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Dalmatian Mare

Dreamed 1987/8/22 and illustrated (9 x 14", acrylic wash on Xeroxed ink) by Chris Wayan

I'm in Paraguay, in a dirt-poor town near Iguaçu Falls. Here, the few rich families live a century ahead of the poor majority. It's so bad you hear talk in the streets of armed revolution.

The Colonel, a crony of the mayor, hunts a man down who he suspects of plotting, ropes him round the wrists, and drags him stumbling through the city streets. And no one in town bats an eye. The Colonel rides his horse right into a building with his catch. Wonder if he'll ever be seen again.

The scene shifts to a hotel lobby full of ferns and palms, where a small classical ensemble is rehearsing. The fat old orchestra conductor is scolding them: "Even if a parade was going up the stairs, you shouldn't be distracted enough to blow THIS passage!"

Instantly, behind him, the Colonel enters the lobby on his horse, dismounts, and leads her up the stairs, followed by the stumbling roped man and several hounds. The mare is beautiful and strange--slender as a unicorn, and spotted exactly like a huge Dalmatian. In the street, she was an ordinary mare, not this magical sexy creature!

The players, watching this parade behind the maestro, laugh at the fat man's unintentional conjuring trick. He doesn't know yet his words have come true...

a dog, an orchestra conductor and a woman in a polka-dot dress gawk at a polka-dotted mare (like a giant Dalmatian) walking through a Paraguayan hotel lobby and up the stairs. Sketch of a dream by Wayan.
A squad of Special Forces, guys we all know are moonlighting in the local death squad, rush from the far side of the lobby, looking for trouble. Their leader waves them to silence and he listens like a hound. He sniffs, turns, and leads the whole pack of them and their bloodhounds up the stairs and out of sight.

The fat old conductor's a conservative, but he gleams with nervous sweat--he fears these guys, though they're his nominal allies!

His girlfriend comes down the back stair and teases him about it. She's a well-known liberal sympathizer--a dark Latina, slinky and lean and terribly stylish, clopping around in her heels and white polkadot minidress. She looks familiar. Haven't I seen her somewhere? Quite recently?

She tosses a book to him, which he drops. When he picks it up, he finds it's a right-wing journal called DB--its logo looks just like Dolby Labs. It just published a political essay of his! He's broken into print, and should be proud, except... now his right-wing sympathies can't be hidden. As his Dalmatian girlfriend points out gleefully, now he'll be a target for criticism, attack, even assassination. She finds his panic funny--he brought it on himself, by supporting right-wing terrorists. Fear, harassment and disappearance are all very well for leftists, but now it's sinking in that they could also happen to HIM...

He snaps the essay book shut and hides the cover--as if that will help. She snickers "I know it's a small journal, but do you think they print only ONE COPY?" Sketch of a dream by Wayan: an orchestra conductor and a woman in a polka-dot dress

She slinks to the door, pulls two tickets out of her polka-dot cleavage, and says "The plane leaves in two hours. Will you finally drop this idiocy and come with me?"

For she loves this fat fool as much as she loathes his politics.

Later that night, in another dream, I have to drop a friend off at the airport. And there they are, all scarves and hats and dark glasses, in line for a flight to Miami! His balding head shines with nervous sweat, like a buoy bobbing and ringing in a harbor, and he's clutching the Book of Dolby...

She's wearing that same dress, baring those long coltish legs... but it's gone plain cream, now, without those eye-catching spots.

For she's a mare who understands
protective coloration.
Not always is it wise to be
spectacular Dalmatian.
NOTES IN THE MORNING

Well! Those colonels and not-so-secret death squads are ominous. I think they're habits I do because I've always done them that way. And the liberal forces in me seem conflicted, compromised--blatantly in the fat conductor, who organizes art and creativity (the orchestra), but even in his leftist girlfriend, who as the Dalmatian Mare lets the colonel lead her around and even use her to repress dissidence. But at least she takes the initiative to get out from under him (literally, in her mare form), and the Conductor goes along, scared though he is.

WARNING--while I learn to escape my habits, I shouldn't draw attention to myself. The Dalmatian Mare discreetly loses her spectacular spots... she won't be "spotted" in TWO senses! So I'd better be low-key for a while. Don't push myself to perform, like in that dance/acting class I've been taking. There's a reason I panic on stage, and it isn't ordinary shyness. The spotlight pins me down! And it's in the shadows, incognito, where I can reinvent myself.

Sketch of a dream by Wayan: head of a polka-dot mare (like a giant Dalmatian)


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