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STARMONT TRIATHLON

Dreamed 1984/7/2 by Chris Wayan

On public radio, talkshow host Z Budapest, who happens to be a witch, says "Treat your body well, look after your spirit, but... hey, let's not get one-sided here! It's okay to be busy, and seek money and power, if you want to. It's a life-lesson like any other. Besides if you don't claim your share and direct it the way you want, you're letting OTHER people use your money and power! And for what, huh?"

THAT NIGHT

I'm chasing a kid in red shorts and tee shirt through meadows. Boy or girl, I'm not sure, but it doesn't matter: this is the Red God of Running. Loves to run, that's all. And I choose to follow.

I'm surprised to find, as I turn up Sand Hill Road into oak-tree hills, that I'm keeping up. The god has a disadvantage: invulnerability! Since I'm mortal, and must notice obstacles and bumps, traffic and terrain, my running is dodgy and cunning, while the Red God, pampered by invulnerability, has mere pedaling stamina... .and weak judgment. I cut corners and dodge cars better than God.

Into the hills along the San Andreas Lakes. I think "NO! The kid can't meant to fly up to... THE CRASH SITE!"

Yes. The God manifests a small hang glider. I convert my bike into an ultralight and follow.

We dodge the high-power lines and sail up an arm of the lake. The kid lands, SPLASH!

I come in... and ...

Wake up--where? What? This is a... hospital! An emergency ward, full of injured. From the Crash? The loudspeaker say "Emergency! Evacuate! Let the injured carry the injured. Let the dead carry the dead."

I stagger up--I seem okay. All this has happened before, I think--maybe more than once. We form a line to be assigned a victim to carry. Rather than a group to carry each immobile one, it's one-on-one. The guy before me gets this ancient Spanish woman. The nurse hands me... a typewriter! A huge, green plastic one, one end wrapped in surgical gauze. It's been injured too? Meekly I carry the Tragically Wounded Typewriter down the hall, passed a twisted corpse sprawling on the floor. The elevator's packed; we step over a teenage girl in purple lying across the doorway. She's thin, with dark frizzy hair, and a face drawn with pain. I worry about her, but I have my own injured burden...

We make it to the Hospital Cafe. I put the Wounded Typewriter in a seat, get it a coffee, and let it watch the magic show.

The cafe's run by Holly Golightly from "Breakfast at Tiffany's" as played by Audrey Hepburn--delicate, world-weary and innocent, all at once. She's in her thirties, small, slender, in a yellow-orange shirt and shorts--if the Running God is ketchup, Holly is mustard. She dances on stage, mixing martial arts and magic, especially levitation--impossible leaps! Not stage magic, the real thing. She can't defy gravity yet, but she's bending the law a lot. On her way to becoming a Mustard God of Leaping, I guess.

Despite her philosophy of "work hard, play hard", the stress of working these miracles she loves is getting to her. Or maybe it's the flood of refugees sadly limping in. But she quarrels with a waitress, flares in anger and runs down the hall, crying furiously.

On impulse I follow the mustard goddess. Find her leaning hunched on a wall. Dry sobs. I push past my shyness, go up and hold her. She clings to me. My pulse races and my cock rears up. I expect her to pull away snapping "You just want to fuck me!" And I do, I do, I do.

She melts into me, and I hold her tight, a long sweet time.

A tall dark man looms over us. He could be my twin. But older, rougher, stronger, taller. She says "You! I THOUGHT I recognized you when you walked in my cafe." She realizes instantly what it takes me longer to see: he's me. My future self.

He says "Follow me." We gulp and meekly do. He leads us to a private court, sandstone walls cupping a small lawn bordered with roses. He says "Maybe this will help" and somehow, without uprooting them, he shifts four rose-bushes, reshapes them into a... gate? The air shimmers between them. He tells Holly "Jump through." She gulps again, but backs up and runs at the gate and makes a soaring, impossible leap... I see a burst of lemon light, and she transforms mid-air! Clad in yellow now, not mustard, she's herself, but younger, perhaps fifteen. Not too different in form, but her aura's so clear and happy. She runs eagerly around the yard, savoring the freedom. This early her feels so full of life and fun! Perhaps a bit shy... She leaps through the gate again, and turns mustard and burdened--but strong! Back through the roses, with her adult force, to become shy and light and free again! She keeps shifting, until she can do it without the rose gate.

I like both of her, but her young self better, I think; more like me. Only I'm not really me; I see that now. Her younger self is truer to her soul; but it's my older self, my future self, who's truly me. Patience!

She says "Come on--let's join the triathlon!" It's starting already? Yes! The Starmont Triathlon, where you run up the world's highest peak, nine or ten thousand meters high, biking one-third, running one-third, flying one-third... if you can fly unassisted. And we both can, now. I agree to it. The strategy is in choosing which part you'll do when. You can't bike the last third, Starmont's too rough, but otherwise it's up to each of us. She starts running, I start biking. I notice her older self in the crowd, biking too... I know we'll both fly the highest part.

Maybe we'll beat the Red God yet.

NOTES NEXT MORNING



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