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Sharpshot

Dreamed 1977/4/3 by Wayan

THE LAST THREE WEEKS

My girlfriend Kay tests pregnant. Plans to get an abortion, but just before the appointment she picks a huge fight with me and doesn't go.

In her next rage, she throws a ceramic teapot in my face and breaks my nose. I just push the cartilage back straight. It keeps going crooked over the next couple of weeks and I keep popping it back. After three weeks it seems to be healing almost straight.

Kay deals with breaking my nose by simply denying it! I'm just exaggerating. "I have a right to express my anger" she says.

Her right sure has funny timing: every time she has an appointment at the clinic, a big rage just happens to pre-empt it...

THAT DAY

Camping in the city park, Kay tells me bitterly "I have a plan. I'm going to Berkeley, rent a room, and leave you. By 2-3 PM I'll be out of your life". I wish. But I doubt it.

Right to doubt it. She starts packing, shifts to quarreling, and we end up still here. Stuck in a Motel 5--worse than a Motel 6. Horrible allergies to something here.

Watch TV: see Bergman's "Scenes from a Marriage". It's unhappy, but... I'd rather be them than us.

THAT NIGHT

Two Aussies--sharpshooting champs--invite me to dine.
But the Sharps quarrel over soup. Reflexively she pulls
pistol out. Thundercrash! Blood wells. He returns fire;
she falls dead. I'd admired

both. Now, death-spattered, I blurt "But don't you know
how NOT to fire?"

Outlawed now. A Posse forms. Corraled, he scares
their mounts. Stampede. Horse-thunderfront roars into
a herd of wild deer.

Intermingle, interbreed. One beautiful doemare rears
Upright, shy. On the people path. Or kangaroo.
A pioneer.

Sharp mimics her foray up. Canted he can pass for buck
aroo. Deerhair vest. Aborigines smuggle our deerpair west
out of Herd, past Posse, over Outback. Weeks of scorch
to the far shore.

Wife-wound won't heal. Under black illness in the for-
est he lies. Dead eyes. Doemare and I and a tribal friend
tend him, but a cynic says "Mate, he's at the end.
Sharp-shot. Done for."

Hands us the Death Apple. Maroon as pooling gore. Here
you grieve a dead mate with nightshade. But Doemare
won't bite, and our friend says "Wait! Sharp's a great
man--he died before

and made it back." But who could heal from this?
Dreams, sleeps. Dark blood seeps. Tears for his wife.
One thing I'm sure won't help to save his life:
Tomato Fatalists.

A doe-mare-girl & I lean over a bleeding man in a wood. Dream sketch by Wayan. Click to enlarge.

NOTES IN THE MORNING

FORTY YEARS LATER

This dream, like others at this dark time, warned me to quit being a stoic Tomato Fatalist and leave Kay, or I'd die. Mrs Sharp's opening shot is of course Kay breaking my nose. Would I start hitting back if I stayed?

I overruled the dream's warning because I'd been taught you never abandon a pregnant girlfriend--no matter what.

What happened? I stayed fifteen months more. Kay went on sabotaging the abortion she said she wanted, had the baby--we were homeless and living in a van by then--and was forced to arrange an in-family adoption when her clinic realized the baby wasn't safe. Soon as she gave up the child, I left. I never considered raising him alone; two years of constant vigilance had nearly killed me. I was emaciated, shaking, and shitting blood. My convalescence took years.

Looking back, it's ironic I felt I was at the end of my strength. What came next was the worst year of my life. But I'd been warned.

The doemare? Dreams themselves--and the shy creatures in them, who slowly nursed me back.



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