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YUPPIE BREAKUP

Dreamed 1991/5/22 by Chris Wayan


I dreamed I was standing in the global village square. It's a lot like the Stanford Quad: tile roofs, stone arcades. A church dominates the square. Lots of carving, mosaic, gold leaf. Lots of money.

A crowd fills the square. It's a rally against racism. Mostly students, about half black and half white. They're not just trying to integrate politically, but culturally. Old white farmers are trying to boogie in the corner. Black kids study Swedish.

This crowd has two heads. A radical white priest who stresses unity and love. A real Gandhi type. And a tall thin fierce black guy with a Sixties afro... His only goal is black power--by any means necessary. He's in a very uneasy alliance with this white Christian. He's no Malcolm, but for anonymity I'll call him X.

I suspect X stole some records essential to the movement--their mailing list, their contributors, their archives? To sabotage it, or to build his own power? I'm not sure. I need to talk to him.

The church is the nerve center. I walk into the main hall--the nave, they call it? Computer screens glow, phones ring. The nave is walled into a maze of booths and roofless rooms. And each is jammed with idealists. And each idealist jammed with projects...

In my Father's house are many mansions.

I head for the back, seeking X. I have a problem, and I think he's causing it--or at least he'll understand it, for it's got pain and rage and fear at the heart. The priest is positive, he can forge coalitions, but I need to face and work with emotions he tries to dismiss, and soothe, and rise above. I don't really trust X, but he studies and uses rage and hate. Hard feelings are strongest; hard stone sculpts best. He builds with this stone the Christian priests reject. He can teach me anger's tensile strength, fear's weight, hate's grain.

I see the Gandhi man in a cubicle, with disciples.

Last chance...

But he's not the one I need. I go past the priest.

I stumble into a room where a couple works; they met in the Coalition. They're a bit Yuppie, but I think they're okay. Why are they wearing leotards? Or have they been swimming? The mousy girl with the black hair is writing ads on the computer for a long-range campaign she's sure will create a better world.

We talk about stretches. I say "I'm flexible most ways, but I find forward bends so difficult. I can't even touch my toes!" And I believe this lie for a minute! The back of my knees are very tight but why am I exaggerating like this? I'm not that inflexible.

She stops working. She's just discovered a cheerful, horrible little online memo to her boyfriend, that says her job isn't what she thought.

The ads are commercial. The project's for profit. A big firm pulls the strings.

This won't lead to a better world.

And it isn't just this project, she realizes.

It's the process. Computers themselves, which she's had great faith in as a democratizing tool, don't just spread information. They divorce you from your body, weaken your physical sense of yourself. You abandon your body.

She feels betrayed. Her whole value system cracks down a fault line--on one side, CHANGE THE WORLD, HELP PEOPLE--on the other, BE GOOD TO YOUR BODY, DON'T OPPRESS YOUR ANIMAL SELF. Ethical earthquake! The shockwaves ripple out... For the first time, she asks her boyfriend what he thinks of this project.

He laughs. "This split you're so worried about is the price we pay for a Yuppie lifestyle--and income!" She is shocked as she questions him--and finds amiable, total, comfortable cynicism. The project's commercially viable and shows off his talent. Bodies are tools to use--like any other. Being in the movement gets him respect. He joined to meet girls. It worked--he met her there, hadn't he?

"You've compromised your ideals. God, what am I saying. Not compromised--tossed them out!" "No," he says, "I'm sure I haven't compromised my ideals. I just want to be happy, and I am. I have no ideals. I never have."

She stalks over to the bed in the corner, bristling at the monster she's been sleeping with. He follows, still teasing her na´vetÚ.

And suddenly, they DIVE into bed and begin to thrash! Leotards fill the air and flutter down. They're both naked now, and squirming at triple speed. I gasp. I've heard of couples who get turned on when they fight but I've never SEEN it!

But they're not fucking. I never was taught a word for what they're doing. I'll have to invent it. They're UNFUCKING. Somehow they're undoing all the acts, unweaving all their days together. Waves of emotion rise like steam--and dissipate.

Having unfucked themselves, undone their love, they rise from bed. Full-clothed and separate, they stand apart. She walks out.

And the man with no values stands there alone.



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