Dreamed 1979/11/7 by Chris Wayan
I'm a unicorn. A cutesy Disney unicorn. I know that now. But as a colt, I didn't call myself a unicorn but "a horse with a horn." I wasn't in the closet, in denial--where I grew up, I never met anyone like me, so I never even connected the U-word with what I am!
I'm also a ghost. I can teleport, and I'm invisible to all but a few sensitives. No wonder I never got properly taught! Nearly all I've learned was passive, from watching and eavesdropping on humans. How often do they stop to describe unicorns in detail?
But invisible or not, I'm going to college! I'm so excited. It's a new world, so much bigger than high school. At first, I flit around learning things, but also haunting--lightly, as is my style. Never heavy-handed or too visible. If I'm noticed, I move on...
But things start to change when I meet another unicorn like me here. A stallion. I don't recall his name--I'm too shy to introduce myself, stay invisible. But for the first time, I know I'm a... unicorn. Not a fucked-up horse.
Then I meet Lindsay. Lindsay is a girl who's part unicorn! Though she's much less equine-looking: unlike me, she can pass for human. A ghost horn only I can see. Does she even KNOW she's half u-mare?
I want to play with Lindsay. Well, I want to lick Lindsay's ears. I justify it to myself: "This is customary for horses or unicorns in the night." That's even true, it's a common u-greeting, it says so in all the books... But I want to lick far more than her ears... She's my first serious crush.
But I have changed. Ghost no more, crushes no more! I gather my courage and ectoplasm, materialize as solidly as I ever do, take a deep unicorn-size breath... and trot up to Lindsay and the Stallion, and introduce myself. Can they see me, hear me, believe in me?
So naturally, we three tour Europe together.
One day, in Northern Italy, we're hiking along the shore of a scenic lake. Our local guide leads us up a side canyon, green with ferns. He says "Galileo's Fall is dry now, they diverted it for public drinking water. Well, not totally dry. It still cascades down the cliff, but falls no more than 6 feet at any one place now."
I think Galileo's Fall is still pretty, even if it is in small steps, interrupted. It gets there just the same.
Then I wake, frustrated, the dream unfinished: I still hadn't come out fully to Lindsay, let alone come on to her.
But Galileo's Fall had taught me something. You can get there in little ghost steps... not just one big cannonball drop.
NOTES IN THE MORNING
THE NEXT DAY
I'm working at the Stanford Library. Checking on a book we weren't sure we ordered. We asked the publisher, who sent a letter saying "Keep it. Send it back. Do whatever you want--after all, in a hundred years, who'll know or care?" Now there's a business style!
Then I notice the name of the publisher. Unicorn Press!
Hmm. Tell the truth in small steps, eh?
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