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Monday, November 20, 2000

Last Night, I Had a Dream

I was wandering on a campus of some sort, something between educational and institutional, a private institution... I definitely did not belong, relying on the sheer numbers to blend in. I walked into a lecture hall of sorts that was being used as a performance stage. There was a raised platform, maybe twenty feet up, L shaped with the base of the L against the back wall and the top of the L jutting out like a plank high over the main stage. The main figure was a man who I would relate to a buff version of the founder of the Church of Satan, standing on the base of the L, talking through a wireless lapel mic in powerful, charismatic tones, marginally suggestively evil... There were lesser performers standing half way out on the plank, also buff men in skimpy attire suggestive of strong-man acrobats. The main figure said the word "TRUTH" in his patter with a resounding emphasis, and on that cue one of the men leapt from the platform toward him, over the gap in the elbow of the L. The Main Man reached out to catch him with one arm, but instead of swinging him up onto the stage, he swung him all the way around in an impressive display of dynamic counterbalance and returned him to the air headed nearly out into the audience. The audience gasped. As he passed the outer tip of the plank, the flying man's leg hooked into a structural support there as if he'd been thrown like a dart by the Main Man, coming to a rest dangling there by the hook of his knee. The audience was shocked and silent. A second set of performers on the ground laughed boisterously as a cue to the audience that this was all part of the act and it was funny. The audience tension broke and laughter ensued. I realized that if the man had missed his catch, he would have followed a trajectory not quite into the audience but rather right into the middle of the ground crew, who were all sitting on the edges of a large blue crash mat.

The Main Man hit the audience with another key word, but I don't recall what it was, perhaps "TRUST"? And a second man leapt from the plank. This one landed on his feet, standing face-to-face with the Main Man, and the two again carried the momentum around in a full circle like a dance move with their arms straight out, clasped above the elbows. For a moment in the swing my eyes were distracted by two men standing behind them, who they narrowly missed colliding with in their spinning... and as the first man came 'round, the Main Man released him in the opposite direction, away from the plank this time and out toward the other half of the audience. Again the audience gasped. I looked to the ground and saw nothing but concrete, wondering what trick of rolling or acrobatics the man could possibly use to save himself serious harm.

He hit the ground half bent at the waist, head and knees first, and seemed to deform and stick like a ball of clay thrown at a wall. A moment's more processing and my brain gave up its assumptions and I saw that it was a very good wax mannequin that had taken the place of the real man half way through the embraced spin on stage. Murmurs from the audience...

Alas, that's all I remember.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com