Twin dreams, 7/8/1982 by Chris Wayan
"I SHALL KEEP PLAYING!"
I'm at a party in a brightly restored Victorian mansion--a mad wooden wedding cake, all terrace-gardens and balconies. It's an Elven evening, straight out of Tolkien, lamplit and magical. High in a cupola, musicians play.
Well, to be exact: a stout mustachioed man plays a tuba on a tower. Others play other things. But two musicians are dead: assassinations. Missilettes or exploding rifleshells.
I am The Inspector, warning the surviving players to stay under cover.
"I SHALL keep playing!" says Tuba Man, a hero of his horn.
"Well and good, sir," I say, "but you shan't if they explode you."
As we argue I touch the drums of one assassinee. Melodious rumbles lure me to play... Now I dimly understand the feelings of the Tuba Man.
But these assassins must be caught, and soon, for Silky, my beloved, is sailing down the Slow River through the towers to meet us, on the strange eraser-like barge or raft her mother supplied... She stands fragile as an elf-princess in her green gauze robes. She waves to Tuba Man, and prepares to steer toward shore.
If she's shot I'll not forgive myself.
An Expert among the dinnerguests says "Cleverness is overrated; many species have brains. But if you lose the feelings of your species and become coldly logical, you become less than a person. Feelings make the man."
I wonder if our sniper is such a type. So I look for one such, a clever man with no fellow-feeling. And find him--a rat-face man, Hitlerian-moustached, hiding under the boardwalk.
He fires once, when we spot him, then flees. We give chase, up the stairs and balconies and towers... will we catch the Unfeeling Man before he slays again?
And who was he aiming for, who's he hate the most? Love... or Tuba Man?
I wake briefly, and write the dream. "I shall keep playing!" echoes a line from Emily Dickinson, "I shall keep singing!"--writing her poems despite her harsh circumstances, like a bird unable to migrate in winter. Good to know my creativity has courage, and that love and creativity are friends. But why was the bitter man sniping? It's not a total mystery. Earlier the same night, I also dreamt:
I'm in Berkeley, waiting for a movie. In line, I read a popular science fiction novel. Two intellectual-looking men ahead of me notice and comment to each other on my low taste. I read a corny, rave review from the back cover, and say "It's a fun book," hiding that I'm mainly enjoying its play of ideas. Kissing up to their pretensions!
Into the theater. Before the film, a group comes on stage and does a comic skit parodying the film's star.
Then one of them stops, breaks character, and says tightly, "I can't do this material! This puts down women! This is sexist!" He stomps off stage in a snit, yelling "The playwright's a PIG!"
Their skit wasn't sexist at all.
One of the others says "He's been getting touchier for weeks, won't say what's really eating him. ANY excuse sets him off now!"
Oh... so issues aren't the issue. He's just pissy.
A NOTE IN 2000
At least I KNOW my excuse to flip out--my mom's brainwashing about sexism. Laugh at my knee-jerk feminism if you like--but what do YOU leave unquestioned?
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