have when awake, who are all gifted, easygoing, wry Silicon Valley nerds like me. No, these are tall willowy glamorous princesses, wearing corsages and slinky black dresses with scoop backs and short skirts.

I remember I'm supposed to act on my wants, and grab the nearest one and hug her. What's her name, Iris? Nyx? I forget. Whoever she is, I hug her close and kiss her on the lips... and start fondling her! She responds with idle, passive pleasure. I slide up her dress and slip my finger into her pussy. She smiles and leans into it, and everyone else ignores me casually--as if I were offering her a drink, or massaging her shoulders! I feel strangely disappointed. Being taken for granted as a casual pleasure isn't what I want!

Go over to another one of my cousins, Calyx, a blonde with pale eyes. Come on to her the same bold, crude way... and she too just enjoys me as an innocent, passing pleasure. She smiles, pats me casually, and pushes her crotch rhythmically against my hand, while she goes right on talking to her friends about a high-society world I don't share... until she comes, just closing her eyes and sighing discreetly, graciously... in passing!

I stop. This just isn't right for me. I thought I needed to be more assertive, but that's not the problem. I can grab them, fondle them, even come inside them, but I'll never come inside their world. And I'm not sure I want to be. They won't see me... what ELSE do they not see?

NEXT MORNING

Well. I'm afraid that was literal. I've been nagging myself to get out there more, be more assertive. Wrong! I need a deeper connection with someone who LIKES me... social polish won't help. Don't waste my time on attractive women not right for me.

The glamorous swanlike cousins = just read Patricia McKillip's THE CYGNET AND THE FIREBIRD. Meg and Nyx, a swordswoman and a sorceress respectively (and not respectably!) have to go to a formal ball with their relatively normal cousins Calyx and Iris. The courtiers all drool over the sex and money and political connections the four girls represent. A very uncomfortable scene, full of men trying too damn hard. Over and over, as I watched them through Meg's eyes, I thought "Yuck! Am I like that?"

I wanna be a swan, not an ugly fuckling.



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