Genia’s Journal of Whacked-Out Dreams: Around the World and Back in Three Nights


I go to get a massage from Jud, then my brother gets one.  After my brother’s massage, I can’t find him.  Then I find him, sleeping on Lori and Jud’s couch.  He’s kind of a grown-up Rocky.  He doesn’t want to get up.  I’m in the bathroom, which they also use as their living room.  The kids are in there.  Ry, little now, comes in to go potty.  There are oversized earwigs in there, and Ry almost steps on one.  We get a drink of water.  When it’s time to leave, Lori is laughing and I notice how radiantly beautiful she is.


I’m back in Austin, visiting. It seems like a foreign place now.  I head off into the Hill Country, which is [still] Mexico.  I want to go ride a donkey.  There’s a storm coming in across the river, which is to the South, when it should be to the North of me.  The banks are lush and green, and dotted with unapproachable concrete buildings.

I make my way through briars and prickly pear cactus in bloom.  I slip under a barbed wire fence and see a small house, the kind of little Mexican home that has been all but eradicated in my old neighborhood, bulldozed and replaced by white people’s McMansions.  A brown-skinned, mustached man comes out to greet me.  We go through some paperwork in Spanglish, and he has his son go out to the field to fetch a donkey the right size for me.

I walk slowly down a dusty dirt path framed by buffalo grass and wildflowers, live oaks just beyond their plot of land, everything soaked in that golden Texas light.  There are fuzzy little donkeys (or are they goats?) milling around my feet, no more than two feet tall.  I talk to them sweetly.  Then across the small field come the big donkeys, strange-looking beasts with short, shiny coats, gangly limbs and hammer heads.  The son appears, leading my donkey.  I mount and go riding through the warm-light landscape, carrying my belongings in a brown leather satchel around my shoulders.


In a small New England town, I’m visiting something like a cross between a carnival, an indoor flea market and a horse race.  The horses are motorized and small.  This place is whitewashed with colonial blue accents, with high, florescent lighting, and is geared toward tourists, the epitome of quaint.

In the little bar area, Mom, Ru, Rocky, Aunt Pat, my sister Kim, and several others, including Carol (because apparently, Carol, you’re in all my dreams now), are ordering food.  Everyone’s getting pancakes and waffles with maple syrup, which sounds delicious.  I’m tempted, but I’m struggling with my addictions and I know I need to stay away from sugar, so I ask Ru to order something for me, and I walk away.


I’m getting ready to go to Chicago.  A bus driver heaves my bag into the back and takes off – but I’m not supposed to be taking a bus!  I jump into my car and quickly follow.  With no time to look at a map, I have to speed through heavy traffic to try to catch up with the bus.  The highways are huge, multi-lane, mid-air deals, with many more highways forking off in different directions.  Eventually, weaving my way through the cars, I lose sight of the bus and have to start making guesses as to which forks to take.  Then I see a sign for Chicago, and I am quietly triumphant, knowing some of my success was due to staying calm, and some was sheer luck.

Then I’m in the bus, in the back, driving.  There’s a big white man in the front, also driving.  Even in a dream, I think, this is strange.  The guy turns his head and good-naturedly asks me how I’m liking the cool weather.  I tell him actually, I just moved from Texas, to … where?  Right, Kentucky.  I takes me a minute to remember the name for my new state.  I like the cool, I tell him.  It feels good.  At that moment, I feel cold air on my arms, and it does, in fact, feel delicious.


I’m in Korea.  In my dream, there’s only one, like when I was little, and Dad and Uncle Steve would talk about their time “in Korea”.  I teach young adult classes.  There is major government and military corruption in Korea, and an uprising has been simmering for some time.  A young man in my class, Shin, maybe 19 or 20, is part of the left-wing Korean activist organization.  He has had a hard life and lives on the streets with his friends, sort of an activist gang.  He’s getting himself an education at the same time that he struggles to survive, day by day.  I admire his courage and creativity, his drive, and his spirit of freedom.  We have become close.

One day, I walk out of the building where I teach to find Shin in a rage over a recent “disappearing” of someone at the hands of the government.  He is straddling the branch of a tree, tagging it in black marker, calling the government out.  I beg him to stop, to get down, knowing it’s only a matter of time before the officials disappear him, too.  I see a policeman across the street, noticing us, coming toward us.  I’m stricken with fear for my young friend, and at the same time wish I were able to speak out as well.

Then I hear that a girl has been murdered at the local clinic.  I run to the intersection where the clinic is, an old stone building at the top of a wide set of stone steps.  I run up the steps to find government coroners carrying out a body in a black body bag.  There is blood everywhere, a large pool of it inside, a crimson trail from where they dragged the body to the door, blood drenching the gray stone as they carry the body out.  The girl was the daughter of a working-class woman who worked at the clinic.  She was five years old.

The government is trying to cover up the murder.  The people have had enough, and there is an uprising.  There is an expose and worldwide media coverage, the U.N. intervenes and the leadership is thrown out.  Overjoyed, I run to find Shin, up on a grassy embankment with his friends, celebrating.  He saunters down the hillside, relaxed, confident, and I see a side of him I’ve never seen before, a side that wasn’t available when his country was in chains.  His black hair is tousled and wild, his jeans muddy at the knees, his feet bare.  He picks me up in an exuberant hug, then sets me down, but doesn’t pull away, looking me in the face with a slow, devilish grin.  My god, Shin is HOT.  Who cares if he’s 15 years younger?  We spend the rest of the dream having incredibly hot, creative sex.


I am in Northampton, Massachusetts, trying to finish my Div III, my alma mater’s version of a senior thesis.  This is a recurring anxiety dream theme.  This time, my Div III is an autobiography in visual art form, large-scale illustrations from Aesop’s Fables, different animals representing different stages of my life, along with portraits drawn from photos of various family members.  I’m showing Rocky the drawings, mounted on a wall, and teaching her about our family tree.

In the next scene, the art show is being converted into an interdisciplinary performance piece, live theater and dance with the art as backdrop.  Edie, a woman who directed musicals in my hometown when I was growing up, is overall artistic director, and Abe, an Austin writer, is the stage director.  The show is getting ready to begin.  The space is a converted warehouse; seating is on the floor, on rugs and cushions.  The lighting is wonderful and inspiring, flashes of hot color over dark undertones.  There’s a group of people dancing just behind the lightboard operator’s setup, in the middle of the room; the group includes people from the dance improvisation group I led in college, and also from Body Choir in Austin.  I see Roshni among them, dancing with abandon.  I love the energy here, and I’m looking forward to the performance, but I still feel out of sorts, vaguely lost, or as if I’m leaving something important undone.


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