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HAND ME THE MATCHES!

Dreamed 1984/9/25 by Chris Wayan


My sisters and I are kids again. We're home alone. A gang breaks in with assault guns! Point them at us and laugh. The muzzles look so big.

And the men... they enjoy our fear.

We huddle in the back yard, try to find a weapon against them. All we can think of is fire. They don't take us seriously, don't stop us from collecting house-cleaning spray cans and charcoal starter! But what to start it with? I ask my sisters for matches and they have none. Althea searches, brings back toothpicks. Miriel brings back nails! I say "Matches, not nails!" and she snaps "You said NAILS!" and huffs off.

An endless nightmare of frustration and fear, as I try and try and try to set these murderous men on fire.

THAT MORNING

I wake up and go get the morning paper. The front page has this headline: "Charles Manson Set Afire." In prison, Manson bullied and threatened another inmate, who took advantage of lax security to get hold of some flammables and...

I never thought I'd sympathize with someone who set fire to a man, but... I do, a little. Threatened by Charlie Manson, cult leader, mass murderer! The dream made me feel a similar vulnerability. I'm still ambivalent, I guess, since I sabotaged myself all night from actually burning anyone. Just felt the determination, which may have been the point.

Mind you, I have the flu. The guys invading my house, in my dream, are also probably viruses! Don't they act like it? Muscling in, not killing you but taking over and making you miserable...

And the fire? My only effective counter-weapon: fever.



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