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Events 1980/4/14-15, written 2012/7/17 by Wayan
in memory of Beryl
My friend Beryl led me deep
into Ventana Wilderness. We
floated, flirted in a thermal pool
So we thought. But not. A crazed
eye voyeured, and a hungry gut
growled for luscious gorp. No bear:
My pack the madman stole
For breakfast. Took along my past:
March's noctary of dreams. He stole
My boots, too, the madman stole
so I limp home through flintsharp hills
on lacerated bleeding soles.
Trailhead. Rangers soon confessed
Bear-man ran a monthly raid
for food. So he a hermit stayed.
Welcome home! Our landlord stole
our future. Notice: home sold!
Quaff the home-made mead. We have
I know why this wave. Because I gave
in to her wild urge, in the simmering
rockwalled spring; into Beryl climbed
But to my shock I found she was
Cool and slack as a corpse inside.
Skin and eyes alive, but just
Celsius. Tepid as a newt. Can't be.
Alarm bells clamor in my veins.
I pull out of her and pool to run
Newborn nude and dripping. Found
past gone. Like Christians dipping in
Baptismal baths, erasing older sin.
March was gone. I felt not cleansed
But flayed for giving in. We're friends
not lovers. Knew it to be wrong.
Do I believe I summoned scourge?
Absurd. And yet a surge of chill
Flooded through me like a knell.
Later, Beryl's dead. Malignant wave
slow-gnawed both breasts. Not saved
by guillotine. Foreseen? We have
to our short and brutal world. Or
a sixth unsure. My dreams foretell
dark things. But that day, dream and un
My life's like this--time-tangled. Handy for picking stocks, but hell on friends. And on my sense of certainty. Tragic, comic, fated, free? That turtle in The Lathe of Heaven sums it best for me:
"Crossings in mist."
- Ventana Wilderness: in Big Sur, near Esalen, with similar hot springs. But far off the road, hence wild and private. So we thought.
- Beryl: pseudonym for a friend who I didn't think of sexually. I was slow to realize the trip was her way to get naked and alone with me. That backfired.
- Madman stole my pack: and dream-journal, wallet, keys and boots. This hermit hiding deep in the hills stole a pack a month for supplies so he never had to face humanity. The park staff knew, yet didn't warn us. I was mad--if a bear had raided the Springs for months...
- Noctary: a journal of each day's events is a diary; so a journal of each night's events is a noctary. That's logic.
- 30° C: 86° F. Maybe Beryl was normal and the hot pool just messed up my thermostat. But she felt corpse-cool. Creepy. Premonitory?
- Sixth door: I was raised a scientific skeptic, but in the years just before this trip I'd had a flood of premonitions that saved my ass. Even this one almost did; but because I didn't want to appall poor Beryl (I still did, of course), I arrived too late to catch him.
- My dreams foretell: my premonitions mostly come in dreams (like predictions of Beryl's double mastectomy and early death long before her diagnosis: see Breast Bandit, Beryl's Dog Days and Coffins). This was a rare waking flash of... something.
- What's it all mean? Was sexualizing our friendship so wrong it caused a rash of Job-like misfortunes? Or did sensing a madman stalking me cause the sex to go so wrong? Well... yes. Both at once. To me they're just two views--one forward in time, one back--of one acausal, synchronous knot.
- Today my view's still longer: I sensed Beryl's slow death to come, and dreaded it; but rejecting her when she'd soon be needing support felt cruel; but being robbed made a polite excuse to, er, withdraw. But I still felt guilty, so I punished myself for a month...
LISTS AND LINKS:
hermits, loners and
house and home -
ESP in general -
poems - a second bizarre hot tub dream:
Things Wash Off - more dreams of
Beryl - more Big Sur-reality:
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