I have an art show in a dimly lit art space. All my paintings are up, people come and are fascinated by my work. Someone gives me a special “artist’s travel card” by which I may take the buses…the bus never comes. I wake up somewhat dismayed to lose all the success I seem to have achieved in the dream world lol
My university has morphed to the size of a national park. I am running through nature in search of a secret hideout I have made to hide from my irl ex-lover Paul. In flight I ponder my mixed feelings for the kinky sex we share. On one hand, I fear and loathe having certain boundaries crossed by him. Yet despite leaving him several times, I still seek his particular brand of sexual pain. With him I experience a sense of utter surrender that I have found nowhere else in my life.
He finds me in the forest. I lay with him for a little bit….
I have painted something on a lecture hall chalkboard in the middle of the night. Later, I am confronted by Anya, one of my art professors, who very calmly asks me if I did it. She seems to be implying that it has been well received and people are curious to find the creator. I stand silent before her, weighing in one hand the prospect of fame-filled career and the other, the freedom of certain anonymity.
In real life, I have left university for about a month now, where I have been studying art. Instead of completing my final class required for the completion of my degree – not an art class, but a general ed requirement to be taken over the summer- I have run off with a stranger who offered me a life on the road. I have been living/loving in the desert for the past few weeks and we are now traveling north, having reached a major city in the northern area of my state. The person I have been traveling with espouses an artistic life that doesn’t revolve around commercialization and self-promotion as well as feeding into my life-long desire to live off the grid.
I go for a walk outside the van. A caramel colored little poodle is hunched over a carcass of some sort, eating.. i stop, and it turns to look at me with. It’s eyes are rabid. A moment passes, then it leaps on me and sinks in its teeth. I try to shake it off but can’t so I start screaming in attempt to scare it off.
In real life, I start screaming so Angel wakes me up. I don’t think I have ever screamed myself into waking reality before, which is something quite common for my father, who my mother and I frequently saved from rocky dreams.
I am falling asleep in the van, in and out of consciousness. Angel is talking with Jerry just outside the vehicle, and I lie there uncertain if I should come out. At one point, I sit up. I look into my body and see my astral hands in perfect vision, but they are gray and ghostly, in a way that makes me fear I am decaying inside. After all, shouldn’t the astral body be full of light and rainbows or glittering to some degree? I conclude that I must be doing the wrong thing, coming on this trip…that I might, I must, be rotting myself from the inside out. Then Angel comes and shakes me and I feel better.
Flashes…I am in my parent’s new apartment, I hear someone calling for me, or perhaps a parent tells me someone is calling me. I step out into the balcony, look down and to the left, New Lover, someone I have never seen before, black male-assigned with long braids and a femme outfit is smiling and waving at me, beckoning me to come find him. I get my clothes on and run out to meet him. As we drive off, I put my feet up on the deck and he admires my platform mary janes while showing me his platformed heeled boots.
We are in a giant pumpkin patch maze looking for the party that my entire family is throwing for me. I am wearing leather boots that are a little gothy with a high heel. Haystacks tower several feet above me on all my sides.
Paul is there, dressed in the burgundy and purple paisely shirt I love so much. He bows, holding my hand and kisses it, I see the love burning behind his slightly red eyes.
I pull him close. Kiss him goodbye and walk away. I do not know if he knows it is our last kiss, but I intend for him to realize it by sunset so as to save himself the embarrassment of seeing my family.
I materialize with Tom somewhere, who I feel somewhat obligated to watch over. I take him into the place where all my family is gathered. He speaks for a long time, in a monologue, talking about his life. I get the feeling that everyone is waiting for him to finish, increasingly growing humorous. He jokes that he is a temporary artist. My aunt blurts “She is an artist, and not temporary.” Then Johnny comes to escort Tom away; I come too.
When I return, everyone is trying to give me advice and wants to film me. I am switched to the viewpoint of the film, which is from below my face. They start touching my face, dragging their thumbs across my face, making my skin ripple slightly. I look indifferent to the groping, but a little pleased to be on the camera. I have tattoos all over my face.
Something says to me. “Death: accepting inemotion.”
First, there’s me and Vi walking through campus in a haze of sun and sea sweat, our arms linked. We stop at the Starbucks (most unlike us IRL). I feel melancholy inside there, and I want to buy things to remember us all by. The coffee shop has all sorts of goodies pop out at me, especially a silver moon decor piece with purple hanging chains from it, holding more silver plates. I get in line and purchase a powerpuff girls wallet as well as some stuffed animals. But I steal the moon – then walk out of the coffee shop without telling my friends or saying goodbye.
I find a schoolbus, full of excited girls/femmes who are wearing colorful clothes. There is no bus driver, but the bus moves on its own. Everything is fine and dandy and then we suddenly reach what appears to be the top of a roller coaster…the road pointing vertically down. The bus rolls on forward and someone behind me yells excitedly “Don’t fake it!!!!” We all scream and squeal as the bus twists and falls its way back to the ground, never leaving the railing.
Then we all make our way to what is decided will be our new hideout. Party clothes and stuffed animals everywhere. We get to the hideout and there’s a fridge like space where we all pile up our clothing. I busy myself organizing and feeling kind of separate from the rest of the femme’s excitement.
We’re camping in the desert, me and my family. Now in the physical realm I do not have any siblings, but in this realm I have a brother and a sister. We wander off, and I carry with me a book of unknown description. We find a forest. The trees completely engulf us as we wade deeper into the greenery. I trail off behind my siblings who race forward to a black, mesh, tubelike bridge that crosses a great cliff opening. The tube is so narrow that we have to crawl inside. On our hands and knees we make it through to the other side, another forest, but before us lies a tall wooden library, softened by age and rainfall. We enter the library, which is abandoned except for a middle-aged woman walking decisively through the stacks, mumbling to herself every now and then. I hope to myself that the Librarian will not think the book I have is hers and force me to give it to her. My brother and sister wander. I think to myself, “This is a beautiful old library and I must steal a book to bring back with me, since I will not be returning to this place anytime soon I will not be able to return a book otherwise.” At some point, I realize I have picked up a book of fairy-tales and that the Library is going to close soon. I scramble around as I wait for the perfect opportunity to sneak out of the library. Then I realize the Librarian is about to leave, so I make for the exit and step out just before her. To my relief, no alarms go off as I walk through with the stolen book and make for the bridge. I start to crawl through the bridge and notice it is collapsing behind me; giant rocks are falling on top of the tunnel behind me, and I scramble towards the end of the bridge. As I plop out the end of the bridge, my brother and sister are nowhere in sight, and gone too is the Forest. I am instead in a vast tundra, snow falling lightly all around me.