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PONYBOY

56K, 630 x 520, 1983. Felt pen and acrylic and ink, 14 x 17". By Chris Wayan


I'm invisible, watching an elementary class. The students and teachers all treat one child as weird and wrong. No wonder: the kid's a genius, and seems to be telepathic.

One day, the strange child finds a curtain of cobwebs at the back of the room and brushes them away, idly cleaning up more than trying to get through to anywhere. But behind the web lies a mirror, and that hides a dim red-lit room from which you can see classrooms monitored, on all sides. A spy room, a room where you can see everything in the school, every story...

Every paranoid's dream come true! Except this spy-room is empty.

Until now. Until the genius child... and invisible me.

Boy and wild horse peer into a red-lit spy room with dozens of monitors
In one room, a teacher is telling her class a story from a picturebook: "Ponyboy." We listen in. Ponyboy is a Navaho child who runs off to live with the wild horses of the Southwest. They're feral, smaller than domesticated horses, almost deerlike, and equally shy. But at last they let Ponyboy join the herd, because he's outcast and wild, like them.

The genius child and I now actually see the wild horses out the door, and the child becomes Ponyboy (or Girl, I couldn't tell) and runs out to join them.

And now I'm Pony Child, running, flying through the desert with my friends. I had a few moral qualms about doing this--we run so fast, we might trample someone, or knock them down. But seeing just how big and empty the desert is, I feel better. Only a kid with a hyperactive brain worries about such unlikely things! Everyone can see us coming and get out of the way...

MORNING NOTE

I think the spy-room where you're godlike, seeing all... is my own skull. My soul. But no one's there monitoring!

The rooms full of stories are my dreams...

The secret room of dreams, a close-up
So, for the images on the spy-room screens, which I couldn't recall too clearly when I woke, I drew images from other dreams around that time, like Centaurpede - Birdsuit - Ring Of White Water - Titania - and Who Ate My Lettuce?
A herd of feral Navaho ponies on the high plateaus


LISTS AND LINKS: my first memory, and it wasn't what you'd expect: I am Three - kids - horses - dreams on dreams - school - dream houses and hidden rooms - outcasts - invisibility - felt pen - fractal, self-similar and compound images -

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