Kitty Wants to Die
Dreamed 1981/11/9 by Wayan
I spend hours obsessively budgeting and projecting finances. I don't want to work forever; what's the bare minimum I can live on, and can I sustain that austerity long enough to invest enough so I can quit? I'm cheap, but am I cheap enough? I don't know why I obsess on it. After the first hour, none of it's useful--I can only save so fast. Yet I number-crunch on...
At last I tear myself away. Watch TV: "Lou Grant." A girl named Kitty executed four people in a robbery just for thrills. Now she faces execution--but she wants to die. Sees it as one last thrill--better than life in prison. One reporter gets kind of a crush on her--wants to rescue her. Another interviews Kitty's mom, calls her "chilling"; to me the mom seemed just bitterly resigned to her reckless kid (true, I have low standards of parenting; mine were unreliable.) No one can talk Kitty into even contesting her execution.
And so... she dies. As she wanted.
Kitty still wants to die. I fall for her like Rossi the reporter did on the show--want to make it all better. But I can't. As a middle-aged white man with a gun tells me, "She has to die, face the truth--she killed. She wants to die. And she must." Wait--is he my DAD? He's always hated guns--and the death penalty. If even HE's sure...
Now the dream shifts: the life-and-death struggle is over my life. But am I Kitty? I'm not so sure I killed anyone, and I don't want to BE killed either!
A gun gets sent to my house--a big clumsy old World War 1 antique. Wide-bore, and a revolving cartridge chamber that you have to turn with your fingers and stick cartridges in the side like raisins. I'm skeptical it's useful--lethal if you hit someone, but it's so slow to load. What is it with these guns?
Oh. I'm NOT Kitty. There she is--and she doesn't need a gun to die. In fact, she's been holding her death at bay by sheer willpower. And she's tired of that struggle.
She decides to keep the do-gooders from forcing more dreary life on her... by dying now, unexpectedly, before they can intervene. So Kitty slips into a room lit by a fire beween stones on an altar or dais. My sister Althea narrates softly: "The movie is really split--now it's a horror film."
I feel a pang of deep grief as I see Kitty relax and let go of her burden of life. Instantly a flood of flaming plasma erupts from the altar-fire and swallows her body! Shapes itself into a Wyrm. In moments it it grows gigantic, swallowing all for yards around--perhaps even poor Rossi the reporter in a far room!
I flee. It is a horror film. Behind me rears that huge indescribable thing, looming over the house. It will take over the world, now. Kitty was holding this back, fighting this. No wonder she was tired!
All of us flee on foot. Planes roar up to fight the Wyrm. But they're just old BIPLANES! I'm appalled at such antiquated defenses. Where are the jets, the missiles? The thing leaps and soars over them on vast bat wings--a dragon to their mosquitos.
Once it's full-grown, the Wyrm returns to its point of emergence--the San Francisco Airport, which is also home base for the new starship project. Only built a few so far...
Now this show turns to examine the refugees. I speak to a my friend Lindsay, who's playing the role of a cute thirtyish brunette mom whose kids play obliviously in a field, collecting purple flowers.. She yells "Time to go!" and prepares to flee the Wyrm. They ignore her! My friends pull up in a van. I offer her a ride. The kids still won't come! She shrugs and says "Let 'em stay and get caught, then. They were warned."
I feel creepy about this, but I'm not their mom; I accept it. We drive off.
The car's so crowded with refugees that I hang on the outside of the van, feet on the bumper, fingers on the roof. Later I jam into the cabin--despite the crowd, I feel safer there. When the planes hit the Wyrm, globs of Thing spatter, an inch wide. I expect them to sear us with alien chemistry, or worse--infect us. Don't seem to, luckily. I still cover my head (sticking out the open sunroof of the van) with a red plastic salad bowl. Splat splat splat like being pelted with cherry tomatoes. A few get by.
Later, we drive north--TOWARD it. Because now we have a plan. The Bay mudflats are empty of people now, but for us. The Wyrm and its airliner-sized children are busy building a crystalline nest at the emergence point. Cellular Pyramids! I'm supposed to see them as evil, awful, but really they're rather beautiful. So are the empty stark marshes with the silhouettes of a few starship wrecks. Can see forever--the air is so clean without human hordes polluting it.
But it's dangerous country now. We hope we can reach an intact starship and take off--settle on another world I guess. Doesn't seem to occur to any of us to try to blast the Wyrm-nest with the exhaust.
We reach the nest, a sort of volcano-tepee. The monstrous Wyrm and its now-gigantic "chicks" ignored the starship so far. And us. But we're close now.
A chick bursts out of the ground near us. We stop dead. Tiny as a flea beside it. Stay silent and still. The moment lengthens as it waits--does it see us? Does it care? We can't read those crystalline eyes.
I wake, shaking.
NOTES IN THE MORNING
Even a nightmare this apocalyptic and surreal can warn of a perfectly mundane problem--if it's deadly enough. Sometimes getting the attention of a space-case can take an apocalypse. It took decades of dreamwork and twelve-step meetings to bring my workaholism under partial control--because it was, like drinking, an escape from unbearable feelings. But this landmark dream first spelled out the problem. One that millions share.
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