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MY PRIZE

Dreamed 1997/8/15 by Chris Wayan

My mother leaves me a message. "I'm sorry for all the trouble we caused you. I know now it crippled you." She adds, "Your prizes have arrived." I gave my parents' mailing address because I've been forced to move so much lately. Multiple evictions, as the houses I live in keep getting sold.

I drive down to their house to get my prizes. I entered an essay contest? Art contest? Merit awards, not a random drawing. Turns out the judge AND sponsor are the same person: a precocious girl, only 13, who's pretty famous--she won a gold in gymnastics in the last Olympics, then won a spot in a major ballet troupe. When I've seen her on TV, she seemed intelligent as well as beautiful--she said of her sudden career-switch "I wanted a more expressive art." And confident! I'd like to win that as a prize--her confidence. Secretly, of course, I wish she herself were the prize. She's so hot! But we've never met; this can't be some indirect flirtation.

So what did she send to my parents' house? A whole mountain of brightly wrapped gifts! I confess to a little relief--this is no parental trick to lure me down here--I really won some serious appreciation! Whatever's inside, a prize this lavish may lead to some real changes--maybe now I'll believe I'm worth something, and gain the confidence I CAN attract a girlfriend, and take my art(s) seriously.

NOTES NEXT MORNING

THAT EVENING

I'm borderline sick, so I just watch TV with my housemate Alder. She channelsurfs, but there's not much: the networks assume anyone sensible is out doing something fun on Saturday night.

Gymnast's competition! A thirteen year old blonde appears: the contest-judge in my dream. But she's a gymnast, not a judge. Her routine is beautiful in spots but jarring in others: hurriedly cramming in the required technical stunts. This should be freestyle! She's disturbingly sexy; so young yet very adult in her moves. And all the coaches and commentators do nothing but find fault, in endless voice-overs! She's a great dancer when they let her be--coiled cool fluid reptilian one moment, leonine proud and masterful the next, squirmy and erotic the next, then savage and choppy as a circus tiger jumping through their required hoops. Fierce discipline, OVERdiscipline: exactly what I'm trying to free myself from.

Alder says "What an ugly sport, not even sexy." Wrong, Alder! You only like guys. My pulse races, turned on despite my anger at the judges and rules that uglified her dance.

So who was the gymnast-judge in my dreams who gave me all those prizes? Was she approval-seeking, or the harsh discipline she endured, or sexual confidence? Or...

...was she ESP itself, foreseeing the gymnast on TV next night? Snotty little commentators (both inside and outside me) tell me intuition's flawed, learn to plan, to be logical, be reasonable, settle for some job and quit following dreams. But if this dream proves nothing else, it's that I do see the future. Intuition keeps her promises.



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