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Dreamed 1999/5/15 by Chris Wayan

I'm in a big old train terminus, empty but for our group: my friend Mark and I plus some Psychodrama actors I haven't seen in years. They haven't aged much. Even so, at first I feel disappointed: all their auras are loud, simple, bland--not my type at all.

But then, slowly, a strange thing happens. They change, start to show much stronger auras and feelings. Was I blind or were they somehow hiding them? I start to feel mildly attracted to a couple of women. Rare for me to change my opinion like this! But then, most people have no secrets in their auras. These do.

One woman just looks blowzy at first, but slowly transforms into a cousin of Marilyn Monroe. Another, a dull stick figure, slowly grows--not physically, but her aura becomes powerful, intelligent, sexy. Her face is odd, wedgy like a fox--not beautiful exactly, but compelling... now. It wasn't. What changed?

Each woman has a powerful agenda: wants to sign up Mark and me to a different spiritual- or art-workshop. Well, one just has a passion for the tango, and want to find a partner. Asks passing men at random. No one will, till she redefines it more blandly as "dance"--for some reason the word "tango" scares all the guys away... and it takes two, you know.

More women straggle into the station, till the echoing dome fills with auras vivid enough for a crowd. And each newcomer brings a passionate need. A young woman with a short neck is grieving and wants comfort and support. Curls up and cries on a sofa. Others pat her, hug her, some awkwardly. I hold back, feel I'm unwanted and suspect--the only guy in the group.

No, Mark's here too. His agenda seems simple--he wants others to sing with. But he hesitates to ask. Instead he says to me "Let's go for a walk outside."

Behind the station stretches a vast switching yard full of muddy puddles after a recent rain. I slip and near-fall. Draw designs in mud on a concrete walk. It rises into a pedestrian bridge over a dozen branching tracks. Up we climb, and lean on the rail, looking out over the switch-yard.

Mark complains "I can't find singers here." I snort "Well, speak up. Announce what you're looking for." Turns out he hasn't because his attention's split--he's been hiding a second need. He's attracted to one of the two organizers of this meeting, but he doesn't want to tell her, or even discuss it. In fact, he doesn't even feel comfortable discussing it with me... so he does something shamanic I didn't know he had the power to: he removes my memories of the conversation, takes it back to square one!

Mark erases my memory; dream sketch by Wayan. Background based on painting 'Tracks' by Dawn Z.
If I weren't dreaming this and watching myself a bit from outside my body, I wouldn't know at all. The embodied me walking on the foot bridge with Mark doesn't--my memory's truly wiped blank. Mark did it partly from embarrassment and partly from kindness: felt he upset me.

Below us, walking beside a track, are the two women who organized this Psychodrama reunion--one of them's Mark's crush. I walk on casually--not even an intuition about her and Mark. He keeps silent. And then, behind them, on the next track over, a train chuffs up. She turns and hops on the track, facing us, not the train. Is she suicidal? Or deaf, unaware it's coming? It's unable to stop--just before it hits her, I wake, deeply upset, and knowing that if Mark hadn't wiped my memory, I would have called out to her, started a conversation, and she wouldn't have done it. It didn't seem like suicide exactly, either, but some strange absent-mindedness, like my memory loss. Did someone spare her some discomfort too, by snipping some awkward memory or perception?

I think snipping my memory caused a disaster Mark never intended!

I wake thinking "Never allow this. Never again. No matter how painful."


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