"Love is Real, Real is Love", But...
Dreamed 1993/5/30 by Chris Wayan
A three-story mansion on another world. It's the house of the local school principal. He asks me and a colleague over to help solve a petty crime, but he's oddly unhelpful considering he called us in--he hovers suspiciously and doesn't want us searching the house unchaperoned.
And his house IS fishy. The ground floor makes sense, but all the stairs go straight to the top floor, with no doors on the second. And the top-floor rooms don't have doors to each other: you go all the way down and back up other stairs! Insane--unless much of the top floor's sealed off, as well as the ENTIRE middle floor! We start trying closet doors and rapping panels, trying to find a way into the hidden rooms. An ethical dilemma for me; he hired us, and he's liked and valued in this community. Should we pry into his secrets?
Then a moving van shows up with a piano, meant for the secret suite. It'll have to be hoisted up outside. My buddy decides to help, and I tag along. We reach down from the window and grab the piano--figure we'll tie a rope round it. But a beautiful giantess, a good eight feet tall, comes over and pulls him back over the sill. But he hung on to the piano, and it comes too! She lifted them both, nearly half a ton, tottering a bit, but putting them down quietly on the floor. My friend falls over, knocking down a few other servants and me. We all fall in a heap--a heavy heap, for the native people all run big, nearly giants. I tease her a little, but make it clear I'm amazed at her strength. "If I have to be squashed by a giant, I'm glad it's you." She looks like my friend Cory the poet, but scaled up a good 30%--and that means over double the weight.
Cory the Lifter and I sit in a rocking chair on the porch. We fit easily, for it's built for the average native--huge. We rock and talk and look at a strange little sculpture, a landscape in a box. Delicate and stylized--of glass, wire and thread, with a spiky-feathery effect, like fish fins. It shows a sailboat on choppy sea. Or is that a boat? It may be a dragon.
Rock, rock... I like curling up with her. She starts singing "Love is real... Real is love..." A freeform jazz version of John Lennon's song. I harmonize on the bits I remember. She's altered it a lot but it's recognizable. Other natives gather, seem shocked I'd know the song. I start crying as I listen to the words... truly moved, though with feline self-interest, I do make sure she notices I'm crying because I want to be hugged and petted more... I very much want to be loved and want to love her.
At the end, people applaud! I feel embarrassed and try to pretend it's all for her. Applause native style is to snap your fingers. I explain the Earth way, saying "I can't control the volume as easily when snapping." They're surprised by the Earth idea of slapping hands together.
I feel so close to them... and then, the strangest snag. Someone praises me for picking up their song so FAST. I explain I loved Lennon's original version. They're shocked, say "This is one of our oldest traditional hymns! Not from Earth. You COULD NOT know it. You HAD to be picking it up as she sang." I'm a bewildered as they are--it's an Earth song I've known for years.
They're shocked I could make such a mad, imperialist claim. Not one believes I could be telling the truth. But I am. That's real.
John was right: love is real, real is love. But what do you do when real and love CONFLICT?
NOTES ON WAKING
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