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Dreamed 1988/4/13 by Chris Wayan

My sister Althea and I are playing cards high in the Sierra Nevada. Higher than the mountains, really: we're hovering over Lake Tahoe's western shore, sitting cross-legged on the air. Far below lies the deep crater of Emerald Bay, and its castled island. The sapphire of the lake sprawls east. North, west and south loom two-mile-high teeth, patchy with midsummer snow.

The card deck is Tarot. Each card invokes, in fact creates, an aspect of the world below.

We're playing for the world.

Althea's winning, though I'm not sure just what game she's winning at. We have to make runs of the same suit, and books of three cards each, to get rid of our hand and win; Althea's down to three cards already, and several books and runs float in the air above her lap. I still have six cards to lose. We seem to be making up the rules as we go... and, of course, cheating whenever the other looks away, enjoying the view.

Digital sketch of a dream by Wayan: my sister and I levitate over Lake Tahoe, playing cards with a Tarot deck.
I ponder tactics: are midsized numbers the best? You can build either up or down from them. Face cards are bad, for they can only marry their own rank. Well, I'm not sure. I propose we "marry" all our face cards--"After all, we're Californians, we support nontraditional marriages like gay couples and threesomes." Not that this will give me an edge. It's the principle of the thing...

Below, chunks of the Tahoe shore fade to misty chaos, or reappear, with every card we play...

As we squat a thousand feet above the lake.

And make up the rules.

And cheat.

LISTS AND LINKS: flying - dream humor - strange games - a second dream set mid-air above Lake Tahoe: I must fight the Tahoe Dragon - invocation and summoning - dreams about dreams - Tarot cards - digital dream art -

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