I’m cast in a play, but don’t know my lines for the second half of the script. It’s a community production and rather modest in set design and costuming. There isn’t a stage, and the performance shares the same floor with the audience, a simple curtain delineating the backstage.
It’s opening night, and the play has already begun. I’m meant to go on stage in a few scenes. I am trying to get a hold of the script so I can cram my lines for the second half. I know this is futile, but I persist. I rummage through my bags and ask my castmates to look at their copies. However, I don’t want to raise any alarms, so am doing my best to seem nonchalant. Inside, though, my heart is pounding. My mouth tastes like metal. I have to speak in a whisper so that I don’t interrupt the play.
When I do get a copy of the script, my fears grow exponentially. I’m cast in a sci-fi/horror piece, and my character undergoes some fantastical transformation in the second act. I become a transsexual were-beast with a new name. In fact, all the characters transform and take on new identities. From skimming, I have no way of telling which character I am portraying and which lines to learn. To make matters worse, there are cartoon panels throughout the script. I’m not sure how we are meant to portray these moments on stage. I don’t know what to do.
As I’m trying to cope with all of this, another castmate that is backtage keeps speaking in a loud voice, disrupting the play. I keep trying to get her to quiet down, but she’s oblivious. It’s almost time for my cue.
Back from San Francisco–wanted to post a link to a wonderfully generous and thoughtful review May-lee Chai wrote of the event at Small Press Traffic.
Also, I’ve been having some incredibly vivid dreams. I thought I’d write the most recent (what I can remember of it, at any rate) down. It’s definitely an anxiety dream.
I’m driving in a borrowed/stolen mini-van. It’s incredibly rainy, the sky is a dull gray, everything is gray and brown. The road I am driving on is as steep as a ski-slope. Cars zoom past and towards me from the other lanes. I am trying very hard to maintain control of the vehicle. There’s a slight taste of sharp panic in the back of my throat, in my fingertips. My fingertips can almost taste; they have a particular acuity, an electricity about them.
The steering wheel is frustratingly small. In fact, it is something like a game-controller, a small track-wheel on a flat pad affixed to the dashboard. It takes all my focus/energy to make sure I am turning with the steep curves of the road. The trackpad is lazy. It refuses to turn with the necessary fluency I require. I drive over a small ramp separating my lane from the oncoming traffic.
The road falls away beneath me. It’s no longer a road, anyway, but a stream of rain and mud. I feel the car leap into the air. Everything freezes in time. I am suspended like this–eternally falling, dashing, just losing ground–until I wake up.
In another recent dream, I attempted to strangle something called a “blue tongued skink.” The one in my dream looked nothing like the creature in actuality. My dream skink (!) was half alligator, half very smooth lizard. As smooth as a newt. And it was literally in half–the right side was scaly alligator, the left side was smooth newt. And it was about 4 feet long. And had a neon green/blue belly.
What monsters have you tried to murder in your dreams?