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Dreamed 1983/4/8 by Chris Wayan

sketch of a dream; a frowning dark-haired woman paints intently.


All through work, I was half in a trance, thinking about the amazing dream I had, IN THE VAULT, where I was a girl discovering my family's treasure hoard was art, not money! Soul-broadening art they'd locked away. I was changed forever; I planned to leave my family and seek a wider life.

As I drift to sleep, I ask my dreams to clarify the dream. Clearly my heart felt I'd taken a bold move toward broadening and freeing myself of family brainwashing... but for the life of me, I can't figure out what! I have to know what I did, to do it more!


My sister Althea wants us to come up from our parents' back yard to the next house and see her new painting, the giant one at the end of the catwalk... She begs us not to peek at the unfinished one to the left, though. "I nearly didn't ask you for fear you'd look at the unfinished one. Can't bear it if you laugh."

My dad Jerry and sister Miriel and I come see. Painful and careful over sharp stubble and rocks. A plank-walk leads up to the chainlink fence at the property line, which extends right down into the canyon out of sight. I must hang from the fence and walk along the strip of smooth dirt at the fence-foot, only a few inches wide.... over to a gap and through, where the others are.

Althea's studio is sunk into the earth of the next back yard, with a ground-level skylight. We enter on a catwalk above the well. To the right is the unfinished painting--I only sneak one look, but it doesn't seem bad. Ahead and dow to the right, a huge mirror, reflecting a painting 8' high and at least 15' wide. The reflection's a bit dim.

Now Althea's become my old friend (and current landlady) Jade. She says "It's hard to see the overall form of a picture this big so close up." I dunno. It's a big light abstract like a Richard Bowman: luminous, exquisitely balanced chaos, mostly magenta and white. Quite beautiful.

Jade asks the others to go but tells me "stay." Soon as they're gone, she rubs up against me. She wants to seduce me! An odd way to try to hire me as a bodyguard, but she says "Here in New York City I NEED one!" Sketch of a dream image: a bearded guy eyeing dry branches rising from a red tub.

The sunken backyard now changes to a loft in Manhattan. At the bottom of the studio-well, bare silvergray branches rise from a round patch of raked gravel in the center of the floor--austere as a Zen garden. She's planning to enlarge the diameter of the sunken studio, to let in more light. How much it'll cost depends on how many cubic meters they have to remove. She's still studying it, unsure.

Jade's well known in her set--sophisticated, world-weary, a little blasť, a little bitter. She IS sexy--I just doubt I'm sophisticated enough to hold her interest. She intimidates me, I feel her presence and our new relationship is a favor she bestows, that I must live up to. I know it's my attitude, yet I resent it, think she wanted and got that reaction.

How it began: Jade poses nude before the mirror, on her bed, scribbling nude studies of her own back and bottom. Asks me to pose too? I act adult, show detached interest in the art side for a while. Then I warily touch her leg... inner thigh... crotch... gently stroking till I turn her on. Then I realize this was HER seduction, planned all along!

Yet it also began a quite different way. Jade and her teenage daughter Jamie and I were living on Byron Street in Palo Alto. Jade cooks some overripe zucchini from the garden, and shows Jamie how handy they are for masturbation--all warm and rubbery. Afterwards, I cut open the runaway squash, which has a soft seedy center and a leathery skin--then it forms a perfect vagina, hot and moist. Knowing it's been inside Jamie excites me more than anything! I never would have had the nerve if Jade hadn't done this first, but now I know she won't mock me. I just wish I could come on to her and Jamie directly! But I get shy around them. Sharing their sex-toys seems to be all I can handle yet. Anyway, when they saw me doing it too, they got excited and we began a menage a trois, a relaxed affair that does a lot to heal my fears...

But in New York, our relationship is always strained. I see it as due to Jade's world-weary posture. She feels the relationship doesn't live up to her standards, which she admits are high (I think DELIBERATELY unrealistic, so she can bitch!). She feels I don't understand her, and I don't, in HER terms. I see her New York world as A culture, not CULTURE. And I think her world-weariness is just a cover for anger; this, she denies 100%! From the start she says "This can't work, I know it; we'll end up hating one another." I find this unlikely. I certainly don't hate her. Ink sketch of a dream: Jade and her daughter Jamie both naked on a bed with me. Is Jade throwing Jamie at me?

A later sex scene in the loft. Things are changing already. Jade starts to kiss me. I nibble her. She thrusts her tongue in aggressively; I respond, but I'm not really excited yet. Wait for my inhibiition to drop and excitement to take over as it usually does, suddenly. But this time... not! A sign our affair is drying up?

Jade begs me to kiss her a little bit all over, and I like this much better than tongues that don't work.

All the while, Jamie is on the bed, peripherally involved. I'm more attracted to Jamie than her mom, who's just too grown up for me, with her power games. I stroke Jamie's leg and ass, then her cunt, hoping to draw her in. She purrs with pleasure, and starts to snuggle up, but then Jade tells "Quit stalling. Join us--if you want to stay here in this house!" Her mom's ultimatum shocks Jamie as much as me. Unecessary, insulting. Why'd she do it? We tacitly decide to ignore her.

Jamie gives me the Alphabet Kiss. It's her own invention. She kisses me somewhere starting with A, then B, and on through every letter. Pays special attention to my penis, and I feel warm about that--it's even more emotionally fulfilling than sensually, for Jamie's undoing my mom's lesson that my body is bad--since all men are scum.

Later, Jade and I go through one final talk, in her studio. Today, she's deeply cynical. We walk down the spiral metal stair from level to level. You'd think it'd get steadily darker as we descend but things block the light then it bounces off a wall or mirror lower down, and we sink into a new wave of soft reflected light.

A hard talk. She's so bitter and angry and totally denies it--projects it on me. I try one more time to say what I see...

Jade and her husband are divorcing. Just incompatible. Not Jade's bitterness talking, I've seen it myself. He's a passive guy and she's active, he's an amiable lowlife and she's a snob. I never met more opposite people.

I'm not morally concerned about Jade's marital status and our affair, it's nearly over between us. But if she divorces, they'll sell the house... and I'll have to move out! But it can't be patched up... damn. Housing in New York's not easy to find.

Down here in the depths of the art-well, some friends of mine sit at a table. All men. After Jade leaves, they commiserate over the dead affair and impending loss of the house, but offer no concrete help. They just sit and sigh and gobble jello salad. Ugh.

Of course, jello is what Jade's been telling me my attitude is, all along.


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