My Muslim Mother-in-Law
Dreamed 1995/3/25 by Chris Wayan
I'm in the courtyard of a large house in Arabia. Our house. We live inland, in the mountains above the Red Sea and the port town. Our nearest neighbor is some miles off: a beautiful Russian girl here on some job.
I like her, but feel shy calling her. Get my courage up and do it. As she picks it up, I hear a faint clicking and breathing. Instantly I know my Muslim mother-in-law is listening on the upstairs extension. And I didn't even know I was married! In fact... I don't think I am. Widowed, divorced? Why's she still living upstairs now that I'm single again? It's her all right--only she breathes like that. Short fat and nosy.
And my neighbor says "Hi!" quite enthusiastically when I say who I am. I think she likes me. I regretfully say "Someone accidentally picked up the extension, so we're not private here. Why don't I call you back later?"
"That would be wonderful," she purrs.
All systems go, on HER end! And on MY end--I'm not really so shy. It's my Muslim mother-in-law in between who's blocking things. How DID I acquire her? I keep trying to recall this mysterious wife, but I encounter a blank...
How exactly did I get a mother-in-law if I never had a wife?
Distillation's a crime in Arabia... but she's it.
Christine Irving saw my art at a summercamp and ordered a print--an image of three goddesses dancing naked. I mailed it to her Saudi Arabia address, wondering if it'd get through. It never arrived, of course. Irving said later that the Saudi censors probably just stole it. This happened so often, even to foreigners, that they took it for granted...
So much for symbolism.
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