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Dreams of April

Three Nights.

Winston George Schell passed away before his time and at a time when many of his closest friends were too busy to really process the fact. Last night we held another memorial, a tribute that featured readings of his writings, a performance of a satiric ten-minute play he penned a year ago, long-unseen video footage from a cable access show with which he was involved in 1984-- news to me!-- and a slide show I created. We ran images of Win to "Free Metronome," a song from his second album.

Later last year, my father died.

A few weeks ago, I booked a hotel room in Columbus, Ohio for this forthcoming July 1-3.

I feel some connection between these real things and dreams I've had this month.

1. My wife and I watch a classical concert. Over a third of the musicians perform nude; others sport the expected black and white outfits. The remainder are clad in an impossible compromise; flautists in formal white shirts but no pants into which to tuck them, cellists in thongs. No sense of the erotic pervades the performance, however; they play as though this is the most natural thing in the world.

Afterwards, we talk to Mark, the kid who played Andy in Shadows. At times, he wears a modified miter. Since he plays in a high school orchestra, we ask him how it came about that classical musicians traditionally play in the nude. They want the music to be central, he claims, and for the musicians themselves to be unadorned, as close to the state in which they were born as their personal comfort level will permit. This passes the test of dream-logic, though naturally, a nude orchestra, for most audience members, would be far more distracting than the classic formal wear preferred by classical musicians in the waking world. I suspect the practice would also raise some interesting safety concerns.

Still, your local symphony orchestra would probably increase ticket sales substantially if they adopted the policy.

2. A double ferris wheel the size of the London Eye spins around on the shore of a beach. I watch from the water. Neon glows from either wheel: a golden sun and a silver moon. These have been stylized, with facial features, like those found on anciente mappes and New Age gift shop ornaments.

Like the one that hangs in our kitchen window.

And then I'm on shore and inside a theatre that hosts a high school music festival. The first dream does not impose its dress code, however; they're clad as one might expect: formally, with ties of their school's respective colours. One group has selected "Bohemian Rhapsody" as their piece to perform, but it's a far longer version than Queen ever played: the operatic segment has grown to 9th-symphonic lengths. In between each movement, they stop and someone identifies what they are about to play. This grows tedious. I'm here with friends, but we've become separated by the theatre's architectural impossibilities. At one point, I find myself in a closed space between criss-crossing stage aprons.

Eventually, I am up in a balcony that extends from a British pub. The front end actually resides in Britain, while the back end, where I am, is in this other place. The theatre apparently shares designers with the TARDIS. I sit at a bar overlooking the stage, order a pint, and talk to two older women, who poke fun at my poor attempt to do a British accent.

I leave for a door that exits onto the campus of the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, where I meet my friend Eve. She tells me she performed on stage earlier, replacing an ill teenaged singer.

3. We're holding my father's funeral again, but outdoors, at an elevated location. It's the sort of place one passes on road trips, stairs from a restaurant and souvenir shop to a scenic view.

I meet people who were present the first time, but we're also joined by friends of friends and some belly dancers I met at WorldCon a couple years back. Spacetime shifts around us and we watch with dread a Nazi parade pass below, in Germany, circa 1937. One of the belly dancers has disappeared, and apparently has fallen for a Nazi soldier. We become concerned; her blinding love might lead her to reveal secrets that will change history, cause World War II to end some other way. I can hear my father, still dead in the dream. Action must be taken.

I'm in a hallway. I seek advice from a colleague, who shares my concerns regarding altered timelines, but he's busy himself, setting up a party--

for classical musicians.

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