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LYIN' WAYAN

Dreamed 4/10/1996 by Chris Wayan

A crowd of strangers chases me, throwing rocks, calling me a liar.

I'm in a valley, on a path by a creek. A horde of girls, from toddlers to teens, start chasing me and throwing rocks and laughing and chanting the phrase that's followed my family all my life:

"LYIN' WAYAN,

LYIN' WAYAN,

LYIN' WAYAN!"

I haven't lied to them. I don't even KNOW them!

I flee down the path... at last I pause on a little wood bridge over the creek--but not long. They come at me from both ends of the bridge now! Trapped, I get so alarmed that for a moment, up feels like down. And then my emotional upset turns physical--up swings round to BECOME down! Gravity twists, and like some auto-poltergeist it tosses me over the rail! I'm lifted over the bridge-rail by an unseen force

Splash into icy water. I'm floating, tumbling, in over my head! Much deeper and faster than I thought; the current pulls me down toward rocks.

The water's white with bubbles, I can't see. Can hear bigger rocks and rapids ahead. I'm bruising with each breath now, slamming between boulders.

And then I'm swept over the falls!

A six hundred foot drop.

My last thought, as I go over the lip, is "Getting upset KILLED me." Then the sheet of white water takes me--wait--COTTON sheets?

I wake in a tangle on my floor... Got so upset in my dream, I moved, rolled out of bed!
I'm swept over the falls, and wake, fallen out of bed.

LATER

Funny. Those kids pronounced my family name with an accent that only my parents use. Not me or my sisters or aunts and uncles or grandparents--it's my parents' peculiar pronunciation alone. So were THEY the lyin' Wayans?

And if the dream means my parents have been lying... lying about WHAT?

If they have, it's been going on a long time--in the dream, I'd heard that chant of "Lyin' Wayan" all my life.

MONTHS LATER

My parents (after much prodding) let slip a certain family secret they'd "forgotten" to tell me for decades. They say "We didn't think it was important." I'd merely BEGGED for the truth for years, since it haunted my whole childhood. Years of nightmares, phobias, therapy that got nowhere because I didn't have the basic facts.

But when they confess, years too late, I didn't hit the roof. I stayed calm, because I'd been warned:

Upset leadeth to a Fall.



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