my family due to go on a trip. asleep all the time. i’m ignored. i’m in the basement. there are strangers’ things there. i’m in someone else’s bed there and its full of roaches under old newspapers. i don’t see them, but i know if i move the papers they’ll be there. i do and they are. i catch them in small clear envelopes and yell to my mother for help. she’s in bed reading. she promises to help but she doesn’t move. i fill one envelope. there’s a head and many bugs in it. i can’t seal it without hurting the bugs or touching them and i need her help. i set it aside. i fill a second envelope. still she won’t come. i used to be very afraid of these bugs but now i just have revulsion over them. i set the envelopes aside and go to her to ask why she won’t help. she ignores me. my whole family ignores me.
i know i must sleep as we leave in only a few hours, but i walk upstairs and to the livingroom. on top of the piano is mail, opened. some is mine. i take it with me out the front door and into the night. i begin to walk around the block of my childhood neighborhood. i see that the mail from the investment company is for an excoworker i don’t like. a note on it from one of my bosses wanting to know if she was paid off and if so, how much will they receive toward her debt to them. they expect it all. i tear it all up and its suddenly gone.
i walk down to the home of my friend from childhood (later boyfriend). its late, but i go in. i don’t expect to find him there. i’m looking for another little boy. he’s there and i’m very happy to see him. i take off my shoes to come into his house, place them by the couch. he’s very young and he’s playing. he’s my best friend here and i tell him about my troubles. i realise i should be getting home and his mother may not like my company. i say goodbye to her and she’s younger than i remember, more free. on the wall is a large portrait mural of my childhood friend when he was young, looking very sweet and smilingly innocent and this makes me smile. there are two children in the picture, one obscured slightly by vivid hanging vines in a japanese sort of garden. at first i mistook the fuzzier image for him, then saw him to its left. the vine hung down over the forehead and center of what would have been the other’s face, but its featureless. he’s a shadow. i feel fascinated by it, but forget it when i turn to look for my shoes.
they’re gone, not where i left them. she helps me look. they’re not anywhere. i believe i’m awake in the dream because i so well remember placing my shoes. i go out without them but i’m to wait for my friend in the dream, the little boy. as i stand on the porch, i adjust my covering. i have no top on and am wearing a red white and blue quilt draped over my head and shoulders. i let it fall thinking no one can see me, then see a neighbor watching tv. the light is yellowish and just right that she should see me adjusting the quilt, naked for a moment. her husband doesn’t. i’m sure now that she’ll make a fuss, so i’m in a hurry to go.
but then here he is and he has my shoes. : ) and he’s so gentle and careful, helping me put them on my feet. he crouches way down, tho they’re just simple brown slip on shoes. i realise that i can’t move that fluidly and suddenly begin to feel how age creeps up and you don’t even realise. for a moment i’m sad. he’s so young and i’m so much older. he skips off ahead. i walk behind, watching him go and thinking.
i pass a yellow house and hear a meeting inside. i’m drawn to it. i enter without invitation and take a seat at a row of tables. the room is small but several rows hold students in robes and headscarves, white robes, white and pale blue scarves on one woman. the men are in black suit-like dress. semi arab. there are fishbowls on the table, holding scraps of paper with asian writing i assume to be korean, but it isn’t. a teacher leads what feels like a late evening university class and i’m sure its on falun gong. there is a moral point under discussion and heated disagreement, but polite discourse. i am tempted to stay and see the resolution, but i try to sneak out the door. i’m handed something before i can get out unnoticed. a scrap of paper? a business card? an invitation back of some sort, i’m sure.
but now i’ve lost him again. i find him in the side street as i round the corner. he’s playing with some dogs. he’s teasing them with shoes on a string. they can bite them. they’re his shoes. he’s wearing mine. i smile, wondering how he stole them without my noticing. we turn and come back to my house. i tell him i’m supposed to sleep. i have this trip i’m supposed to go on. i curl up right there on the steps. i pull him close to me and tell him how i’ll miss him. its only supposed to be a day or two but it feels like it will be more, weeks. i tell him while holding him so i don’t have to see his face, so i don’t cry. i think i kiss him on the neck. when he pulls away, he seems to have moved on in that child way to the next thing. but his eyes are sad. he brings me my shoes very cermonially and places them on my feet.
and then we hear the clamour…there are golden lights and the music is beautiful. coming up the street from the south and sort of from the east. there is a traveling theater. kabuki, i’m somehow told. they are acting out a play i don’t recognise, towering sets filled with gold, beautiful lighting, the music is incredible and comes from everywhere at once. i see a few actors, painted gold, painted tiny red lips, almond eyes. the “stage” seems to be the street and everything moves along at its own dramatic pace and at the same time, physically moves at a walking pace toward the north.
i’m thrilled and astounded and i watch. i wish i could see more. and then there appears at my side a barker of sorts. he’s the manager for the show, yet not. he hastens me to follow and join in the show. i didn’t know i could possibly. he joins, turns and walks and becomes shadow in front of the brilliant lights. i feel very young all of a sudden. i follow him, coming up behind and holding onto his shoulders, letting his body shield me from the troupe and the others wandering thru. he is famous and ppl approach to greet him. i’m not star struck and want none of that.
i try to follow the theater group and stay with the action, but every now and then i seem to take a wrong turn or my head gets lost and i am suddenly back on wet city streets, alone and thinking i need to get home, missing the little boy who’s my friend. its strange when this happens because when i join the group, the play becomes about me and when i lose it i feel disjointed- like that’s wrong in one sense but what was supposed to happen in another. i feel like i’m in the south end of town when i come aware once. out of nowhere, here comes the barker to help guide me back. and my boy. with my shoes again. i believe its here that at first its the boy, then the barker placing my shoes on my feet again. i look down to see i’m wearing white tights. i pull them up to smooth them and am embarrassed to see that the hairs from my legs poke thru the mesh. i feel awkward and hope i haven’t grossed out the little boy, that he won’t carry this image of unpleasant-looking femininity into his adulthood. it seems at that moment that someone next to me, a man, ?the barker, pulls up a set of his own tights and i can see his long leg hairs curled under the fabric. i feel better, but still worse as i’m the “girl” and should have seen to this area of grooming.
then the boy is running thru, playing a game. the barker begins to tell me a story about what is important (tho this follows the tights scene, i’m pretty sure, it isn’t about that or coming from those feelings), then directs me to look at the sky and i see a map there of everything. right in front of me is a star representation of the building i’m standing in front of. i marvel at that for a moment, then accept it as normal and hurry off to catch the trailing end of the production.
i climb thru the rungs of a ladder. i notice name plates of famous contributors to the theater on some of the props. i burst into a building and start down a long corridor. its a fancy place, plush, like a gentleman’s club. all the doors to the rooms off the hall are closed. i am in the wake of the production now, i can feel it all around me. then i pass thru a group of curious ppl. the women all have rumbling stomachs and one portly man is talking to his companion, telling her nonsense words. then i realise, he says a word and her belly makes that sound. he says “sauerkraut” and her belly awkwardly rumbles an echo that sounds exactly like the word. their group laughs. i pass them by, in a terrible rush.
the barker has been giving me more than directions. he’s been giving me hints about something larger happening here that i didn’t see. he makes me see how important some things are that i’ve not realised. he’s made me see some are far more important than i’d ever known. along the way i am given articles to carry, small things. a candle, a glass receptacle, other items…they don’t make sense until i have most of them cradled in my arms, then i realise what i’m supposed to do and i get a message from the barker that i’m right. some of what i’m told i see myself being told from a distance, like i’m not allowed to know in a waking way what was said.
i go immediately in search of the boy. as soon as i do, i pop out of the theatrical and into the real world. its still dark and wet and i run along the streets toward home, around my block and back to his home. when i get there, i go right into his room. its a funny, messy, place. i find him there, purposefully ignoring me, pretending to play some very active game with himself. i ignore him ignoring me and sit down on my knees, sweeping away a clear circle in the clutter, moving piles away. i have to start the ceremony right away, so i begin with a purification. as i proceed, i move away things that don’t belong until i’ve formed a small altar area. i add some of his belongings. his gloves and a strange fluffy purple piece of cloth. between steps, i bow very low and slowly in a way i have never used in ceremony before. he becomes rapt and stops what he’s doing, sits down across from me. i have flashes of insight about the gentle and particular way he has been taking care of me and feel a deep love bonds us. i want is much to hug and hold him that i can’t remember if i do or if its only so vividly in my mind. i continue with the ceremony, but i’m awakened before i can finish. it feels Very important that i do finish, so i lie in bed and keep as close to sleep as i can while i walk myself thru the remaining steps. the only important thing i was told that i recall that makes any sense to say is the friendship i had with the little boy being above all else, family connections, worry, everyday obligations.
the ceremony was like what i do in the way the articles were circled around in front of me- the candle (white), matches appeared when they were needed. there was incense for purification. it differed in the introduction of the small glass item which was used in one moment as a candleholder and in another as a holder for tea. there was a notable absence of water, which i always have and which troubled me. but when i was compelled to put the glass to my lips, the tea was wet as needed. i sprinkled fine brown weeds into the glass. i use tobacco similar to this but in the dream these were tea leaves.