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Arabic Mask Gig
October 20, 2009


the key player was Michael James Wright. He was in on some seemingly shady business with some arabs. This, btw, is the first time arabic has been spoken in my dreams. I know what arabic should sound like, so i must have just invented a sequence of common phonetics proper to arabic.

some VIP arabic women, wives of some even more VIP arabic leaders, were sitting at a table with Michael and me, and other people. the event was on ice... it was like a fancy ball on ice skates. Mike was there because he was a liason (just as in real life, linguistic liason between eng and span speaking). I was there because I was a well known, up and coming artist.

One of the arabic women was dressed in head garb, the other was not. One was slightly taller. The shorter one wore a dark green sari. I think a parade float (decorated vehicle) went by with one of their husbands in it. they got up to trail it - this dinner table was not on the ice, i guess to the side - and Michael left with them. I stayed put, unsure what to do. The one in the green sari turned back and politely asked me to come along. Oh! ok... I picked up my sweatshirt which was lying on the ground began to follow.

later on, mike and I and some other young people, friends of his, some who spoke arabic, others whom I knew who spoke spanish, and yet others who knew me but no one else and only spoke english, were at some gate. I was perched on the top of the concrete pillar, wedged in a groove between it and the cast iron fence. Michael had previously told me that they want some masks painted, and that they would pay... twelve.

"12 hundred?" I asked, thinking that was a lot of money for a mask.
Mike hesitated, looked at his friend.

I thought to myself, 'maybe he meant 12,000? in which case I just gave my low standard away'. He said let me talk it over with my friend. And they began to converse in arabic. I started to imagine how a painted mask would be worth 1200 dollars. I would have to draw it first, with intricate detail, and then paint with a very small brush, very carefully. ok, i could see how it would be worth 1200 by the end. But, was it ethical? I started to get the sense that it was underhanded somehow, that this mask was going to be used for something unethical. who knows, maybe at a celebration for a martyr-suicide bomber. Why did they have to discuss in the secret language?

In the end I declined the offer in a huff. Michael was talking to his friend in arabic. and I said "what is she saying?" and he would not answer me. "Que dijo ahora?" nothing. So I finally told him, if you dont tell me what she said, then forget it.

They began to walk away, and I felt angry and sad not to get the gig. then i fucked up my spanish by saying "ya se chigasten" which was meant to mean "you guys fucked up your own deal then". se chingasten = a mix of se chingaron, te chingaste, and se chingan. Sort of like when you're asked "for here or to go" and you say "for to go"

Looking back post-dream, i'm pretty sure there was no malicious or unethical intent behind the mask gig. I was overreacting and being too passionate, as I typically am.