I am 23. It’s senior year, design class. I haven’t slept in days and we have to shoot. I’m sick. I have a cold and the shivers. It’s raining in November. Doug, (still) a great friend, is my partner for this project. Our assignment:
Use up to four and no less than two slide projectors. Use the gutters of where the projections come together to your advantage. Use a soundtrack. This is crucial. If you don’t you will FAIL!!
He screamed at us. He always did. We have two days.
DOUG! Make this QUICK! I’m SICK! And it’s fucking raining. I don’t want to sit on a FUCKING playground in the RAIN while I’m SICK!. This is BULLSHIT!
I feel so angry. All I want to do is go to sleep. This professor, this man, has taken years off my life. I am sure. And Doug is just trying to avoid a fight, with me and with Lanny.
Just get on the monkey bars and shut up. I’ll try and be quick.
I get on the monkey bars. I’m wearing wool. I can smell wet sheep. My ankles are muddy. I’m wearing a skirt. It doesn’t match. It’s all part of the “show”.
Can’t we get Jamelle for this? She likes to be on film. Hell, she’ll probably do it naked. I hate this. I’M SICK!
The wet, smeary, fall leaves look better than I do.
You have to smile. You’re supposed to be happy. You’re playing with your twin on a playground. Please smile.
I smile. I move to the slide. I’m upside down now. I wipe my snot on the wool sweater.
How can SHEEP stand this FUCKING smell?! I hate this smell. Fucking wool. No wonder they don’t mind if we shave them.”
I’m so mad. He ignores me.
Get on the merry-go-round.
I get on the merry-go-round. This could go on forever. How many pieces of equipment are on this playground? Christ.
You’re trying to make me puke, aren’t you?! I’M SICK AND YOU’RE GOING TO SPIN ME ON A FUCKING MERRY-GO-ROUND?
I start to argue. Doug knows how to deal with me. He ignores me. So I do as I’m told.
Since this is about having a twin on the side of the world, can’t we just have two slides of each processed and flip them over? This is fucking stupid. Why is she dreaming about a twin in China anyway? And how on earth do they end up playing together? And why is one wearing WOOL? I hate this.
I look at him, expecting an answer. (One)?
She’s not in China, it’s about having someone who looks like you, elsewhere. It’s about knowing that and being content with being alone. ‘Dream a little dream of me?’ Get it? We talked about this, it was your idea to use this song.”
I think about this for second, trying to remember what it is we’re doing there.
This is A DUMB idea! DUMB! I want to go ho
He cuts me off, temperatures begin rising. The vein in his head grows larger. He spits as he begins screaming. I have finally broke him. (Oh shit).
SHUT UP AND FUCKING SMILE! JUST FUCKING SMILE! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE FUCKING HAPPY, MICHELE! FUCKING SMILE ALREADY!
(Our slideshow ended up being a hit. It even made it into Follies. I look so happy on that playground, me and my twin, we move from one space to another, at times, grabbing each other’s hands tickling one another. We do appear content—not at all like sick, wet, smelly sheep. No one knew the truth. And somehow, Doug and I are still friends).
Here is that snapshot. (3.96 mgs) Dream a little Dream.