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OCTOPIA

Dreamed 1996/3/21 by Chris Wayan
Big screen? The full dream-comic

THAT DAY

I read Dan Simmons' Phases of Gravity, about an ex-astronaut's spiritual crisis. What tops a moonwalk; what do you do with the rest of your life?

His buddy smuggled a Frisbee onto their mission. Earthbound critics screamed "Ghetto kids are starving, and NASA spent billions so these clowns can play Frisbee on the moon?"

THAT NIGHT I dream I'm a stratospheric bat returning a lost boomerang to an octopus monk on Mt. Meru.

I'm a black V-bat. Not short for vampire: I'm a child's doodle of a bat or bird, a simple V. The stratosphere's my habitat--up where the stars poke through the deep noon blue.

One day, what looked like a black swastika tumbled by. At first I feared it was Nazi, but it spun the other way, the Indian good-luck way. And it had curved yin-yang arms, not those sharp Nazi elbows.

So I took a chance and grabbed it. I was right--soft, light plastic, a toy not a weapon. A sort of boomerang? But why so many arms? And who threw it?

So I fluttered up the jet stream, towing the cryptic toy in my hindclaws, in search of its owner.

Over the horizon loomed Mt. Meru. A needle of rock and ice, rising above the cirrus--like Starmont or Nix Olympica, it reaches the verge of space...

Near the summit was a ledge serving as a doorstep for a small cave. On the ledge, a dejected octopus sprawled. No wonder the boomerang has extra arms: Octopian esthetics!

I returned it to its owner, pleased. Helping a holy hermit has to be good karma. The octopus monk dances in joy at the return of its boomerang.

Gravity's thin, this peak's so high. So, the octopus monk was spry.

Ecstatic over its boomerang, the octopus rose, and danced.

Wow. And I'd worried that play was fascist!

NEXT MORNING



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