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VAMPIGS AND SMILES

Dreamed 1991/12/9 by Chris Wayan

THAT DAY

That whole month, really. The noise from upstairs goes on every night!--thumping, crashing, TV booming right above my bed, till 11, midnight, 1 AM. I can't sleep. I thump, I complain, I call. No change. They're the landlady's kids, so they feel they can do whatever they like.

Then our landlady, despite rent control in our town, claims she can raise our rent as much as she likes because she lives in the building. She is, or rather WAS, a friend of the senior tenant in our flat, who moved in specifically because the landlady said she'd stick to the rent control numbers. Now they're not on speaking terms. I try negotiating and get nowhere. She says "I need the money, and if you move out I'll get it from someone else." Vampire pig sketch from a dream by Wayan.

Should we keep negotiating or try a rent strike?

THAT NIGHT

I'm a farmer's son in California's Central Valley. We watch TV while sitting in a hog trough--the TV, my dad and me, a pig, and its only surviving piglet. I like most pigs, but not the ones on our farm--they've learned to sneak into the neighbors' farms and bite the udders of cows and goats and suck the blood.

Yes. They're vampigs.

And the neighbors just can't figure out why their animals fail to thrive.

After a dreary interlude of dragging a broken bicycle across endless parking lots, I have a second vivid dream...

A serial killer cuts open women's bellies and pulls their guts out while they watch. He came prepared, with a loaf of gourmet bread, so he can make a sandwich of their still-living, still-connected organs, and then bites into them alive... while he cracks JOKES about it all!

And we the victims? Oh, we smile at his jokes, try to force a laugh! Because maybe, if we're just nice enough, we can appease him, right?

NEXT MORNING

I didn't realize my dreams were downright ASHAMED of me! Smile for the nice cannibal bloodsucking pig, dear...

Rent strike, here we come.



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