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Dreamed 1981/6/11 by Chris Wayan

My friends Nancy and Christy and I must wrap up heavy-metal eggs. Gift-wrap them! Like it's some Nuclear Christmas and we're the Toxic Elves.

I'm the slowest wrapper. I feel wicked and lazy, and don't realize till later that it's understandable: my egg is the biggest, and heaviest, and possibly radioactive, not just toxic metal. I may be sick, not lazy...

But the Wrapping Judges, aloof on their island, don't care--they order my car thrown in the Bay as a penalty! I angrily glare as it starts to sink, then finally decide I can't stand still for this. I jump in the water and roll the car upside down, like a capsized sailboat. It stabilizes pretty well in that position, holds a lot of air. I climb onto it, and start paddling it like a raft toward Judge Island. I'll get even with them! They think they're immune, just because they live in a magic island--no mortals allowed. Well, we'll see about that.

The Judges shout "You're suffering from hubris! That car will sink--it's DOOMED. Don't fight our judgment!"

Hubris? Moi? Who was so arrogant they sank my car and thought I couldn't retaliate? They yap on and on, as I near their impregnable shore. I'm going to make it. And then they won't pull THIS again. On anyone.

We'll see who has... hubris.

I raft toward the islet of the gods, on an overturned car; sketch of a dream by Wayan.

Hubris is a fine old Greek word meaning arrogance so great it offends the gods themselves. On the other hand, it's related to the word hybrid. Most culture's gods don't like crossbreeding, either, do they? Unless, of course, they're doing it! "Do as I say, not as I do." You can't take gods too seriously.

So I took the dream as a lesson on assertion, about ignoring other people's judgments--or maybe my own. I've been slower to change my life than I'd like--but the dream suggests I'm handling some pretty toxic stuff, at reasonable speed. Patience! Don't judge myself too harshly.


That all sounded plausible enough... But later today, the image of my car slowly sinking started coming true. Gradually, my car's electrical system dimmed and died, as if the headlights were on or there was a short. But there wasn't.

So I pull the battery, test it with a hydrometer. It's okay, just drained--turns out the alternator is dirty, isn't charging it enough. Clean the alternator's brushes... Hope I don't have to replace it.

Then I charge up the battery, handling it gingerly, nervous about the acids and heavy metals. Hate messing with that stuff...

All done. Relieved, I put the hydrometer away. Oops. Bump its glass bulb against the toolbox--just a gentle tap, yet the bulb smashes open.

Shattered... like an egg.

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