WAVES: art, words, sounds, what have you, about beach vacations, the universal ebb-and-flow, floating, drowning, hydrating, and changes of heart.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


By Snake_Dad

Sometimes I dream about a place called Wayne Resort. It has large concrete columns that support a highway overpass parallel to the water, which creates a canopy over half of its beach. The acoustics under the canopy are like a tunnel, and the highway is three stories above. On the side of the hotel are large letters that say "Wayne Resort Hot." The “e” and “l” are missing from the wall where you can see they are burned into the paint. There's a concrete slab there (an old stage) and a guy who sits on it all day who looks like The Dude. He just tells people stories about Wayne Resort and how it "used to be the hippest place around, but now it's just, like, a travesty, man." He says the "missing letters got taken away in the tide because of rising sea levels…global warming *points to the sun*." All the wood siding on the building is rotted, which he says is also because of the tide. He says it used to be called Wayne Resort, but now "people just call it Wayne Beach because some a-hole took over the hotel and doesn't take care of it."

In a previous dream, I was a bellhop in a hotel that had a high-traffic foyer where there was a giant hole in the three-step staircase that led to the lobby threshold. People were being pretty careless and not noticing it was there. Some were jumping over the hole. It looked like a mine shaft or a dried up well. I dragged a table in from the lobby and positioned it over the hole in the staircase. My boss came over and started yelling at me and pulling the table off from over the hole, but he didn't lift it before he started dragging it, so it fell in. A long silence later, we heard a crash at the bottom indicating the hole’s massive depth followed by murmurs and shouting and crying below that sounded like people getting upset. Then there was a commotion outside. I looked out the window to my right and saw a beach and ocean, and all the sunbathers were screaming and running away from being savagely beaten and eviscerated by mobs of pale-skinned, naked, blind people.

So anyway, this guy who sits outside all day is nice and pretty informative. Wayne Resort Hotel could conceivably be the hotel from the previous dream. The foyer of the first dream could have fit inside the building in the second dream.

I kept getting flagged down by this hot dog cart guy who was yelling, "Hey! Are you going to pay me?" He shouted at me several times. Next to him, a pale man with cataracts eating a hot dog was leaning against one of the columns. He looked like one of the sewer people from the first dream, only he was clothed and didn't seem to be killing people.

There were lots of people swimming around past the water markers, and there did not appear to be a lifeguard on duty to regulate this sort of thing.

Then came a gigantic storm. Half the sky was a swirling mass, and the other half was calm. People were saying how "this happens sometimes," and no one seemed to be alarmed. Then a lightning bolt touched down on the water past the markers, and everyone started panicking. It started raining, and waves were crashing everywhere. There were cars parked on the beach that were inundated with water, and there were people trying to drive up the sand and get up the incline. I almost got hit by a white Firebird. Cataract guy was pacing on the beach looking out toward the water even though I'm not sure if he could see it or not. He was holding his arms up in the air like an orchestra conductor.

On my way out, a police officer stopped me. He was standing with the hot dog guy who had told him I didn't pay for all the hot dogs. I was very polite and cooperative. He said, “That guy you were with, the blind guy, told me the dogs were on you." The policeman asked me to wait with him and hot dog guy until cataract guy came up the stairs. We waited for a long time, and it didn't seem like he was coming so one of the police guys went downstairs for a minute. He came back and said, "Did he come this way? He's not down there."

Then I woke up.

Monday, July 28, 2014

I might be wild

By Emma Martin

I might be wild.

I cut the purple trumpets off of the white hostas for you, but I don't know why. Tuck and I made piles by each of the plants - 6, 20, 34, three-foot stalks and lavender bells hanging on them, some pregnant and ready to burst, others wilted and sallow with their orange innards splayed out from the middle. Some, perfect, for maybe just this one day. Shiny white and purple shells, I collected them on the deck stairs not in defiance, but as an act of allegiance to myself, as I returned to the place of my childhood, my growing up, my jarring awake of myself, Glen Ellyn, IL, and its self-important, kale-based older sister, Chicago.

When I think of having left here at the end of December, it was an airlift: a desperate attempt to pull me loose from two huge boulders on my descent into the cave. One, my idyllic upbringing, expectations, the culture of suburbia, which always made me feel put upon, and the anxiety I felt about knowing myself and being unsure how to act this out. The other, my future, more like a crystal skull, transparent but created by some mysterious intention other than my own. I reached my hands up and found that I was piloting a helicopter out.

At brunch, Ben, who had found his way to Chicago, was happy just to be here - on the floor of a Pilsen apartment, going to work in River North, meeting me for a quick brunch before I left. We talked about the world's oldest profession: placenta cook. I dreamt about planting a placenta and it growing a patronus. I'd like to be something as beautiful as a magnolia tree, but I know that my roots are an inch deep. I'm a succulent, after all. Not quite a tumbleweed. Ben is Lamb's Ears Byzantia, gentle and pastel, somehow still growing in this climate. This climate, inhospitable to me for years, but on my visit, 75 degrees and placidly sunny for days on end.

I might be wild still - or is it finally? - after all the cultivation, the landscaping, the transplanting. 

I was planted in the ground, and how strange to grow to be a succulent in a family of pines, in a land of roots - and how precious.