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Joke Pilot

Dreamed 1995/7/15 by Chris Wayan


I bike up to a tunnel in Golden Gate Park at 11 AM to sing. We musicians love the pedestrian tunnels in the park, they have wonderful acoustics. I'm late, but so are the rest. Chris and Joanna are lying on the lawn. Chris says "Other musicians pre-empted our tunnel, we hafe to find another." Two more singers walk up--Sarah, and finally Eric.

Find a short, isolated tunnel with no one in it, and sing an hour or more. Gregorian chants. African rounds. Scat singing in nonsense Slavic with Sarah. Eric tries clap rhythms, Sarah teaches a cooperative clapping round. Other Chris makes up a very funny song to go with it.

Enjoy singing a lot. Also enjoy their approval! I need encouragement.

Afterward the group disperses. Are Sarah and Chris lovers? I think so. Damn, I was attracted to her. Walk in Golden Gate Park alone, a while. Start to get hungry, head home. Enjoyed that. A musical start, at least.


I come down with a sore throat. Probably got it from Sarah, who mentioned she had a slight fever. I get a bad cold, and can't sing worth shit for weeks. They don't call. For weeks. Disappointing.


I FINALLY get up the nerve to call and see if they're ever meeting again. The phone's silent, a long time, and then the little voice says "Well... we decided to go on as just us four."

I feel awful. Sad and angry, blaming myself for not calling to say "I'm sick, can't sing for a while, but I liked it and want to do it again."

Did they dislike my singing? My music? Or simply that I didn't call? For all they knew, I hated them! I don't know if I brought this on myself, or if I was just excited to be singing with others at all and there really was a poor fit. Or if they just have bad judgment. But I feel terrible. Rejected and I don't know why. Feel haunted all day. Angular starship seen in a dream; crayon sketch by Chris Wayan.


It's the future. A galactic society, including humans. Only... we're a joke. We can't ride the standard interstellar liners, because all other peoples can take much higher acceleration. We can't pilot--our eyes turn out to be primitive, especially our color discrimination--most races have a spectral color sense, recognizing any star by its spectrum at a glance, so they never needed to develop navigational instruments. We're biologically inferior, and they assume our brains are just as backward. It's not true, but humanity's been shaken and humiliated by their easy scorn and low expectations.

I meet a man who had experimental sensory prosthetics recently implanted. He intends to be the first human pilot. Human pilot! It's an oxymoron, a joke to every alien he meets.

Yet he persists. If they won't certify him, he'll pilot a slow human-built ship. Separatism, if necessary. But he, we, will fly the stars.

By any means necessary.


LISTS AND LINKS: hostility and rejection - music - environmental illness - deep space dreams - persistence - inheritance - career advice - feltpen dream-art

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