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Dreamed 1982/12/9, drawn 1983, felt pen acrylic and ink, 14 x 17", by Chris Wayan

Boy and wild horse peer into a red-lit spy room with dozens of monitors

I'm invisibly watching an elementary class. The students and teachers all treat one child as weird and wrong. No wonder: the kid's a genius, and seems to be telepathic.

One day, the strange child finds a curtain of cobwebs at the back of the room and brushes them away, idly cleaning up more than trying to get through to anywhere. But behind the web lies a mirror, and that hides a dim red-lit room from which you can see classrooms monitored, on all sides. A spy room, a room where you can see everything in the school, every story...

Every paranoid's dream come true! Except this spy-room is empty.

Until now. Until the genius child... and invisible me.

In one room, a teacher is telling her class a story from a picturebook: "Ponyboy." We listen in. Ponyboy is a Navaho child who runs off to live with the wild horses of the Southwest. They're feral, smaller than domesticated horses, almost deerlike, and equally shy. But at last they let Ponyboy join the herd, because he's outcast and wild, like them.

The genius child and I now actually see the wild horses out the door, and the child becomes Ponyboy (or Girl, I couldn't tell) and runs out to join them.

And now I'm Pony Child, running, flying through the desert with my friends. I had a few moral qualms about doing this--we run so fast, we might trample someone, or knock them down. But seeing just how big and empty the desert is, I feel better. Only a kid with a hyperactive brain worries about such unlikely things! Everyone can see us coming and get out of the way...


I think the spy-room where you're godlike, seeing all... is my own skull. My soul. But no one's there monitoring!

The rooms full of stories are my dreams...

The secret room of dreams, a close-up
I couldn't recall the exact images on the spy-room screens when I woke, but they'd been scenes from other dreams around that time, as if the spy room was the central editing room for dozens of dream-nights at once. So I drew dreams from around that time. I still recognize Centaurpede, Birdsuit, Ring Of White Water, Titania, Who Ate My Lettuce?, and The Peak Where I Died.

Some of these are anachronistic--dreamt soon after Ponyboy, not before. But that too fits the theme, I guess--that experience gets experienced in linear time, but that's just its format--like TV epsiodes aired one a week, regardless of shooting schedule. If you believe Ponyboy, it gets produced, and maybe previewed by the dreaming mind, in batches, roomfuls... herds!

A herd of feral Navaho ponies on the high plateaus

LISTS AND LINKS: my first memory, and it wasn't what you'd expect: I am Three - kids - horses - dreams on dreams - dreaming personified - school - dream houses and hidden rooms - outcasts - invisibility - felt pen - fractal, self-similar and compound images

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