A Very Bad Dream
I dreamed I was a human. I met one of Rufus’ girlfriends and she said the problem that kept me
from being more human still was—“you drink too much water. If I drank so much water I’d pee
all the time.”
sort of public area with tables and people studying and she pointed to a sign on the wall that said,
I was a young man in the dream, a lot like Murray Lin the keyboardist in the band, and I was
outraged. Fuck that, I’m thirsty! I yelled. From under one of the tables I fished a container that
was rolling around. I went to the water fountain, sitting in plain sight in the middle of the room,
and I drank. I just stood there next to the bubbling water, drinking and drinking.
I filled the can again and carried it with me out of that place. As I drank from it I tilted my body
of meat backward so far I staggered. Other people passing by looked at me and muttered, what a
lush… they thought I was drunk! But no; I was only very, very thirsty.
I drank until the can was squeezed flat in my hand and crumbled into shards of aluminum. I
didn’t have to pee; I was still wanting more to drink. But I was far away from the fountain and
had no container anymore, and because my body was meat the hot sun and dry wind were pulling
wetness out of all the little holes in me and I thought I might dry out into a jerky!
All the time I was looking everywhere for Rufus. But it was my dream, not his.
longnecks. If this is what it’s like to have your own dreams, I can do without it! I announced
while flapping my sparkle limbs in agitation.
“Keep your eyes in, Heidi,” said Rufus, after looking around to see whether anyone else was
there to hear us. “What is it?”
Steen put out the last little bit of his handmade cigarette and blinked at me in a knowing manner.
“You spoke of dreams. Interesting,” he remarked and belched quietly the way that funny tobacco
makes him do.
So I decided to tell him about it as well. Steen is hardly ever surprised by oddness. Rufus was
just looking amazed that I had one without him. It was one of the first. It has happened millions
of times since, but usually I don’t dream I’m meat!
I was dreaming I was human and thirsty, for one thing. But it was against the rules of that place
to drink, even though there was a fountain right in the middle! And then the thing I was drinking
from crumbled and I was still thirsty and the wind and sun were so hot and dry!
“Aha! It’s all symbolic, you know, my dear. You do not thirst for water like we do, but you do
thirst for something just as important for your continued life. It is a thing that you are not
supposed to need and yet you do. Making you, or anyway the human you, get along without
water is unnatural; still there are places where doing what comes naturally is prohibited. All you
need to do is figure out what that thing is.” Steen looked very pleased with himself, which of
course annoyed Rufus, but he was letting him get away with the lecturing for my sake.
Being so much closer to me mentally, he was picking up on the visuals of the dream.
“Murray Lin? Why him?”
I rolled my sparkly eyes up so high I couldn’t see them do anything anymore because the seeing
part was inside my head. I mean, how should I know why Murray? Did I wish I was in the band?
Is it because his instrument is the most like a PC? Why wasn’t I a female as a human? Who
the band most. And I sort of recognized the place you said was not allowing beverages. It’s a
university study hall. They don’t allow anything in them, hardly. Babe, you were in school. Like
my memories of school.”
“So, your shakti has memory access? Hmmm.” Steen steepled his fingers together near his nose
and beetled his straight heavy brows at us. He was teasing, so we both ignored him.
The girl said, If I drank as much as you I’d pee all the time. I can’t pee at all!
“And how does this make you feel, hmmm?”
“Stuff it, Steen.”
“Gladly,” he said, and waggled his brows some more. As he leaned back and took another pull
on his beer, I realized he had a point. I’m stuffed. I’m not porous. Their meat bodies are open to
the elements in ways mine is not. The water in their meat makes this possible. I think my
sparkles went yellowish from how logical I was becoming.
say, who is any one to say, how much a body should drink? It is supposed to be a body’s right to
eat and drink and exist, and some part of my dream life, a stringy female part, is telling me I
want to live too much?
Okay, I’m not meat, but I am a woman. I have the shape of one and I am getting better at feeling
the feelings of that shape. And I am alive. I have the right to have the life I have. Now all I had to
do was figure out what peeing had to do with it.
I sank onto Rufus’ lap. They knew I was there, though my frequency was probably inaudible as
well as invisible to anyone who might come in. Rufus smiled and gently stroked me. Anyone
looking would not have made anything of it; it was a small, random looking motion as if he were
scratching. But I needed it. It was my water.