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THE NEPALESE DROP


Dreamed 2000/4/20 by Chris Wayan

I'm wandering an empty fairground, with my dad and my sister Miriel. I get lost. Where are they? At last, I hear Miriel calling, from up a bare hill. I climb the slope, but can't see her. It's sandy and crumbly--a bit scary. I cross a bare, fresh dirt patch with parallel grooves: feels like trenches with loose dirt covering them, ready to collapse in. Above that, a good-sized gum tree I grab with relief--the only proof this whole hill isn't just a some huge, recent dirt-pile. I slowly climb on, despite a lot of slips. A bare shaly stretch steepens into cliffs on the left. Shelves. I step on two large rocks that shift under me. Nervouser and nervouser--the whole hill seems ready to slide. Higher yet, steeper still... where the hell is Miriel? Others are climbing behind me. I slip and a good-sized rock goes down the slope, knocking smaller ones loose in a small slide. I watch helpless and guilty. Will they hit that woman climbing a hundred feet below me?

Just miss her.

But I know now I really shouldn't be up here. Something's wrong, and going wronger by the minute. Yet I ignore my premonitions and go a little further--it seems to be leveling out at last...

Yes! It's the summit. Five or six climbers with gear stand at the top. I come up to them, still feeling shaken. They ignore me utterly. We stand on the brink of a vast gulf--the back side is a thousand-meter cliff--or more. I can't even see the bottom, lost in haze. Across from us is a vast structure my brain won't take in, a huge bewildering white thing like a tent or church roof, with spires and a hole for a rose window. No. They call it a name I half-know, like K1 or Makalu 1--a Himalayan peak taller than K2? Looks taller than Everest itself--it's so steep and smooth and white right down to the foot that I failed even to recognize it as a mountain. The climbers are heading for it. Near though it looks, it's days away. Again my scale shifts; it's even bigger than I thought. Two people, silhouetted, fall off a snowtopped cliff. Three hikers on top  ignore them. Himalayan peak on the horizon.

The ground shifts under me. No, not ground. Snow! I'm standing on loose snow at the brink of the cliff. I got so distracted by the great peak I didn't notice the gulf is on the right as well as in front of us. Though I'm standing right next to the climbers, my footing's not safe. I scramble for safety but it's too late. My feet go out and I dangle, clawing at the loose snow. I scream "Help!" and they look at me a long bored moment. Finally one of them reaches a slow hand down and grabs me. And starts to slide off too! The others do nothing. I plead with them. My voice is high and I realize I'm female again. "Please, please help us..." I sob in a little-girl voice I'm ashamed of... but I'm scared enough to try anything. But then I'm shocked at their behavior: they look coolly at us and don't move, as my weight pulls their friend off the brink. He loses his grip, and we're both falling. And falling. And falling...

A long scream wells up in me, all the long way down. I wake in a cold sweat.

THE NEXT DAY

A friend invites me to go see "Mask Of Desire". It's the very first Nepalese feature film! The story: a young widow in Katmandu works as a medium and healer. She's lonely, frustrated, and envies a young married couple so much that in the end she destroys herself. Turns out she was haunted by her own husband's suicide. It wasn't love; they were just kids in an arranged marriage. In her flashbacks, he runs up a slope, she chases, on top there's a view across a valley to Himalayan foothills... and suddenly the hill ends in a cliff, and he jumps off and dies.

And everyone looks at her coldly, blaming HER.

While I shiver in my theater seat, seeing my nightmare materialize on the screen.

She only had a flashback. I had a flash-ahead.

TWO WEEKS LATER

My father woke up from a nap to find he was paralyzed. It didn't go away. Not a stroke; a rare virus. He struggled for months in hospital, trapped in a frozen body, alert but unable to speak or move, and died that fall. Only after the fact did I realize I'd been having nightmares of my father, paralysis, and death for months before he was stricken.



LISTS AND LINKS: I'm Just Not Myself Today - cross-gender dreams - nightmares - psychic dreams - precognition - falling dreams - My dad, Jerry - Nepal


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