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Kim Sings, Capote Dies

Dreamed 1984/8/27 by Chris Wayan

Ink and crayon cartoon of a nervous woman singing--waving her arms, legs akimbo.

A friend of mine marries a football coach or ex-player. I try to make friends with him, since he'll be a permanent fixture of her life. But he resents my ignorance of his game! I try to laugh it off, when I confuse baseball and football stars, but he's outraged! Yet I AM slowly learning. I still dislike fooball, I could never play it, my body's totally unsuited... but I've learned the rules and can enjoy watching, now, a bit.

My friend sympathizes, as she's struggling to learn too--never a big sports fan.

At halftime, she leads me out of the stadium to a small side-stage. It's in a square of empty bleachers, quite a big arena really, only small next to the football stadium. A friend of hers is here rehearsing a song for the halftime show. Her last run-through. Funny, I know her--Kim, from work! How odd.

She seems small in the empty center, singing her heart out. I don't listen too closely because a tiny radio next to me is playing a song. My friend asks "what do you think of her?" and I'm embarrassed, feel caught being rude. Should have listened more closely!

NEXT MORNING

I wake up and open the paper. The writer Truman Capote just died; Herb Caen's column is a personal tribute. Capote was friends with a big, butch, black-bearded guy. Weird--like me and the football guy in my dream. Was I playing Capote, was the dream psychic? But I was attracted to my cute married female friend and Capote was gay. Oh. The next line says "Capote was gay but he loved beautiful women..."

Off to work in the Stanford Library. I'm in the card catalog when Kim, who don't know all that well, walks up. She says "I've been thinking of you a lot the last few days." I've influenced her; she takes her dreams far more seriously now. She tells me some. She had a warning dream about her son that was true...

She just saw the movie DREAMSCAPE with a highly psychic friend whose dreams are a lot like mine. "She's married or I'd introduce you."

I finally get up my nerve, and ask "Kim... I just dreamed about YOU. Have you been rehearsing to sing or speak in public soon?"

She's shocked. "I've always wanted to sing! I'm okay in private lessons, but I get stage fright, and freeze when there's a big audience." Wryly: "Very like your shyness about writing and painting for publication." Touche! She adds, "Please don't tell ANYONE. No one knows this about me. I've been struggling with it. You... are very, very psychic..."

Pause. I don't know what to say. She adds spontaneously "... and you're fragile, you must protect yourself, don't listen to other people telling you what to do!" I know exactly what she means--the normal people spouting their good sense at me like some tinny radio pop tune.

SIXTEEN YEARS LATER

I'm still trying to hear Kim's advice... and tune out that goddamn radio.

Thumbnail sketch of a nervous woman singing--waving her arms, legs akimbo.


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