Saturday, November 7, 2009

It's the nineteenth century, and I've been cast in a play representing the workings of nature. There are hundreds of other actresses in the play, but we haven't been given our parts yet. The director sends us into a room with rows of soft, colorful nightgowns and tells us to change, leaving our corsets behind. Many of the women are nervous and uncomfortable with this costuming, but I'm looking forward to wearing something less restrictive. I choose a long blue nightgown and put it on behind a curtain. I'm thinking I'm going to be cast as Neptune, because of the color of my costume, but the director sees me and says "Dawn. Definitely Dawn," and sends me off to rehearse.

I go into a darkened room where all I can make out is a cloth draped over something vaguely human-shaped. I crawl underneath and find another woman in a blue gown, who tells me we're to represent Dawn together. She hands me a flashlight-shaped thing, which I turn on. Beautiful colored lights come from it, and my partner tells me that when our cue comes we're to turn these on and sing a song. I say I haven't learned the song, and she tells me it goes "ooooo, DAWN!" I try to sing that but she keeps correcting me--I can't get it right. She says not to worry, all we really have to do is sing along with a recording--she shows me a device that apparently has the song on it. I ask if I can listen to it, in order to learn the song, but she says we're not to turn it on until our cue, because it's very loud. I ask what IS our cue, and she doesn't answer.

We sit in silence for a while. I'm dying to hear the song. Trying to make it look like an accident, I turn on the device. "Ooooo, DAWN!" goes the device, and it is, indeed, very loud. My partner is panicking, and we try to muffle the sound with pillows, but it's too late--the director is upon us. He knows I was the one who turned on the song, and he asks me to go with him into another room. "Do you see why I asked that you not turn that on until your cue?" he asks. I say I do, and apologize. All along he's been very gruff and intimidating, but now he takes me in his arms and kisses the top of my head. I'm overcome by a feeling of complete peace.

He walks me back to my place, which is now on a hill under the stars. No sooner am I there than my partner and I hear our cue, and we turn on the device and our flashlights and begin singing. It's joyful! Together we walk down the hill. We see the actresses playing animals and planets and Greek deities, all beautifully costumed and dancing, and I'm singing at the top of my lungs "ooooo, DAWN," and that is when I wake up laughing.

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