I had too much to dream last night...

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John Klima
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 11:35 am:   

Just in case it's too off-topic in the reading thread, here's a fairly good transcript of my Fortress of Words dream I had the other night (actually, a dream leading up to my alarm going off):

Last night I took part in a reading from the latest release from the Fortress of Words. Since it was in my area, Mr. Rowe asked if I would read a selection from the current issue: “Say…Anything”. We were reading at a rather large venue, something along the lines of medium size rock club. Supposedly there were going to be several hundred people there.

Not a surprise, really, since the “Say…” series had been running for nearly ten years now. Last year’s Pulitzer was a surprise, of course, but a large gathering of fans for a reading? That’s to be expected.

I was running late, snow was coming down and the streets were slick. I missed the first few readings and it was time for me to read when I arrived.

I looked around the place, it was packed. The door count was approaching one thousand souls in the room with us. Near the bar I found a set of cohorts--Mike Simanoff, Michael Cisco, Will Smith, Gavin Grant, Scott, Gene, and Todd from high school, and others--that I could use like Jay Lake’s Greek choruses to help rouse this large grumbly crowd.

We all had copies of the issue, Mr. Rowe providing free handouts for the crowd, and I explained briefly what they were to do to help me out. I shrugged out of my heavy leather coat and walked to the front of the room while Mr. Rowe introduced me.

For some reason, we had to take a few sets of stairs and short corridors to get to the stage. I was reminded of the scene in Spinal Tap where the band can’t find the stage. We finally arrived as the crowd half-heartedly cheered and clapped.

“Oh my lord….” Mike Simanoff whispered over my left shoulder. Oh my lord is right.

There were more than twenty thousand people there to hear us read.

Then the sound system popped once, loudly, and Mr. Rowe swore colorfully. We had momentary reprieve while they fixed the sound problems.

My chorus was noticeably nervous. I felt ill. There was no way we could motivate and entertain a crowd so big. No way.

I headed back downstairs to get a drink.

I got lost.

Eventually I could hear a voice over the PA system, so I dutifully reversed the course I took to get to where I was, and found my way back to the stage. Most of the chorus had left. In fact, only Mike Simanoff remained, shaking and sweating, waiting for me to lead him once more into the breach.

I noted that Mr. Rowe was really gearing the crowd up. But then I noticed it wasn’t Mr. Rowe after all, but Sylvester Stallone, screaming like a madman into the microphone. The crowd was on its feet, hooting and hollering. They were ready for some speculative fiction reading now.

Sly turned around and handed me the microphone with a wink and a slap on the back.

He’d done his part.

At which point the chanting of the crowd devolved into the irritating noise of my alarm.

You've worked your way into my dreams!

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Gwenda B.
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 08:45 pm:   

I knew someone was going to find out Christopher was really Sylvester Stallone! Damn you, Klima!

The prophecies have begun.

But seriously, I like to think of this as a vision more than a dream, since we started the zine to follow the well trod path to glory and riches... through zine publishing. Oops.

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