Don’t Touch

DREAMLIFE: A collection of women’s dreams, recorded and then translated here as part of the Female Background metabolism. A way in, a way out.

There was another mother telling me that her son had a condition where his ears dripped lots and lots of wax and my son was trying to play with him and she kept telling him, “Don’t touch his ears.”

“Don’t touch his ears.”

I had a suitcase in a hotel. I couldn’t figure out whether I should take the bus there or drive myself to get the suitcase out of the hotel.

Men’s Cologne

DREAMLIFE: A collection of women’s dreams, recorded and then translated here as part of the Female Background metabolism. A way in, a way out.

I was married to some man who was, I don’t know, powerful in some way and we were having a romantic dinner outside somewhere and all of a sudden   a big , like stretch-limo type of car drove up with this whole militia force, it was an African militia force all African men and the leader came out and my husband handed me over to him as some kind of payment or bribe or something like that and this man was carrying me and I was trying to figure out whether I should to escape or whether I should try to make myself friendly to him so he wouldn’t hurt me, umm, and he was kind of talking about how finally, like, how I was his, stuff like that. I did finally manage to escape and snuck into, umm, a house, and in that house there were two kids who had been kind of left behind by their parents in some way. And I crawled into the bed and there was a little boy, a young boy, I don’t know probably 3 or 4 years old, in the bed, and I told him to be quiet because people were looking for him and we needed to hide, but he didn’t stay very long, he got out of the bed because he had to go to the bathroom; he was peeing his pants.


DREAMLIFE: A collection of women’s dreams, recorded and then translated here as part of the Female Background metabolism. A way in, a way out.


A group of us were finishing our theses. We were supposed to deliver a talk in front of an audience. It was to be in a school gym and the audience would sit on the bleachers. We were going to talk about black-lives-matter and the #metoo movement. I was running late. I was running around doing errands and I was late. But my colleagues did a good job of covering for me. They talked and stalled and then I arrived and was able to give my presentation. I did not remember what I said. I kind of blacked out while I was speaking, but the presentation was recorded. I was so embarrassed by my lateness, but everyone said I did a good job. I was asking my advisors how I did and they said I’d done well. We watched the footage and I could see myself speaking. I was embarrassed because I knew I had procrastinated. I knew I wasn’t well prepared. We were all sitting down trying to watch it.

I was in my house, you know, it was a multi-unit rental and my neighbors weren’t paying their rent and I was having some leaking problems with the roof and I had this guy Lenny who helps me with the house and he came over and we were looking at this barn section of the house and I found parts of the house I had never seen before. I often find parts. These barn sections of the house. In my own house there are spaces I haven’t seen before. In looking for these problems, there were really old sections of the barn I’d never seen. Then Lenny and I went outside and I thought we were having a normal conversation and then he gets closer to me and says “I wonder how this would feel” and he leans in to kiss me and I wonder do I actually want this do I actually want to say yes to this do I just kiss him and not say yes?

I was feeling arousal but my mind was saying this is not a good idea. And I knew from science that happens. So that’s a real experience. We have genital non-concordance that our genitals might react to something but our minds might not be into what’s happening. And then some of my tenants that were renting from me came down in these big trucks and were going off-roading and we hopped in the trucks with them. And umm, like he was inviting me on a date, Lenny. He was excited to be hanging out with me in a dating kind of way.

We were driving along and eventually we were driving through this kind of interior hallway space with these big trucks with these kind of Maine, kind of red-neck types, hick-type folks who seemed nice but kind of an odd group of people and we were driving through this hallway and we came across this really feminine woman who’s dressed in high-heel white go-go boots but also had bondage, and a white mini-dress, but bondage gear, like a leather type of vest thing and a collar and leash with a fake pink gun and she was looking into a security camera, like her dom, her dom is watching her through this camera. She seems fine but like her dom has told her to hold this gun to her head. And we keep driving along

There was a war.

DREAMLIFE: A collection of women’s dreams, recorded and then translated here as part of the Female Background metabolism. A way in, a way out.


I had some things to do before I could let it overcome me, stop me with its indifferent, tidal forces, rhythms of carnival activity, parades and acrobatics. I had so much to carry and I noticed others were in groups and sometimes had carts or sleds to help with their loads, but I struggled, making multiple trips, and also hiding. They would kill me, the war was advanced enough for that.

An older woman dressed in many layers, her lips bright red and eyes lined darkly, offered to paint my face, with “just the right highlight on the cheekbones”. This was her job and she was quite skilled, the best in fact. I thought it was about time to stop imagining that beauty might be different from craft, or to consider that honesty does not bear relation to fact or truth as we commonly suppose. The body has no natural state. The face has no natural state. And so I accepted her offer.

I found an old cart, I thought I might use this cart, like the others did, to escape the city more expeditiously. It was neglected, rusty, and one wheel looked askew. I had seen a woman using a sled, under her own power, and wanted this cart to be similar, but it was intended for oxen. I imagined that I could pull or push it just the same, even if it was not ideal. The large warehouse required some disguise if I were to enter. It was heavily attended by soldiers, a maze of rooms and floors, leaking. I abandoned that approach. I found a road out, out through a manicured lawn where people lounged as if collegiate. A woman I knew from years ago came smiling towards the lawn, her once-distinctively long hair, now short. She wore a colored leotard. She was an acrobat in the circus. This was a powerful position. Perhaps that’s why she headed in so freely. More people were coming in as I was leaving, so many people. A brigade of women holding signs, signs having to do with women – white with black hand-written letters. They were wearing orange leotards, orange hair, and with silver batons. They were in formation, quite choreographed. Leading the array were old acquaintances; they had maintained their friendships through these years, the same two that shared the ocean front condominium and swam in the rip tide, and now they were en pointe with colorful ribbons and high-kicks, moving quickly, smiling, towards war. I hurried past, disguised, recognizing old friends among the faces in the eager crowd.

I continued down the long dirt road. It was lined with grand marble government buildings each with tall columns and surrounded by green lawn. Gradually, this population of advancing people and the white buildings gave way to open fields and finally, to a still lake surrounded by trees. I began to feel relief. I saw the flocks of birds at the far end of the lake and they flew, in formation, in escalating manifestations. They began softly black, fluttering flocks in the distance, but then began to take on silvery and mechanized attributes, like sharply folded paper airplanes. Until they turned and with increasing aggression flew like arrows towards my place on the shore; I dropped to the ground and lay flat. I tried to run between the onslaughts, but that time shortened to nothing and I would have to crawl away.


DREAMLIFE: A collection of women’s dreams, recorded and then translated here as part of the Female Background metabolism. A way in, a way out.


I gave birth to a son, small like a baby. He began to gesture to me in signs and a verbal language of his own and I slowly came to suspect that he was keeping something from me, this newborn with language. And filled with love I looked at him and asked, albeit cautiously: “You can speak?” He nodded and told me, using English words, as if his previous communications were only to dissemble the miraculous truth: he had been born fully conscious. As this became more clear, he grew into a brown-haired, blue-eyed boy and just as quickly into a man all before he could nurse or be held like the newborn he was. In virtue of this other-worldly transformation, this miraculous incarnation, I asked him about his care. Did a grown man who was newly born nurse from his mother? Indeed. He saddened as he explained that this miracle could turn dark, there could be a reversion to some undone state and breast milk was a feature of resistance to the curse.