Dreamed 1998/7/14 by Chris Wayan
In a park, under a tree, at a picnic table, my family is holding its annual budget-meeting.
This year, I designed something on the Net that won me 26-27,000 "units" or "credits". It's an experimental currency--I had something to do with their invention, in fact. They don't have a clear value yet, but most people treat them as worth fifty cents to a dollar. It's been strengthening, and is expected to approach parity with the dollar. I think it's undervalued a bit; popular perception lags behind what you can get with them on the Net. They may already be worth more than dollars! Anyway, when reporting my annual earnings to my parents, I assess myself conservatively, use the older verified exchange rate, under 50¢. So I say "26-27,000 credits, worth at least $12-13,000 and more likely $20-$30,000."
To my annoyance my parents immediately take the minimum for the maximum! I correct them, but they don't listen. They won't acknowledge anything not solid and proven--though Net experts universally agree the 50% exchange rate is obsolete, far too low.
Then, when my parents summarize all the family's earnings this year, they credit me with "less than $12,000--below poverty level wages." LESS than $12,000? This is no error, this is cumulative distortion, consistent bias! They're trying to make me seem a failure!
Now my parents briefly review my sister Althea's finances. She requests a modest grant for classes or lessons in music. She's aiming to be a professional musician. They see this as realistic, and OK the scholarship without hesitation.
Then it's my turn. I want nearly the same thing--a few hundred for music and painting classes. They seem inclined to reject my music classes--"Well, you don't play very well, you know. Either you don't practice enough or you're innately clumsy." Of course I play badly--that's why I want proper training. Isn't that what you just gave Althea?
Then they start critically examining my paintings. My mother pokes hard at the lower edge of my painting BANANA MOON with her finger. I thought it was on a wood panel, but under her probing finger it gives like canvas. She seems critical of even this painting which got in a juried show, and I start to get mad. They confer, privately, while I examine the painting. The canvas is loose now: her poking left a deep pucker, but I guess it'll probably recover.
But then my mom comes over and jabs again, harder. Is she TRYING to damage it? I snap "Why are you doing that?" She ignores me. I ask again. She ignores me. I get up and go over and face her where she can't ignore me and yell "Stop jabbing my art and ANSWER me!" She acts shocked at my anger, and my dad gasps "My God, how immature!"
They look at each other and nod and chant together:
"No grant for HIM!"
When I had this dream, my only Web presence was as a guest on a friend's early site. Today I credit this dream with starting me on the path to the World Dream Bank.
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