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THE PALM

Dreamed 1994/12/9 by Chris Wayan


Time to hang the art show! Write the last of the notes for my prints. Frame a last small piece or two. No poster gunk, contracts still wrong, no spare copies of the price list...

Drive to Just Desserts, in the Marina. Meet Colleen, the art agent for the Just Desserts chain, who hangs my banners in the front room. They look good. Shows me how she did it, and I hang the smaller ones in the hall. I copy the contract and price-list next door at Safeway. When I return, she says the manager told her they can't allow those banners--too sexual, they'll get complaints. Colleen is astonished, which makes me feel a bit better. But the manager does get final say, it's in the contract. Pull them down, but rehang them in the back room, and the manager reluctantly allows that. The fishing line I brought is too weak, I must go get stronger stuff. Nearby hardware store doesn't have any. Near closing time for most shops here. At last I find a sporting goods store, with one last reel I can afford that's strong enough. Back to the cafe, and help Colleen hang the rest. While I was gone, the manager ordered more pictures censored from the show:

Thumbnail of 'Andromeda and the Dragon.' Thumbnail of 'I was an Elephant Handler.'
Thumbnail of 'The Blondes, or, Do You Love Me, John?' Thumbnail of 'Three-Eyed Wolf.'

Andromeda and the Dragon ("it's about bondage"--so much for Greek myth); I Was An Elephant Handler ("There's a gym next door, they come in here, they'll be offended"--why gymnasts would be offended by a dream where I want to become a gymnast, is beyond me); Do You Love Me, John? (breasts, and worse yet, a blonde); and to my amazement Three Eyes (a fake movie poster in which the woman director fires a sexist actor who "won't take orders from some cunt"... but the mere word in fine print gets the picture fired too.)

Still enough art to cover the walls with some extras. Lesbian foxes embracing, an anorexia anthem (in a dessert shop!), a dreamer with a huge erection... no problem! The manager doesn't mind those at all. Go figure.

Nor does Colleen or the manager bat an eye over the cards by each piece, with titles, notes, and often whole dreams... My art-class teacher had said "NO ONE will let you put up museum notes like those!" Wrong. It's the content of my dreams they want to censor...

It's done--I'm tired but satisfied--not perfect, I wish 3 Eyes, Blondes, and Elephant Handler were up--but a good two dozen of my dreams on the wall.

Two customers hear about the censorship and write notes to the manager saying they liked the show and the censored art should stay up.

It doesn't, but I go home feeling good.

THE NEXT DAY

The deep cut on my hand, that I got from matting pictures for the show, tears open again. Blood spatters my bed. In a hurry, before the stains set, I suck the blood out. I feel like an Ann Rice vampire...

THAT NIGHT

I'm walking down a country road with a friend, through a canyon. We were asked to check a eucalyptus tree right by the road: diseased, they told us. We find the sick tree all right--but it's a palm. It's rooted in a 10-15 ft crater in the asphalt. The edges are deeply undercut. The road has whole cavern systems under it. Everyone told us the gum-tree is diseased and infectious and ought to come out... But it's obvious from looking at it that the tree's not diseased but stressed and starved by the road--too much of its root system paved over, getting too little water, dirty air, fed oil and exhaust...

MORNING NOTES



LISTS AND LINKS: art biz - censorship and free speech - trees - puns - health advice - pure digital art - picture-stories - Andromeda and the Dragon - I was an Elephant Handler - Do You Love Me, John? - Three-Eyed Wolf

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