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FIREBIRD AND MINOTAUR

Dreamed 1996/9/29 by Chris Wayan

THAT DAY

I'm limping around. My foot hurts. I thought it was sympathetic pain, because my housemate Lily has been having serious foot trouble, an aftershock from childhood polio. But she's been out of town a month on vacation, and my arch still hurts.

Our housemate Dari comes back from her friend's Los Angeles wedding. She doesn't want to talk about it much, but I gently tease it out of her. I'm not sure why, but I want the story.

The setting was informal, on the beach, but Dari thought the crowd was pretentious. "ALL the women wore little black minidresses and dyed their hair blonde. The bride has beautiful long black hair, but she dyed it blonde too, for the wedding. Now she looks like a Barbie doll."

Dari thought the bride gave up and settled for the first tolerable man. They have NOTHING in common! She's an artist, with exquisite taste and a high IQ. He's a staunch Republican of resoundingly ordinary intelligence... Once the honeymoon glow fades, it sounds doomed.

I can't help picturing myself there, trying to land one of these beautiful blondes, rescuing a gifted gorgeous artist from a conservative lump... only who'd want me? Poor, sick, limping around... A girl playing the Firebird, with a golden bird-head hat.

THAT NIGHT

I'm limping around the set of a new opera that's being filmed. It's a modernization of a Greek play, with gods in robes and all. The actors wear animal-head masks, because the play was set in Egypt, has Egyptian gods--an exotic locale to the ancient Greeks, though the two cultures look similar to us: both polytheistic, full of stone columns and robes and myths of animal people...

The ingenue is the Firebird, from Russian legend. She's blonde, wears a songbird-head mask, and sings a lot. I dutifully fall in love with her, though the mask limits her expressiveness and hides her face. The Egyptian-looking brunettes playing the Anubis Twins are at least as attractive, even with their jackal heads, which look kind of cute--big eyes and ears as expressive as their real faces. And they're witty. Is Anubis the god of smartasses?

The Firebird's just the nominal star though, the ingenue. The real hero is the Captain of the Enterprise, played by Whoopi Goldberg. Plump, dumpy and maskless--I guess her funny face and big hat are supposed to be mask enough. The lone mortal among all these gods and legends--though with a starship to back her up, she's a match for most of these old, limited gods. Girl playing Anubis, the canine Egyptian god.

Whoopi wants to protect her friend Firebird from the Minotaur. A hard job, since the Minotaur's now a god, with allies, and intends to marry Firebird whether she likes him or not. He comes in singing, a tall thin Nordic man with no mask, just Viking cow-horns, and a helmet of buttery hair over icy eyes. He has two attendants, both delicate blondes who look like sisters. Very sexy sisters, even if they are servants to the Minotaur. What's he need Firebird for, anyway? The twins are to die for! Maybe literally, if that Viking's possessive. Scary guy...

All their robes are very short, like white minidresses with colored astrological and mathematical symbols: spirals for galaxies, arrows for vectors, moons for wizardry. The colors are way too bright, they look sixties, more Peter Max than Greco-Egyptian. I enjoy the sexiness--goddesses have great legs--but it makes the whole thing too cute.

"Cut, dammit!" yells Whoopi. End of scene. It isn't going well. They're all just mouthing their lines like old quotes. The cameraman's levitating chair/light/camera rig descends, and Whoopi confers with him. It's Geordi LaForge, the chief engineer on the starship Enterprise. And these aren't the only ones: as they lift their masks to confer, ALL the actors turn out to be from various Star Trek shows. Turns out this Greek play is inside a Star Trek episode--the Star Trek crew's mission is to fly around as cultural ambassadors--filming themselves doing bad opera for aliens. Hmm, culture, huh?

La Forge says diplomatically "Well.. it was better in Galaxy 2 and 3." I feel a little shock: they're not roaming the galaxy, but OUTSIDE it? Touring the galaxies? What a road trip!

Then I realize I'm acting too. My foot injury is part of my role, not me!

And as soon as I drop my character, I can walk free.

A play starring the Firebird, the Minotaur, Whoopi Goldberg, the Anubis Twins (two girls with dog masks), a Viking, and blonde twin tricksters. Click to enlarge.
NOTES IN THE MORNING But why cripple myself? Well... to keep me from exercising, so my allergies will stay strong? Lack of exercise does bring them back. When my allergies worsen, I turn asocial, cautious, stay-at-home. If that's the scheme, it's worked so far! It's crippled my social life. Maybe it IS a choice... After all, it's so safe and comfortable, just dreaming here!

Just remember what's out there--singing Firebirds, and wise ugly mentors, and blondes to free from Minotaurs, and weird but cute Anubis Twins...

All I have to do is drop my role as cripple... and join the dance.

A girl in a dog mask playing the role of the Egyptian god Anubis, dancing before a broken Greek column


LISTS AND LINKS: time travel dreams - dream beings - gods and goddesses - dating dreams - diagnostic dreams - performing arts - doubles and twins - Star Trek dreams - movie dreams - masks and disguises - seven years later the Anubis Twins return in Fishel, Frisch, and Firebird - Egypt - Whoopi Goldberg - a strangely parallel psychic dream, Egyptian God - a dream of Dari before I met her

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