Snow Globe Opera
I am inside a snow globe.
I am inside a snow globe. An old man yells through the glass, faceless mouth, dry and cracked albino tongue, mouthing through brown teeth against a black backdrop: Don’t indicate! or, Stop indicating! or, Don’t illustrate! or, Stop illustrating! (which “i” word was it?). The globe quakes from his timbre and shakes snow everywhere. The globe turns and it is spring or further south.
I walk along a dirt path leading to the cylindrical concrete tunnel in the schoolyard; step into the east end; now inside; now walking through. A whiff of Sweet Honesty breezes at me. I step over a bottle and remember the boy I wanted to kiss-didn’t-kiss-back. Out the west end of the tunnel I drift, Sweet Honesty leading the way or following close behind.
The snow globe shakes me into Halloween, frost on the car window. Now I am in the school auditorium, sitting first row across the stage looking up, always looking up. Everything is always out of my eye level, everything towering: the stage, the microphone, the scoreboard, the American Flag whipping Mrs. Morning Announcements in the face. Someone must have called my name because now I am standing, now I am walking, now I am closer to all things elevated and suspended four feet above ground. There are no stairs, only a platform where I am expected to be. How did the others make it up there? I turn to ask, but a word steps in the way. Not a word, letters scrambling themselves about, jigsawing me to dizzy and the sense that the world is waiting on me.
Remember this dream! wrestles with That never works! That never works! whispers something about remembering one highlight, one single detail, select a clue that will lead and enter you back in later whenRemember This Dream!‘s memory bank is instantly wiped out upon awakening. I shake myself awake, spring up in bed and shout: Wynn Handman! Fourth Grade! Spelling Bee! and collapse back onto mattress and into deep sleep.
Hours later, I remember those three clues and instantly re-enter the mise-en-scenes, montages, and sequences of each snow globe vignette. As I say this, I cannot be entirely certain that this is accurate, or even true. Once awakened and given time between sleep and wakeful, such enormous imagining and editing takes place that it is impossible to distinguish between original and embellished, between re-imagined and rewritten.