Dreamed 1993/1/20 by Chris Wayan
Today some artist friends and I met to form a success-team, dedicated to helping each other get what we want out of life. But what is that? My friends each spoke of their ideal day. Quite similar really--"A house by the sea, quiet and light, where I can paint..."
Except me. I was unable to picture what happiness means to me! Or unwilling, because then I'd have to tell them.
And I was ashamed of it. Me, happy? What greed!
Dream 1: Stinking Rich
My rich uncle is leading me around a hill or plateau like Pacific Heights, with mansions and little paths. It's steep in spots. We go down a long stretch of stairs by crowded cafes and terraces with parties lit by trees spangled in white Christmas lights. Up the far side of the ravine, past hundreds of laughing yuppies. It's a long hard climb. Champagne glasses clink like a forest of chimes.
My uncle's place is small. But the neighbors have a mansion! It's on the edge of the heights, with a grand view from the cliffs. I RESENT these rich people with such a broad horizon when I live such a cramped life, struggling with illness and fear... no vision. I walk into their unguarded palace--they think their neighborhood is so safe, so far above us poor people that they don't even need to lock their castle!--I stroll in and begin to sabotage their toys.
They have all the lights and the sprinklers on timers--I hook their VCR and computers to the timers--they'll go off in the middle of saving things, during their favorite shows. Ha!
They have a big meat freezer. I turn it off. Mmm, 500 pounds of rotting meat! Take that, you carnivore yuppies! I'll make them stink the way their values do! I walk out proud of myself.
The next day, my uncle introduces me to them. And they're perfectly nice people. Well, not perfect--but no worse than the poor people I know. Slowly I grow to consider them friends. They don't know who trashed their house that day. Now I feel horribly guilty--why DID I do that to them? I thought to myself, even as I did it, "Animals DIED to create this locker full of food. To waste their meat is as bad as killing them in the first place!"
And then I pulled the plug.
Dream 2: My Parents' Dream Home
Down at the foot of that cliff, there's an inlet. My uncle leads me down to it, to a house built on pilings.
Surprise! My parents live here now. It's THEIR dream house. Only it's NOT a house, just a decorative pavilion and walkways, boardwalks, piers, and rocks. A bigger mansion blocks the view--my parents don't mind, they feel snug, they don't LIKE open views.
They put the rocks in the channel too, to keep yachts out--thus allowing my folks to believe that they're still middle class, not too friendly to millionaires. Still revolutionaries.
Dream 3: Rat Race
My father's driving. We're in a cross-town auto race, the Rat Race. We were ahead, but when we passed the school I went to when I was little, my father pulled into a construction site by mistake. I yelled at him to back out, but he wouldn't listen, kept trying to go through to the other side. Took him years to back out. Now our lead is lost.
In the next lane is a slow pickup truck, towing a U-haul trailer, both jammed with stuff.
MY stuff! My stereo, my speakers, my computer, camera... I try to write the license number down. But I can't get it all. And then, as they peel off onto Bayshore, I blurt out impulsively: "Let them go, my stuff is worthless anyway."
And my father takes me at my word! He stays on the race-course road. I yell "CANCEL THAT! FOLLOW THEM! I DIDN'T MEAN IT!"
My father drives on. Just as in the construction site, it's hard to get him to change.
Bye bye, possessions, bye bye.
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