Copyright© 2006 by Kien Reti
A close friend told me the following, in strictest confidence. I have reason to believe that the events depicted actually happened.
Dana was having that dream again.
So very exquisite in that dress, the one with the white lace, the bridal gown. (Oh! How cute! All the women standing round had sighed.) The reception had just ended and in scant moments John was going to whisk the two of them away in his gleaming white Studebaker convertible to the rented cabin high up in the Rockies. And then the wedding would be consecrated in the traditional way. In a rough-hewn timbered bunk bed, but a marriage bed, nonetheless. Ah, the ecstasy of finally accepting her husband's flesh into herself...
What the bloody hell was going on? Why was he dreaming of being a bride? A dame, for chrissake! He was a man, a straight man, damn it, and he'd sure enough slept with his share of women, even if he hadn't ended up marrying any.
He had never, ever, had any notions or fantasies of being transsexual or gay. He was a man, all man -- damn it! -- and that crap about every man having a feminine side was just that -- a load of crap. So, what was this all about?
"You really oughta see a shrink, Dane, baby. I mean everybody dreams weird shit sometimes, but, good heavens, this isn't just weird, it's fruitcake weird!"
Maybe it had been a mistake to confide in Jade. He'd had a wild fling with her a year or so back, but since then they'd been "just friends." She had a luscious bod, all right, but wasn't so hot in the brains department. All the same, maybe, just maybe, he ought to think about getting professional help.
Dr. Dixon came highly recommended, had written a book on dream interpretation, and was even considered something of an authority on gender confusion. The good doctor also charged $200 per hour, only half of which was covered by his health insurance. Oh, well.
"So, Dana, what exactly is it that disturbs you about this recurring dream?"
"Well, Doc, it's like I'm a different person, in a different body, and living a different life. It's just so vivid, so damn intense when I'm dreaming it. Even after I wake, it sometimes seems like... like this is the dream and that is the real thing.
"How so? Is your life then so pallid, so lacking in joy and fulfillment that a dream overpowers it? Or, is it perhaps that you find your very maleness unsatisfying?"
"No, damn it! I'm proud to be a man, and the women I've been with don't have any complaints either. It's just that..."
"It's just that sometimes I get this funny feeling that everything is unreal. That I'm just a character in a story."
"Interesting. Well, We'll discuss this at greater length in our next session. Our time is drawing to a close now."
"Thank you, Doctor. It's been very helpful talking to you."
As he went out the door, he glanced back. Damn! He could have sworn that he had been talking to someone else these past 45 minutes. The good doctor was feminine in a matronly way, with exaggerated, slightly sagging bosoms and generous padding from the waist down. Dr. Philippa Dixon, in person. But... he had the distinct memory that he had come in to talk to a Dr. Philip Dixon, a distinguished grey-bearded gentleman in his 60s, wearing a conservative double-breasted gray suit with an old-fashioned pocket watch dangling from a heavy gold chain. Dana shook his head. More of this "unreality" shit (awareness displacement, one or the other Dr. Dixons had named it) that had been bugging him ever since he'd started having that damn dream.
1953 was going to be a good year. Dana just knew it. And, not just because she was a newlywed, either. Eisenhower (We like Ike) was the country's new president and, by golly, he'd get the boys home from that never-ending war in Korea and keep the Russians from blowing us up with their A-bombs. The economy was good, so good that John had just gotten another promotion. Just think, he was a manager now and they were getting all these shiny new appliances for their kitchen on time payments...
Ooh! Life was so good! John had loved her three times last night, and that tingly feeling deep down inside let her hope that maybe she had caught. Gee, it would really be nice to have a baby. They were planning on at least two children because the McHenry (Ooh! I like my new name!) household felt so empty without the patter of little feet...
The only thing bothering her, really, was this funny feeling she got sometimes that she was really someone else. She's wake in the early hours of the morning and it would take a few minutes to get used to being in a woman's body again. Of course she was in a woman's body; she was a woman, after all. But, there was this twisted dream she kept having -- a dream of being a man, and living in some kind of twisted future with all these weird electrical gadgets and everybody afraid of suicidal fanatics blowing everything up. She'd take the Commies with their A-bombs, thank you.
There's a silver lining in every cloud. Those strange and disturbing dreams helped Dana get into the heads of women, the women whose pants he wanted to get into. If you knew deep in your gut what a woman felt, what moved her and made her tick, well, that made her all that much easier to maneuver into a compromising position. And then you'd know instinctively the right moves to overcome her resistance and get her into bed. And then you'd be able to play her like a musical instrument, to pleasure her so thoroughly and completely that she'd become your love slave. But, it felt so damn strange making love to a woman and sensing exactly what was going on inside her and how her body responded. It was almost as if he were fucking an extension of his own body.
John had a strange sense of humor, all right. He had named his penis -- his dick -- Philip K. after this weird neighbor of theirs who fancied himself some kind of an author. This so-called writer seemed to have problems making sense of reality, and that was a real aggravation nowadays when everyone just wanted to be normal and fit in.
Sure, some people called it conformity, as if it were something to be ashamed of. Ashamed! Why, with subversives hiding in every doorway and everything unstable and liable to slide off into chaos and anarchy if you weren't careful, well, a patriotic American just had to keep close watch on people to make sure they weren't spies or dirty Pinkos. Like that writer fellow, for example.
Even more distressing than the gender confusion Dana felt when he awoke was the political confusion. His female dream self was a right-wing reactionary and she had a Neanderthal world view. Imagine, considering Joe McCarthy as the nation's savior from the Communist threat! It was just plain disgusting.
.... There is more of this story ...