For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. -Audrey Hepburn
BURST when they land on your worries. More fall like manna, popping on your worried face, drenching it with fresh eyes, fresh feelings, fresh thoughts. The ruby-red metallic ones clear the way for a bombardment of oranges that leave you smiling, yellows that free you from grief, greens that bring hope of renewal and blues that bring the peace of understanding that everything is good, for good, ultimately good. Refreshed, you look up to see so many bubbles, a rainbow inside a rainbow continuing on higher to the stratosphere, becoming larger and larger, then disappearing into space. The nearest, the smallest are raining down on the protest crowd. They pop and effervesce over the heads of the throngs, washing away their tears and bringing everyone the same love and relief that you share. As you look over the masked crowd from your privileged standpoint you see a sea of expectant and smiling eyes. You look down at the microphone in front of you and raise your voice to speak, but your words of love and respect come out as bubbles and float into the colorful and already crowded sky. --SHAY
No bubble is so iridescent or floats longer than that blown by a successful teacher. – William Osler
THE LIGHTS GO OUT
EXCEPT FOR ONE glowing flame illuminating a small cupcake. A chorus peels out of the darkness a familiar song: “Makes me think of the good old days – Happy Birthday to You. You sure grew out of your baby ways – Happy Birthday to You” [–Jon McCutcheon]. You are urged to make a wish by these ethereally challenged angels. You have not come prepared, you need to think for a minute. The tension builds as the wax drips onto the cupcake. You blow out the candle and before the lights come back up and the spell is broken you take a running leap, twisting in midair recreating a high jump move of your youth – the Fosbury Flop. As the lights go on you land on your back on the awaiting magic carpet and as you pass through the wall (the wall?) you see everyone looking at the empty spot you just occupied. Just as suddenly you are in a laundry, where a frantic fez-wearing worker is arguing with his bald, bluish-tinged boss about what to do. They both look over at you as you climb down off a pile of oriental rugs. You begin to jabber about what brought you there, when the superior holds his finger to your lips silencing you. “This happens once, no, twice a month during birthday season. Where did you ask to go?” Not having considered a real place, you look back and forth and say sheepishly, “Hawaii?” “It is done.” “And THAT is why I did not make it to work last week,” you explain to your boss while taking off one of your shoes and shaking sand into the wastebasket. --SHAY
There's nothing crueler than awaking midway thru a dream –Shay
WHAT A NIGHTMARE, unless you're opening your movie, play or gallery. Or invention. Ha. Then you're much more likely to get a single reporter, bored and taking his own pictures and hoping out loud that it's a slow newsday. I join with him in that sentiment. The invention? Hard to put into a newspaper – a 3D hologram that looks as good as an HD TV but isn't flat, can be walked around. There is still a drop out in the color except in very dark, almost pitch black environments. That's why I work nights and have this eccentric pasty vibe. The equipment for a presentation is still prohibitively large. Especially since prices for 2D HD technologies have dropped so fast. But still I've persisted. Inventors can have myopia, you know. Ran up a ton of debt and interfered with more than a few boys love interests. But it's worth it in the end you tell yourself. First however you need to fix the bugs. Like the moire patterns – the tightly woven pattern that forms its own interference patterns when projected on certain technologies. I take solace in knowing the trials and tribulations that Farnsworth went through to invent and keep his invention rights. I, like him, pray to the gods of providence and paparazzi. – SHAY
I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are. --NORA EPHRON
A MAGICIAN'S MAGICIAN
YOU SELL tricks to the best. Your grandfather made contraptions to order for Houdini. Your grandmother was not your grandfather's wife. She had had your father out of wedlock and, feeling guilty, your grandfather took him under his wing and taught him the business just as your father then taught you. Like those that came before you, you feel it hard to work on only one project at a time. In the morning you work on the Falcon's project. The graphene lubrication of 40+ meters of wire through 12 pulleys is a new record for you. You test the weight and decide to rethink the configuration. It will require another coat of lubrication, but, well, perfection does lurk. Next, the Lacey project is an elaborate playing card box and the mechanism is microscopically intricate. The materials are heat sensitive and can be switched on and off, and even melted away at relatively low temperatures. You turn the portable air conditioner down to compensate for your warmer temperature while you work on the project behind at least four levels of convex and concave lenses. Finally is the Corduroy project that is still in the design phase. The computer program has glitches, so the length, width and height of cut metal parts has to be inspected with calipers. The prototype metallic weasels needed to origami fold in and out of 3D shapes depending on where it appears in the act. Of course it had a mind of its own, turning 3D at the wrong time and even turning inside out at one point. But still Corduroy decided to underwrite it, so now the pressure is on to tame the weasel. -- SHAY
Weird how first we have to pretend to be asleep in order to fall asleep.--Anonymous
SWIMMINGLY gracefully not a single worry or glitch. The bubbles form and as quickly as my concerns – dissolve. Peace under the waves. Peace with sisters all. The squad of eight they used to call us. Then numbers 1, 3 and 6 got married. Tonight I'll groom my fantail if it still exists. You'd think I'd be more concerned. Just another day in paradise. Bad weather? Swim deeper. Too dark and scary? Hire more glowing jellys. I make my excuses. Any sign of anxiety now would give rise to an inquiry. I swim quickly to my hiding spot. No need to zig zag now. I gather up the gold metal, what did Scuttle say it was? A candyschick? Anyway, it fit my hands and was easy to carry. Then to the makeshift alter. The last dose. Ursula had promised it would do the trick. But was it a trick? Have you ever wanted something so bad you could just burst? Time to leave this bubble factory behind. If it worked like Ursula said it would, I'd barely make it to the crashing wave peninsula before, well, just before. And so I did. About a hundred lengths out I used my arms to swim for my legs had become useless. Until firm sand was under them, and I stood. After being slapped the last time by the cold cold sea, I took my first steps in this new world and couldn't stop shivering with excitement. --SHAY
A man that destroys a monstrosity like this (pointing to the cheap cherub statue) has done more for art than a man that creates a masterpiece. – Preston Sturgess
THERE IT IS. You can stop worrying now that the bump in the night has happened. Actual bumps imply gravity, and gravity isn't particularly relevant where you are going. The Judges have overturned the law of gravity. Who? The Sandman Judges. In fact, sandmen, sandwomen, sand creatures and things and non-things from the imaginations of toddlers to tweens. If it can be sculpted or drawn out with a sand-extruding pen [patent pending], it can be dreamt until the wake tide rolls in to level it back to whence it came. Through sheer will the creatures come alive. Now they inhabit your sweet dreams where creatures do good deeds like spreading extra cheese on your nachos and holding back the sea until one can carve another friend for one's set of bushy-tailed squirrels that are huddled on a beached log, rocking it gently in their insatiable curiosity. The bane of every sandman, woman or creature is drying out. You must spray them frequently but not too liberally. But every creator must sleep within their dream sometime and that is when the the unforgivable happens, and it happens to even the professionals, those that make a living building intricate sand castles between the tides and charging tourists to pose by them. Even money cannot keep the sandman from sprinkling sleep sleep, oh, wondrous sleep. Yes even the professionals 'awake' to find a small pile of sand where a chin used to be or a line of sand where an arm was outstretched, pointing to the island chain where the treasure is buried. It is then that the Sandman Oceanside Society comes to the rescue – first responders always on duty willing to risk their own existence to save a fellow creative creature of the imagination, so the creators can get that deep restorative sleep knowing they and their creations are safe and unblemished. --SHAY
IT'S hard to prepare for some parts. Animation can have you voicing the part of a flying horse with the hiccups or a bug whose motivation is questionable. How do you prepare to be a weasel that has now gone straight and is all about protecting the young protagonist instead of fleecing her? The zoo was no help, every weasel just lay there sleeping in the sunshine. Children's literature provided little help in that weasels were always from the Bowery and could be counted on to be unflinchingly selfish. All you have left is to dream the part, lines are memorized and scenes imagined. You turn on the mood lighting, timer set for what you expect the different scenes to need (with a buffer for falling asleep and going through the stages before REM sleep). Then the magic happens and you tell yourself the story with accents, mannerisms and reactions to other characters and happenstance. Now all you have to do is remember it all and recreate the dream overlaid with the 'reality' of the other actors in the voice over booth. And hope that Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson doesn't crack you up at inappropriate times like he is apt to do. --SHAY
“I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary.” ― Margaret Atwood
YOUR HOME becomes the studio you've camped out next to. Dozens of fellow souls sleep outside, while all their requirements of food, showering etc are taken care of inside, as well as being paid a pittance, to be extras in remakes of the most iconic movies ever. For a week or two and sometimes just for a day (yes, just like Queen For a Day!) you are dolled up as a 1940's person just walking in the background down the street. For a week you may be a zombie, though that often meant night work and sleeping on the street in daylight was fraught with extra problems. You found work as a courtroom crowd member, trying to muster excitement to gasp when the verdict comes down, for the twelfth time. The green screen blockbusters paid the most, but you had to run holding a doll and dive into a pile of cardboard boxes after letting out a gut wrenching scream. You make sure you fill your pockets with extra food from the cafeteria and share it with the old woman that can't make the grade anymore. You laugh as you eat and wonder how either of you will ever see the movies you've 'starred' in. --SHAY
Sleep 'til you're hungry, eat 'til you're sleepy. - Author Unknown
I WASN'T EXPECTING
A GRAMMY for best shower singer, but then again, I wasn't expecting a large pond with water fairies alight in it spelling out my name like a marquee. And I certainly wasn't expecting the 100 person back up chorus for my rendition of “I've Got Sunshine on a Cloudy Day.” Nor could I have imagined the colors on the newly discovered Pearrot (half parrot, half Peacock) that was named after me. Then again, no one could have been shocked more when I opened my dressing room only to be pushed back by the number of roses that had been crammed in by over zealous flower delivery boys. I do believe there were a few that had inadvertently been trapped inside and as they came out they showered me with kisses. Still uncertain why they were shirtless and ripped. And mother never warned me that on opening night I would be whisked away to a shining chalet on an alpine mountainside to be wined and dined by a handsome millionaire. Yes, the loofah scrubbing did feel that good. --SHAY
There is nowhere in the world where sleep is so deep as in the libraries of the House of Commons. - Henry Channo
THEY FLOATED gently upward, the sunshine making them gleam without compare. Fantastical purples that when looked at closely were a multitude of colors, goldens, silvers, blues, reds and greens. Within each a face was forming. Distinct but similar in a way only you could tell, although all the bubbles had their admirers, yours were soon recognizable as the celebs you have valued over your life. The boy band members, sitcom extras that acted beyond their roles, the athlete swimming hero that made you want to take up swimming although you'd never look as good in that one-piece, the frog-faced politician on the channel you never watch except for Sunday mornings. The bubbles continue with you recognizing each and each bringing a bit of warmth to your soul. Then you notice that as they rise they get larger the largest hardest to see as the sun reflects onto them so strongly. Only beyond those do you see a pop. Instead of a drop of water falling, the burst releases a slight cloud that quickly dissipates. The etherealness of their fame is gone, it doesn't mean they've died, they've just been replaced by another brighter, shinier object. Some others appear at the ground level, but fewer between now. --SHAY
HACKING VR FROGGY
OPEN SOURCE is where anyone can change the code to add on an extension that alters the app a bit but they must share that with the virtual reality community. VR Froggy is an app that makes objects leap up suddenly then slow to a crawl at their apex, then fall and settle again. It has gone open source to confer on the world “ownership of levitation.” Now you find that it has slipped into the IoT (Internet of Things) or to be more precise the Internet of Place. At certain locations store fronts may expand sideways taking up much more of the real estate than they actually exist in. In some places people may float if they're telling a lie (dubbed the Pinocchio Effect); in others simply dance on the nightclub ceiling. Even plants may appear to grow lushly as if transformed from a temperate to a tropical climate. Years from now those won't seem fantastical at all. Tonight you image some of the nearer possibilities: party goers turned to merpeople as their rooms fill with water; tesla coil arcs of electricity are sent across ballrooms if one person stares just a little too long (of interest conveys a bright orange arc – an icy stare brings a neon blue one); in certain restaurant chains portion sizes grow or shrink depending on the amount of food one has already eaten. --SHAY
“If you’re going to do something tonight that you’ll be sorry for tomorrow morning, sleep late.” – Henny Youngman
VIRTUAL REALITY FROGGY
THE app that you exude is that things around you, especially things that you pass – hop. They leap up suddenly then slow to a crawl at their apex, then fall and settle again. Depending on the history of the viewer, different things hop at different heights and may tumble back and crash, or spin or even pop like popcorn. You rent it out to your army of fans, but you are the original VR Froggy. Your greatest hits: the barbells at the gym; the designer high heels and silk flying at the Grand Palais in Paris; The WWF crowd where cokes, hot dogs and purses emptied into the air (including fur-lined handcuffs); the presidential press conference that got VR Froggy 30 days in jail; and the floats (and passengers) at the Rose Bowl Parade.
BORED in your hometown of Kakkalos, Greece near the Muses Plateau, Your yearnings reach the ever-listening ears of the Gods. You become tempted by the gods of motion pictures, you leave your mythical world in the clouds to bask in the adoration of the worldly throngs that still flock to red carpet picture openings and award shows. You are a jet-setter, bouncing around New York, Marseille, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Barcelona. In Sao Paulo you find yourself in an artists' studio where your likeness will be immortalized for the ages. But the artist turns out to be evil. He locks starlets into marble, as he has done for tens, hundreds and thousands of years. Looking around the studio you recognize the bust of a friend you had met in London in 1837. You are able to slip away just before being entombed. You become a fly on the wall and soon find the secret spell used to lock away the poor frozen souls. Working backward, the spell to unfreeze the cold smooth statues is recreated making it your task to travel the world unlocking Venus, David, The Kiss (Larry and Zoey), Hermes, Liberty and Eros.
“I need more of that 'horizontal money' – money that makes money while you sleep.” -- Cary Grant
MEET THE CHEF
DIVERTED from the normal white house tour in 2016, the guard says someone wants to meet you. In just a moment you meet the Vice President and the Secretary of State and they are fawning over you! The VP mentions she would love to taste your Chevre and Walnut Tartlets, do you have the time a little demo? You hem and haw that you don't have the ingredients or a kitchen, but of course their response is to ask you to write down the recipe and within minutes they lead you into the kitchen as assistants present their wares. As you line up ingredients and start simmering the figs, in walks the President himself. Before you can finish greeting him, he starts rolling up his sleeves and asks what he can do. Certainly he has better things to do? Yes, but none nearly as fun. Soon the pastry is baking and the President, THE PRESIDENT, is creaming the chevre. Once the cheese is spread, halved figs are arranged and scattered with walnuts and they are baked for 5 minutes. So many staffers suddenly appeared out of nowhere that the tartlets are too soon gone and you didn't even get one. But who cares?
“The bed is a bundle of paradoxes: we go to it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; we make up our minds every night to leave it early, but we make up our bodies every morning to keep it late.” – Charles Caleb Colton
WHEN I feel down because my boyfriend didn't call or the Amazon ordered curtains didn't quite match the couch, I shop for a new handbag. What better antidote to a lousy day than designs that send your mood into a short whirly woo? I once found a bag that looked frosted like a birthday cake. Then there was the kissing flamingos handle on a feathery pink polka dotted shoulder bag. But you will design the best bags for women that want it all – relief from their drudge job and squeals of delight from their besties. A satchel that doesn't look like what it is (a miniaturized filing cabinet), instead it will be a yacht with sailors that are ready to cast off – the boat as well as their shirts. A sling bag that doesn't let everything roll to the bottom making it impossible to retrieve anything smaller than a hairbrush. A gold lame quilted bag with rosettes and a thin strap. A clutch bag that shimmers with different metallic colors depending on which way it is viewed. At the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards, a wristlet to keep your acceptance speech in...
“Dreams come true. Without that possibility nature would not incite us to have them.” - John Updike
TRYING ON COSTUMES
THE invitation read simply: Your Presence is Required at the Masquerade Ball. Ball. What do you wear to a ball? And which of my misguided friends sent it? Would I show up to an empty room. Ballroom? It was you, Chondra, wasn't it? Had to be. What genre? Mythical creature? Mermaid? Princess Jasmine? Merida the Warrior? Historical? Joan of... no. Zombie Josephina with a guillotine half way thru my neck? No, that was Marie-Antoinette. Popping out of a cake as though it were a bustle? Should I grab Jason and go as a couple thingy, such as Mr. and Mrs. Blackbeard? No, he doesn't look good in a beard. Lady Marian and Friar Tuck? Wonder Woman and Spidy? Just masks? No. Naked and afraid? Yes, very afraid. Layers. Zombie Marie-Antoinette it is. White streak like Bride of Frankenstein. I'll look marvelous in the emerald green satin and gold trimmed lace that Elsa would die of frostbite for.
“A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.” – Charlotte Bronte
A NIGHT OUT
I don’t recall the exact conversation, and neither can Jeff, who wasn't drinking; but I do remember the cascades of laughter and sharing good fellowship with sympathetic souls in a dingy restaurant on a rainy New York night. Jeff, Jamie, Woody, Winslow, Patty and myself all had just finished the final performance of “My Sister's Barcode” a play no one has heard of since. We all loved it cause we all got to play evil parts; I don't think there was any socially redeeming value. Probably why it only lasted three weeks. We therefore should have been depressed. Not the kind of thing one puts on one's CV. But instead we joked and told each other stories of other times we had it worse – worked for no pay and then the production bombed. Woody's was the worst. He was just starting out in a small theatre troupe playing Huntsville, TX, you know, entertaining the prisoners. It's a gig. Anyway, half-way through the show he reaches inside one of the costume boxes and there's a guy who threatens him not to say a word. Well, the show had to go on, so Woody insists he pass him the right costume – he should have been a beggar but the guy passes him a suit and top hat. So he goes on with an accent and everything saying mostly the same lines but putting everyone else in the play into a frazzle. By the end of the play four out of the six of them had been threatened and no one was wearing the proper costume. Well, they all exited stage left without as much as a bow and left the building before they told the guards what just went down.
“It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.” - Carl Sagan
SPELL ADVICE FOR BEAUTY
ACCEPT compliments. This spell will help you cultivate the confidence to be confident and believe in the radical power of your beauty. Go outside when the sun is high, bring a mirror. Hold the mirror so its reflective side is away from you and say You have beautiful eyes. Slowly lower the mirror, turning it so that it reflects the light back up toward your face. (Don't look at the mirror) Feel the light reflected on your skin. Repeat the compliment but this time in your own words. Imagine yourself soaking up the praise the way your skin soaks up warmth. Repeat for each positive trait you can come up with. When completely repeat the following line three times: I will not deflect, I will reflect.
For the next two weeks whenever you are given a compliment, lift and then lower your arm as if moving the mirror. Imagine your skin feeling the warmth of the sun and bask in the warmth of the praise. And then say thank you.
Being able to switch between focus and daydreaming is an important skill that’s reduced by insufferable busyness. – Derek Beres
YOU ARE THE STAR
THE spotlight has yet to come on. In this moment you are still anonymous. You are out on stage, found your mark – a glowing orange taped X. Amid the dark, faces glow in the audience as fans prepare their smartphones to record. You are a true elvin, you chuckle inwardly. Your sister made up the word to denote someone who is beloved by fans. In a moment they will be cheering wildly, but right now the mood is pure anticipation. You clutch your instrument and bring it to you chest. The spotlight cuts the pitch black in half, temporarily blinding you. You play you first note and the crowd lets loose.
ADreamANight thanks you for sharing this dream with someone you know who needs to feel close to fame. May they dream deeply and wake in joy.
© 2020 ADREAMANIGHT