Dream of: 18 September 1996 "Da Da"

I was sitting in a room where a group of people were practicing some kind of burlesque cabaret act. I had been enlisted to help for one night, and for my part, I had been persuaded to dress up like a woman. Wearing a light-red wig and a dress, I was now surprised at how pretty and sexy I looked. The skin on my face seemed especially soft and smooth, I looked young and alluring, and I was quite pleased with the results. However, I knew my transformation was only for the purpose of the show, and I didn't want anyone to get the wrong idea about my sexuality. Thus I was rather concerned when I heard someone call out, "Steve is coming out!"

I was sitting right next to a large open window which looked right out on a downtown street. Looking outside, into the street, in the direction from which I had heard the voice, I saw what appeared to be a parade of people marching by in colorful costumes. Finally I saw the person who had called out: a man with whom I was acquainted. He was marching in the parade with a group of people. The unusual thing was that he was also dressed like a woman. He had a big knowing smile on his face, as if by seeing me dressed up like a woman he had been able to deduce that I was revealing my true sexual nature. Although I knew he was wrong in his conclusion, and I didn't want my reputation to be tainted by this incorrect appraisal, I didn't let it bother me. Instead I simply adjusted my wig to make sure it was on right, smiled back at the fellow in the street, and turned my attention back to the people in the room.

As they practiced, one fellow pulled out a piece of white poster-board and in large blue letters wrote, "Da Da."

I knew "Da Da" had been some kind of art movement, but I didn't know the exact nature of the movement. However, I felt as if the kind of show which was being presented here somehow reflected the "Da Da" movement. My thoughts went further as I contemplated an improvement on the show. Since this was a small troupe acting in a rather intimate setting, I thought it might be a good idea to make some kind of actual contact with the audience. To accomplish this, I thought that instead of writing "Da Da" on one large big piece of poster-board, it might be better to write "Da Da" on many small pieces of poster-board and hand out the small pieces to the members of the audience. Just the simple act of receiving something from the actors would bring the audience members more into the action.

As the rehearsal continued, one short fellow, almost a midget in size, who had a large hairless head, stood in front of me. He did a pantomime in which in acted as if he were taking some cocaine from a tray on the tip of his fingers. He raised his fingers to his nose as if he were snorting the cocaine, and then, holding one hand straight and vertical in front of his face, he began wiggling the hand like a fish or snake, pantomiming how the drug was going up into his brain. His little act was extremely potent and his message seemed quite clear.

In a way, it was a sort of warning. I now saw the whole troupe as a group of outcasts who had little cachet in society. Just as the man in front of me was practically a midget and didn't fit into society, so it went with the whole group. The pantomime of the drug was given as a warning to show me how misunderstood this troupe could be, and how severe could be the result of society's misunderstanding. Society clearly didn't understand why some people used drugs, and through ignorance, society inflicted punishment on the users of drugs. I saw the comparison which the midget was trying to make: just as taking drugs could be dangerous because of society's punishments, being a part of this scene could likewise be dangerous, subject to society's opprobrium. His message gave me pause, for I was actually thinking that I might like, instead of simply working with the group for one night, to be a permanent part of their act. I now realized, however, that to do so would be very risky indeed.

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