The Girl is Armed
Dreamed 2009/1/28 by Wayan
I email Jenny Badger Sultan about four of her paintings she wants on the World Dream Bank--the photos look great but I need the dreams they illustrate. Work on some other dreams for the Dreambank, but none of my own. Creatively, I feel stuck.
Bike to my counselor's office. Feels good to exercise again--I was sick last weekend. Shelley urges me to fight for my rights in the City's new (and still pretty chaotic) universal health system, and do what I can to stay well in the meantime. "You can't wait for a magic bullet." Ouch. I have been, I'm afraid.
Home. Uh-oh! An interlibrary loan book is due today. Big fines on those! So at sunset I bike to Glen Park and drop it off. A second bike trip's a bit much after my illness. Worry it'll trigger a relapse.
My housemate Alder wants help printing out the Manchester Guardian's list of the best 1000 novels. Endless! I peek. A quirky list to say the least. I suspect five guys wrote it in a pub one night.
Tackle the letters of General C.G. Gordon. I'm looking for a life-saving dream I've seen quoted--he foresaw an attempt to drown him in China. Disappointing letters, just preaching. He traveled the world and this is all he wrote?
Give up and switch to a manhwa (Korean comic) called Faeries' Landing. Pure escapism. Or is it? Characters with paranormal talents trying to fit in. Abused kids. Unvoiced crushes. For me, that's social realism.
Dream 1: SECRET VILLAGE
I'm taking an abused girl to a secret village in the Olympic Mountains. They've kept apart from America for several generations now. A tiny unmarked fire-road leads over mountains to their valley. A couple of hundred people live there, carefully overlooked. Problem: the girl I'm taking to the refuge trusts me a bit, but not enough to sleep while I'm driving--I could take her anywhere, off the map! And that's just what I'm doing--it's the safest place for her. Her rich crazy family can't track her down out here. But I have to convince her of that, while driving a rough, exhausting road.
In the village I talk with an Elder (he's not old; it's an elected office). He tells me to focus on my priorities--what legacy do I want to leave? I tease him--"You're obsessing about this house, spending months on rebuilding your bathroom. Is that gonna be YOUR legacy?"
He answers "My ancestors and the Elders before me had their flaws, and their legacies might shock them. Our first female Elder was a bigoted Christian; her books are unreadable now. But she had a spare, elegant, taste; I still use her tea-set for guests." I know. When he offered me tea in those old elegant cups he established a grace and formality that made me respect the valley people and keep their secret. I suppose he's right--we can't know what later people will value. Or mock.
A man comes in to tell us that another outsider entered the valley--a hunter. I know the man--a big guy who doesn't hunt for food but for fun. I loathe him.
The villagers shot him.
They look at me uneasily. Will I consider them murderers, will they have to kill me too, to keep their secret? They like me, they don't want to, but they would, if they had to.
I laugh. "You did the world a favor" I say. Pretty callous, and I'm partly just saying it to reassure them and protect myself. But I mean it too.
Dream 2: THE GIRL IS ARMED
I'm in a state park. Dark evergreens loom behind a pale green lawn.
On the lawn, a big bearded white man with beefy arms stands akimbo, one arm out straight before him, angling up like the fascist salute. He's wearing nothing but jeans.
A skinny girl maybe nine years old, with long dark hair and bangs, sprawls on his arm like a leopard on a branch. His daughter?
The scene has a sexual tension that both excites and disturbs me. Her face is resting on his fist, her ass and crotch are right in his face, bursting out of her tight little shorts. His arm and fist are like some huge erection she's climbing on, hugging... What the hell are they up to?
I'm behind them and to the side. I walk round toward the front, and get a second shock: in his fist is a gun. A small pistol, but a gun.
And he's not aiming at the trees. It points inward, right in her face. I'm not sure--is it aimed along her cheek, or is the barrel in her mouth? I'm quite a long way off, and still to the side, so I can't tell if it goes in her mouth or past her cheek at his own face!
Either way, this is not good. Is he threatening suicide or murder? Cheek or mouth?
"Maybe it's just a toy" I think. It does look very small. But even a mid-caliber pistol would look like a toy in his huge fist. I fear it's real.
Irrationally, I panic. I start running away, expecting to be shot in the back! Think "My only hope is to get far enough off so he'll miss me with that short-barreled gun, or if he does get lucky, those small-bore bullets will have lost a lot of velocity."
Clear thinking--from insane premises! The guy's not even AIMING at me! At his daughter, or at himself. So why am I panicking? Yet I can't stop...
I wake. It's 4 AM. Waves of chills and sweats, with relative calm between. Back to sleep at last...Dream 3: MY COUNSELOR'S COUCH
My career- and health-counselor isn't Shelley, but a beautiful woman in her thirties, elfin, white, with short dark-blonde hair and a witty aura; she's more than gifted, maybe a genius. Oddly, she's lounging atop a huge guy in a loose, flowing, striped and spotted robe--lying on him as if he's a couch! Atop his massive body, she looks delicate as a doll.
She gives me a Meyers-Briggs test, and of course the Strong-Campbell Occupational Interest Test. She blinks at the results. "You're complex. High scores in writing, art, music, inventing..."
She wiggles on her living sofa in indecision, then confesses. "I faced a similar dilemma myself. I'm severely gifted too. The IQ gap makes me tend to go it alone. I expect and tolerate isolation. And friction around normal people."
Her sofa interrupts the session briefly to ask her (trying to be quiet, but his big chest booms): "Your father was English, wasn't he? And you served in the British Merchant Marine in your twenties, didn't you?" He names two lines, or ships--I've forgotten now, but they were slightly familiar even to me; clearly he knows the shipping business.
She's astonished. "Yes, but... you knew all that by my accent?"
"Of course." Clever. Almost Holmesian. Who is this lazy giant? Mycroft?
On my health issues, my counselor mostly agrees with what I told Shelley earlier today. It hardly matters if illness cages me intentionally or not--it still cages me. Quit trying to figure it out, and just do what I can to discourage attacks for now, while continuing to push for more testing in the long-term hope of a real cure...
And then I wake. Glad of the free advice, but I wonder who gave it. Was she really that abused girl grown up?
NOTES IN THE MORNING
That counselor was right. Brains make it harder to work the health system! I bounce between rage and resignation toward human incompetence. Neither attitude pays! Practice courteous persistence. Make City health workers do their jobs--do the tests ordered, send me the results, try treatments until one works. Don't demand intelligence, just action. And quit resenting follow-through! Yes, I have to doublecheck everything, and get it all in writing. They're not malicious, just dumb. But they can each do one step. If I push them. Over and over and over.
Quit seeing abuse and exploitation everywhere! Eye of the beholder. Dream 2 creeped me out, yet in Dream 3 the little girl and the huge guy return--and seem happy together, just as that abused kid in Faeries Landing grew up and found love. I've mostly dated tall girls, yet short ones attract me just as much. Have I been avoiding shorties because I think they'd feel uneasy around me? C'mon, let them decide that! Test it. Flirt with smaller girls and see.
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