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TITAN
or
SATURN'S WEDDING BAND

Dreamed 1981/3/22 by Chris Wayan

I'm riding in an old VW bus through a black starry clear night. Stars above, stars around us, stars below, and a great lemon-white moon--with huge rings. Saturn! We're in deep space. No wonder NASA used a VW--it's slow but it gets great mileage, and fuel is crucial on such a long trip. In fact they stripped some luxuries I wish they'd left in--they underestimated the VW's electrical system because it's only 6 volts. A tape player would have been nice; it's a long drive. But we're nearly there now: below us now is a sea of gold and brown haze. We drive down into the smog...till we land with a thump. First Terrans on Titan!

A winding but paved road, among fenced fields. Drive along it to a three-way fork. One heads toward a barn over a forested ridge, but our driver picks the middle fork, leading to a creek and little cascades, an eroded gully on the hilly face. The VW can go no farther.

We hike on, lugging the rafts, to where the creek fills the canyon. Pop the cartridges and inflate them, and in we go. I share one raft with two very different women--a brilliant, vain, medal-winning swimmer who I have a crush on, and a Tex-Mex girl named Aurora, sunny and extroverted, who's also pretty sexy. They both splash around freely--fun to watch, but I worry about I fear sharks, or the Titanian equivalent. Our expedition leader, Rocky, a blunt, forceful old woman I dislike (she's a Reaganite and we always argue politics) agrees with me for once, and scolds them "Stop that NOW! We don't know this world, or what predators we'll attract."

I ride for a while in a second raft with a green woman and orange man--a very femme guy. I generally don't trust other men, so Rocky's making me travel with an honest one so I'll learn to take men individually.

Stop at the Titanic Pancake House. What a lie! They're not titanic at all, only 8 cm across, though you do get a lot of them for your money. I sit in the booth and wait for Rocky to decide where our VW will head next. We're a rock group: Saturn's Wedding Band (both for the rings above us, hidden in the smog... and because we do play a lot of weddings). I fiddle with a titanic ashtray of broken plastic. Is this what I came to Saturn for--diners and weddings? The road-tour blues, I know. The orange effeminate man comes to fetch me--we're on our way. He's delighted that I'm polite to him--less biased than last week...

Sleep in our van that night, outside a tiny farmhouse. Too crowded--I end up sleeping in the greenhouse, listening to a cassette of our last gig. I'm the composer and bassist. Our lead singer is an egotistical guy with an odd rough voice, emotional but somehow a bit fake--saccharine? Maybe that's just jealousy talking. He's marrying the smart swimmer I have a crush on.

Traveling in the van the next day, they clinch and kiss right next to me. I feel bad. And she opens her eyes and looks at me--unhappily. Is she with him for ego-reasons? They're both so proud and stubborn... once committed, they won't back down. Forever hold your peace...

The shyest girl in the band teases them both. At our next rest break, she leads me out for a walk, says "Don't bother your head about THEIR games! They're silly." I recall an earlier dream in the night, of being horses on a ranch in hills like this, and a 1960s song starts playing in my memory: King Crimson's "Moon Child." Who dances alone, waiting for a sun-child.

To the folk of Titan, I AM a sun-child! From a world baking in brilliant sun, a hundred times what cold overcast Titan gets. Obsessed with that proud girl, I've been blind to the seemingly cold dim moon-child: the shy skeptical girl always beside me. Idiot!

And I wake with "Moon Child" echoing in my head... wondering who else in my life I've overlooked. Shy, quiet, femme... Oh.

That's who I've been overlooking. Me.



LISTS AND LINKS: musical dreams - career dreams - other worlds - romance on Ganymede - uproar on Io - Titan as it should have been: Xanadu - dating advice - shyness - John Varley

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