Sunday, September 09, 2007
Much like Martin Luther King, I had a dream...
Exterior: A desert country, possibly Iraq. A group of American soldiers are marching across sand dunes as gunfire occasionally sounds behind them and to their left.
In this very Oliver Stone/Francis Coppola-esque 70's Vietnam-era setting, I am a soldier on the front lines of a large battalion of men. Most are in tan fatigues, some are in hunter's orange. We are moving across sand dunes, and a group of five of us or so at the front occasionally drop down to an army crawl in the sand. The other four guys know what they're doing by issuing almost inaudible commands and acting as one like groups of birds simultaneously changing direction in flight.
My gun is made of white Styrofoam and keeps coming apart where the barrel meets the stock. On the barrel is hand-written: "165" and somebody tells me that is how many bullets come with the gun. We meet a woman who has messy short blonde hair and looks like a young Meg Ryan. I don't realize this but she has come back to Iraq/Vietnam to tell me something. Everybody else realizes this but I am oblivious.
My friends Gerard and Goody are also soldiers. We go into the PX and I am looking at a message board/blog comments about what happened. Everyone online knows that the woman needed to tell me something and are jabbing me for not picking up on it.
Then I am looking at a waterproof canvas bag that has a tent in it. The price tag says $30. I am thinking about going camping with my son Hank when I get back to the States, but realize that this tent is too heavy to carry around with me. Everyone else in my platoon has left the PX except Goody has stayed behind with me, telling me to hurry up.
We leave the PX but don't know which way to go. The grounds are crowded with tents and soldiers, but Gerard has stayed halfway behind to show us where to go. There are men in army pants with no shirts on, smoking, one soldier is drinking clear liquor with an olive speared with a toothpick from a dirty juice glass.
My base camp is an old painted school bus surrounded by tarps shared with a heavyset older "Good Ol' Boy" from the South in a blue flannel shirt and overalls. More blue flannel shirts and overalls hang on a rack. There is something moving in a bag in the corner (I think it is a dog) and I worry the man is going to kill it. There are more canvas bags on top of the bus and the man is pulling them down looking for traps to go trapping.
General Zachariah shows up (who also bunks in the bus) and I find out that the man in the overalls is his valet. The valet wraps a red apron around the General's neck and begins to shave his face. As he does so, the Valet continually leans over and smells my hair. I come to realize that the only reason I am there is at the request of the creepy Valet since my name and the General's name are the same.
The General begins lecturing me on how powerful the army is. He owns the equivalent of an entire city, and anything he asks for he can get. At one point he is discussing the upcoming battle and the mindset of our opponents, saying "When the water bucket hits the bottom of the well, people start to get nervous..." (My brain also tells me he said "When the water comes up to the bottom of the screen door, people start to get nervous" so I can't tell which it "actually" was).
I never see the General's face, he is always facing away from me.
Then the army started to roll out. The General left in an old limousine. The rest of us were walking.
The blonde Meg Ryan girl was in front of me and she was approached by two hippie/researcher types who said "I haven't seen you since you were 5!" The woman was non-descript, the guy looked a little like a Jaws-era Richard Dreyfuss.
We went with them to someone's house where there were books and papers all over the floor. The room was cult-like and filled with grad students and activists who were listening to Brian Cox lecture in the living room about genetic studies.
There was a piece of wood sitting on a table top that had numbers written on it in chalk.
Like this, but, y'know, numbers instead of letters.
We were all watching a program on a little TV that showed Brian Cox talking with an animated version of himself on a sofa. The animated character was loosely sketched in black and white and looked like a Bill Plympton cartoon. The animated version was childlike...farting and acting out, made to represent the Id.
The program then showed footage of kids with behavioral issues. One little boy was sitting in a rowboat on dry land hitting himself with his fists. Through this program and the lecture Brian Cox was giving, he was endorsing killing Adolf Hitler's grandparents so that Hitler would never be born.
The conversation got more and more intense until the dream was just flashes of imagery. The lecturer waving a pistol around and wrapping his arms around himself. The rest of the people in the room getting more and more frenzied. He sprayed that expanding insulating foam randomly on the walls and announced that "the chickens had left and taken all of the good air." A woman clawed at her throat and said "Oh my God, he's right!"
I looked at the door and noticed that there was no doorknob on the inside. Someone asked what time it was and the lecturer said "There's a clock right there" pointing at the chalk numbers on the piece of wood. The numbers had changed and I had a sense of panic because I knew a lot of time had passed.
At that moment I deduced that he needed someone to kill General Zachariah. I was the closest person to the General and I know that the lecturer would not let anyone leave that room until I had agreed to kill him.
That's when I woke up.
Any idea? Armchair Psychologists: WTF is going on in my head?
Thanks a lot, Gin and Ice Cream.