Dreamed 1982/3/23 by Chris Wayan
A noise wakes me up. Someone's breaking into my apartment! No... three someones. It's a middle-aged white woman with two Asian teenage girls. All strangers to me, but they act as if they recognize me.
They say they're my ex-wife and my children! Funny--I don't recall being married or having kids! And if I'm not Asian and she's not Asian, how come our daughters are Asian?
Though she climbed in the window, she seems to think I've slunk home, defeated. She sounds sweetly poisonous, with little notes of nasty triumph. I turn wary and matter-of-fact, trying to collect more facts about this bizarre situation.
I tell 'our' kids "Use the bathroom now if you need to; I'm gonna take a shower in a minute."
She says "I'll cook dinner." I say "fine." She's more openly scornful now, triumphant. I thought I was only in my twenties, but she treats me as middle-aged, like her--an older guy in some midlife crisis. Apparently, I left her for a much younger woman, an aspiring actress here in Hollywood. Did I mention she thinks we're in Southern California? I went to sleep in the Bay Area...
Anyway, my ex-wife assumes I'm alone because my new girlfriend just dumped me for some younger guy! No wonder she's triumphant. Only... my girlfriend hasn't dumped me.
None of this makes sense, and at last I just leave. I'm a student, and I recently moved into this off-campus apartment. Let her have it! I'll go back to my campus room and forget this whole silly pseudofamily. I doubt I ever WAS married to her--too many contradictions even amnesia can't explain. A trick, a delusion, mistaken identity?
But I forgot and left a few key items behind. I decide to risk going back to pick them up--she seemed malicious but not violent. I open the house door--my key does work here, I notice. So it IS my apartment, not hers. All dark. I think "Good, she's gone" but then my bed creaks. I decide to scare her--get even with her for her contempt earlier. I slink in like a burglar. She panics and turns on the light. But then, I lower my balding head--wait a minute, is she right, am I middle-aged? I don't recall being bald! But suddenly I am... I'm as puzzled as she is... But I lower my balding head to at the doorpost, and bow ritually to her, mysteriously... And pick up my textbooks and leave! She gapes at me, bewildered. She even forgets to curse me as I walk out. For a minute at least.
But she regains her style soon enough. Hires a detective, has me followed, and finds out where my girlfriend lives. She really is an actress, that part is true. A skinny brunette named Cassandra, gifted but easy-going.
My ex-wife, or whatever she is, goes over, address in hand, when I'm in class, and knocks on Cass's door, and introduces herself as my ex-wife, who I "neglected" to mention. How like a man! Of course I told Cass about her, it was too bizarre a story NOT to tell... but Cass keeps a straight face and invites my "ex-wife" in. Sipping tea in Cass's kitchen, she assumes that Cass must be with me for money, or for my film-industry contacts. No one could love me for me!
Cass goes along with her cheerfully. "Yeah, I get a new boyfriend every two months or so, when I start to get bored and they quit spending as much on me. But I'll string this one along a while longer if you'll help. I'll go on a lonnnng romantic trip and get his expectations up, and get him to blow some big money on me! Then it'll really hurt when I dump him for a younger guy! Can you front me some of the trip money, is it worth it to you, to see him suffer extra?"
And my ex falls for it! She's THAT malicious. Cass can't believe it, she was piling it on to help this woman see how absurd this all is. Not even a B movie--try Z!
But she takes Cass up on her offer. For the first time in history, someone believes Cassandra.
So this woman I never even heard of before today pays Cass to go on a long romantic trip with me and wring me out and dump me in revenge for ruining our nonexistent marriage.
And so... Cass and I get to go on a wonderful vacation, all expenses paid... courtesy of my crazy, bitter ex-wife!
Or whoever she is.
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