Avoid the Matriarch, Or...
Dreamed 2011/7/8 by Wayan
I gesso a thrift-store globe and start building alien continents. I wonder what planet this'll be? Dry, I think, so I get some hot colors. My last one, Abyssia, where the seabottoms were continents and continents are abysses, turned out so wet--all green and blue.
A friend drops by--the poet Patagia. We walk up Bernal Hill. Sun, hawks, wind, dogs. A high school class writing in the quarry, sprawled like basking literary lizards on the shale above the maze. Sit on a bench. Patagia reads me her first draft on meeting a grizzly in Alaska. Pass three gorgeous students half-dancing between Good Life Grocery and the library. Back at the house I play her my new songs--Lyment, Childhood's End and First Impressions. Patagia suggests changing a word at the end of Lyment. Subtler, funnier.
I'm as subtle as a brick, so it's nice to have a poet on tap.
Slumming time! I read Power Girl, a mainstream comic (rare for me; I'm strictly a manga/underground/independent comix geek. But I thought I'd peek). Women have volleyball breasts, but otherwise the art by Amanda Conner is quite likable. Even the story's more character-driven than I expected. A little blah, but hard to put into words what's missing. Maybe my dreams can...
A long dream--a whole other life, really. I even sleep and dream dreams inside the dream. The one constant in my new life: I keep visiting a huge family in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. I'm in love with a daughter of the clan. Should I move there?
They introduce me to the clan matriarch, a frail, birdboned woman with a falcon glare. It goes badly. Deep mistrust, especially on her end. She mentions omens of a disastrous split in the clan, and implies I'll be the cause--luring away their beloved daughter.
I go away and study those omens too. But I see a different warning--that the matriarch and I both love my girlfriend too much to let her go. But fight over her and we'll wreck the clan! All will lose. But we don't have to.
So I meet her again, privately this time. Say "Neither of us can give her up. Yet we dislike and distrust each other. The only way to prevent a fight is to avoid each other. Since your whole life is here, I won't move to town, won't join the family, won't see you--only visit her privately. But you must accept that. We must not fight."
Will she do it? Can she? She's no fool--my reading fits the omens AND avoids civil war. But it'll be hard! She's been unchallenged monarch so long, indulging all her whims. This will take discipline--not to crack the whip.
Later, I find a big dream journal with a scribbled outline of an epic dream the night before last, that I forgot to type up. My notes are hard to read--written when half asleep. But it seems to have a similar message--avoid confrontation or we all lose. That dream was also set in an Asian matriarchal clan, though a happier one. A big cast, too! A party with a conga line is cartooned across the page, dividing the text like a meandering river. Each hastily caricatured dancer has a personifying thought or two scribbled around, like a Byzantine whole-body halo.
The dance looks like fun, but the dream warned plainly--stay away! I can visit my girl, but if I join the clan we'll all regret it!
Since the dream confirms my reading of the omens, I swear to learn self-control and avoid the matriarch. The cost of a tug-of-war is just too high.
Then I wake to find my girlfriend and her possessive mom and the dream journal and my interpretation of it and my oath... all were a single epic dream.
NOTES IN THE MORNING
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