My Name is Wayan
Dreamed 1986/5/23 by Chris Wayan; drawn Nov 2005 as a comic, How the Wayan Got Its Name
With apologies to Rudyard Kipling
IN THE DREAM WORLD
I'm talking with an Atheleni, a species Arthur C. Clarke describes in his story "Second Dawn": a hopping, herbivorous, unicorn-like telepath. In Clarke's story they had three legs, but this one, like all those I've met in dreams, has four. And muscular, with rippling colors in its pelt... this Atheleni seems more lion than unicorn.
Oh. No wonder. I'm an Atheleni too.
And then, without thought or doubt, my new mind answers him. "My name is Wayan!" It rhymes with lion or Hawaiian.
And then I rear in surprise, hearing the firmness in my answer. This really is my name!
I woke up slowly, thinking "So that's my real name! It sounds a little childish, they'll think it's baby talk for 'lion', and I don't like the implication of 'whine'... but the 'why?' I hear in it seems appropriate."
IN THE UNDREAM WORLD
I kept my name private at first. But I found myself doing more and more dream-art over the next few years, and I started signing it "Wayan." It didn't feel right to credit it to my day-self. They were Wayan's stories, Wayan's life; I just recorded it.
About five years later, I quit my day-job, moved to San Francisco and started doing dream-art and dream-stories full-time. Soon after moving into a house on a steep slope in Noe Valley, I went for a walk to explore the new neighborhood.
A block from my new house, near the corner of 26th and Castro, a name was scrawled in the concrete sidewalk:
At the time I didn't know it's a fairly common Indonesian name. I'd never seen or heard it outside my dreams--and the signatures on my dream-paintings. So that scrawl on the walk shook me like a quake; my dreamworld erupting into waking life.
Or else my dreams had somehow looked forward five years, to this moment on a San Francisco street corner, to make a point about dream-vision. And time.
The slab had no date, of course, but I like to think that particular patch of cement had been wet, oh, about five years earlier.
In May, perhaps.
But when doesn't really matter. What I want to know is who. Whose stick, whose finger... whose claw?
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