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She Crashes and Burns

Dreamed 2005/5/7 by Chris Wayan

THAT DAY

Meet my friends Bob and Catherine to see Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I'm along mostly to see them; don't expect much from the movie. Though the portrait of Zaphod Beeblebrox the two-headed politician has a distinct whiff of George Dubya Bush that I appreciate.

Afterwards we sit in a flowering yard behind a cafe. I'm pretty quiet. The others play "Ain't if Awful" about politics. Everyone agrees yes, it's awful. No actions proposed. They switch to comparing illnesses. Depressing--just reminds me how much chronic illness limits my choices.

So I ask my dreams: "What actions can I take now to start? I can't wait until I'm cured!"

THAT NIGHT... A red car smashes through a skylight into a crowded restaurant--dream sketch by Wayan.

An English 1920s novel, serialized on BBC-TV. Only I'm there, in the tale, in an elegant seaside resort full of stuffy people--Monty Pythonesque "Upper-Class Twits ." One token bohemian couple keeps deliberately shocking the rest. Slowly their pranks escalate, especially the wife's. Her victims seem merely offended, blind to the woman's increasing desperation and irrationality.

She threatens some lady joggers (in silly, frilly black suits) with twin pistols! When the police are called, she flees by car.

Her husband comes along, but she insists on driving. Wildly, badly, madly. Smashes through a terrace full of empty wooden deck chairs. Splinters fly! Now she careens over a steep hill, and narrowly misses a man trying to fix his car with his young kids in it. At the foot of the hill, she slams down hard. The car bounces right over a parked vehicle, over the low rail beyond, and onto the mess-hall roof. It crashes through the skylight, to land in the crowded dining room... at 100 kph. The place explodes in flame.

I guess at least half a dozen killed, plus the couple in the car of course. Wrong! In a postscript, the writer says thirty people died.

To me, the exact number matters less than the fact that... just like the upper-class twits, I mistook her suicidal, homicidal rage for a mere need to shock! Because she was a woman--and I assume women are sane.

NOTES IN THE MORNING

14 MONTHS LATER

She Crashes looks different now.

Over and over, I crashed and burned.

28 MONTHS LATER

In the last 14 months I got strict and my illness stabilized. Then I had an affair with a bright, beautiful woman struggling with rage and paranoia. She lashed out at me so severely she triggered relapses. The relationship crashed and burned. Looking back over my dreams of that time--and the whole year before it--I find repeated warnings of a woman whose rage I near-fatally underestimate.

Literal, all along.



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