Could global warming be the realization of Icarus landing? What we passed off as a myth was a cautionary tale against the miracle of flight.


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     Christine came back to Dwnwrdspyrl the day after her audition. Megan was working the gate. No one had taken time to review the bits we collected during her audition, so Megan had no idea who was approaching. People came to the gate for a variety of reasons, even when the club was closed. Mostly they were hungry. The people knew the club was an artery back to the Funny Farm, during the harvest a store room at the club was stocked with canned vegetables, preserves and corn flour. If you had children to feed and little money, you could come to the club. We couldn’t feed everybody, but we tried to feed the kids. When a parent brought their child to the snack bar it was a great opportunity for a dance or drum lesson, a chance to hand the torch to the kids. The Governor knew that people who were struggling to feed themselves didn’t have time or money to organize political opposition. Sure they would grumble and make idle threats, but verbal dissent was a nuisance he could ignore not a danger to him. So, parents were working long hours if they had a family, just to feed themselves. When the kids grew up they tended to go to one of the local universities. The students were the people who could take the time needed to organize. If they grew up in an environment that challenged conformity, and complacency, and even TV reality, they would be able to change their world.
     Christine came up to the gate empty handed. She left her bag of tricks at home, she was not going to audition again. She was coming to see if she was a part of the dance troupe. She wanted to make sure everyone new she was ready to perform and wasn’t shy about it.
     She knew Megan, presumably because of election posters. She walked into the foyer of the club as if she owned it.  Her self confidence bordered arrogance. She said, “How am I doin’, baby? Did I get the job?”
     Megan stared at her for a moment.  Then at last she seamed to understand. “I guess you’re doing alright, but we never hire help we don’t know. I have never had the pleasure of meeting you.  I’m Megan, and you are?”
     “I’m Christine.”
     “ Oh alright, yes, we are going to have to get to know you a little better. Come on inside” The foyer of the club was essentially a long hallway that fanned out as it approached the main doors. Bathrooms were on either side of the foyer and they all opened up into the dance hall and stage area at the other end of the building. The club couldn’t serve alcohol for a variety of reasons, so we made sandwiches from the produce grown out at the farm and bread from a local bakery. We also served tea and coffee. The snack bar had a Mad Tea Party theme embellished with several large  dining tables. The tables were resplendent with thrift store tea sets, and surrounded by high backed chairs. The tables were also used as cat walks during shows. The other striking feature in the dining area was a large fireplace. The design of which was based on the drawings from Lewis Carol’s Through the Looking-Glass. Megan and Christine walked through the club and sat down at the tea party. The March Hair wasn’t there.
     “This club is so awesome.” Christine was bubbling. “I saw it for the first time yesterday. It is so well thought out, you know, with the Alice in Wonderland theme” She was looking around. “Last time I came down the rabbit hole there were a bunch of freaky creatures. Where’s the Count? Is someone around who can run sound?”
     “He’s hanging in the closet, dear. Where did you think he would be?” The Count was off site running the gauntlet back to the security of the farm. Gate keepers were not fountains of information, they collected it.  Everyone was cautious not to talk about the trips back to the Funny Farm.
     “My, what a lot of questions. Are you sure you know what you’re getting into?” Christine was a realist. Most people were not anxious to get involved with Dwnwrdspyrl. News was quick to spread throughout the community, and Josie’s disappearance was having a chilling effect on the entire operation. We expected as much, every time the club started to take off the militarists or the militia would descend on the area to improve security and Chaos would result. It was getting worse as the election drew near. There was more at stake for everybody. We had a lot of students willing to support what we were doing, but we joked that it was only the braves. These days, the street was only peaceful when the universities were out for a break, or in exams. There would be no respite until the election was over.
     “What do you know about us? I have never seen you at any of the parties.” Megan was beginning to question Christine. This was suddenly almost an interrogation. It was odd for Megan to be so cold.
     Christine faltered for a moment and then said, “I only heard about the party a few weeks ago. I know you only hire people who have been at the school or is the kid of a member, but I have danced all my life, I just lived in a different sector.  Everybody in Battersea Park knows who I am.” Christine stood up for the last part of her explanation. She delivered the last line with a bit of a strut. After she had spoken, she bent over backwards and walked over through a handstand and stood back up facing Megan. Megan was not impressed by a bad ass. This was not going down well. There was an awkward silence.
      Being a realist, Megan knew that the dancers who talk the most about their talent, the show offs, were the ones least likely to volunteer to help at the Farm.  If she didn’t help at the Farm it was unprecedented that she would be offered a job as a dancer. Farm workers were often people who were very close to being invited into the Reunion, but had not yet been brought into the fold. They came to the Solstice or Equinox parties and worked their way into the fabric of the Reunion from there. Like cleaning the floors at the club, it was a rite of passage. Christine would never be a part of the troupe if she wasn’t a team player. Megan knew a prima donna would upset the balance that the troupe required. The realist in Megan decided to open Christine’s eyes to what she thought would run her off - work at the club was dangerous, and no dancer was going to be hired who couldn’t fight to defend themselves. This was hard to believe coming from Megan the pacifist.
     “Dear Girl, do you know that there are forces inside the government that are trying to close this party down? They are determined to prevail against our cause.” Megan stood up too and was starting to pace. “Have any idea what the militarists are going to do to you if they can? They must be the same in Battersea. You should start carrying a weapon if you can’t defend yourself. Josie should have had better protection.” This was not good advice, because of martial law. “But to be honest, I think you’re dreaming if you believe your going to replace Josie anytime soon. It has to be a unanimous decision to hire a member of our team. Me and my friends want to find Josie not spend time interviewing and auditioning. We can do a show without Josie, we can certainly do a show without you. If you don’t understand basic party rules, like how to become a member, or how to get an invite, I don’t see how you are going to become a part of the party. You’ve never helped in the kitchen, or emptied trash cans. We seem to be functioning well without you”
     “But you wouldn’t want to do a show without me.” Christine blurted out. “I have been working so hard for this. My teacher had all these moves down. I don’t think I could dance anywhere else, the dance academies don’t want artists. I wouldn’t want to dance there anyway, because of the sharks.” Sharks were the dregs with badges. The modern dance schools worked like geisha houses of the past. Powerful men controlled the public image of the schools, but they existed strictly for pleasure.
     “So you’re an artist. Oh well, that makes all the difference.” Megan said with a flourish of her hand. ‘I know several of those.” She was holding her nose like she smelled something bad. Christine started to look at the floor.
     “Who did you say knew all our moves? Who was your teacher?” Megan was interrogating Christine again.
     “I’ve had lessons from Trinity School.” Christine was beginning to look stressed out. This was so different from what she expected, she thought that something must be wrong. She wonder where everyone had disappeared to. “This must be the Maddest Tea Party around.”
     “I asked who not where Dear Girl.” There was something about Christine that Megan didn’t like. Megan thought that Christine had come along at the wrong time. It was not a good time for a unknown element to be added to the band. Everything had been planned so carefully she knew that any competing energies could disrupt the coarse of the band. She had to complete her mission successfully.
     “What’s with the drama? It’s almost like you’re trying to run me off.” Christine was starting to leave. She walked toward the corridor that led to the foyer. “I have what it takes. I will show you. I don’t need anyone to do me any favors. Ya’ll need a dancer and I know it’s my time to shine. I don’t let people take things from me, that’s why I am not dancing at the so called dance academies. This is where I can become famous as an artist and not have to be someone’s concubine.”
      She had reached the doors of the club. She turned to Megan who was escorting her out.  Megan said, “Listen, I know you are disappointed, but you know we have a lot to lose. We can’t open our arms to strangers now, not during all this turmoil, and we have to get Josie back from where ever she is. It is going to be very dangerous, especially if you’re on stage. That’s where the lightning is going to strike! “
     “For real?” Christine feigned horror. “ I don’t know why you are trying to crank me with mean spirited tales of government goon squads. We all know the mob rules. We are all under the iron fist whether we are at home in bed or out here fighting for our right to party. I wasn’t born yesterday. I have made it on my own before. I’ve been out under the barbed wire. I’ve seen the wastelands ,so you see, nobody can threaten me.  I’ve been set free. If you think you can scare me, you’d better try harder. Later days, I hope they are better days... for you. Haste la vista, Baby.”