Dreamed 1999/2/25 by Chris Wayan
In the morning, I polish a song called Hermit Tree as a backup in case my voice teacher hates Trial Run, the one I really want to sing. Work so long I print out the score of Hermit Tree only at the last minute, and no time for lunch! Gobble a snack. No time to shower either. Stink. I'm sabotaging myself socially again.
Rain and hail--so much for biking to campus. Drive, park--not easy.
Voice class is crowded. Good! I like that. Not just for the extra musical feedback--I'm attracted to several of my classmates.
I sing Trial Run. The teacher says "Stop hearing it as a composer; the score you wrote is now sacred, you're a singer only." But I've never heard it played before! I need to be sure it's right before we rehearse it, or it'll be hell unlearning the errors. One note sounds off in the intro and it throws my first line off, and the pianist keeps playing F not F minor in 2nd line of each verse, further jarring me. But once we get past that, it's fine. She praises the song, in fact, as one of my best. Classmates do too. I feel happy.
Also stinky and shaking. Before I just smelled grubby--now I reek of fear. Wow, was I terrified! Didn't feel it so much while I was up there--didn't freeze or panic like so many novice performers. But my body took the brunt of the stress.
I'm reading an article in a magazine: a man went in for minor surgery, and discovers only when he wakes up that the technical name for the procedure hid the fact it's a sex-change he never wanted! Gruesome photos as surgeons gouge out his penis. Yet the text has a light humorous tone, as if it's a mild practical joke. Jarring.
I identify physically with the victim and feel rather sick, but my reaction is to the cutting and the blood, not to the sex change per se, which the text focuses on entirely. The tone is "Ha ha, he went to sleep a man and woke up a woman." The subtext is "He didn't think much about women's lives, now he'll find out. His ego may get bruised."
But losing my sexual identity doesn't scare me at all. The opposite--when I change sex in a dream, I feel pleased and excited; I'm not only comfortable being female, it's usually a hint that that dream's important.
This surgery horrifies me because it's bloodily maiming someone without their knowledge or consent. Bruised ego? Try butchered body!
NOTES IN THE MORNING
I did the house repairs with a manual saw. I put off surgery eight months, too, till my shoulder got so sore I had to do it. No medical mistakes--but they DID lose my records, over & over. I had to be stubborn and rock the boat to get it done at all.
Now, looking back, I think the dream was also about singing my own songs before a big audience. I forced myself quite callously--like that magazine's callous jokes about sex-confusion while ignoring the physical trauma. Yes, I needed to get over stagefright, and I did. But it cost my body--and that may be why I got worse until surgery was unavoidable.
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