Thursday, April 03, 2003

Some dreams are too obvious...

I'll try not to go into too much detail. I know how irritating it can be to hear someone else's dreams.

Why post your boring dream Miel? I guess I thought--why do I do this writing when lately I am merely writing for an imaginary censor?-Rather than a forum for my hidden 'inner self' under cloak of anonymity the faux sociality of the internet causes me to behave much as I do in everyday life: I am very adept at presenting an appealing mood and unthreatening outlook in social situations. (This is probably why I love to be alone so much--so much easier. But it is also why people always invite me to their parties.) I cannot think of anything but the war and the people dying and the people who will die but I find myself pretending to be happy and normal. What is happening right now is a nightmare. Human beings are going to be slaughtered. Good God can someone make this stop? Now? In fact I pray right now to God to stop this slaughter.

My ability to fake cheerfulness has been of great advantage. I don't know what it is like in other countries but in the United States the motto is: "Happy faces everyone! Happy faces!" It's socially and professionally dangerous to deviate too much. It's such an effort to pretend to act normally at work lately that I'm doing it in my off hours as well. But what the hell could you out there do to me when I reveal that I am freaking out? Nothin.' Maybe we all are? Hard to say.

In other words: Here's my boring dream but don't complain because what I write to myself and don't post is even less entertaining.

In the dream, I was in Baghdad. A nice neighborhood. I was there with my whole family. We went grocery shopping. There was plenty of food and so on. In dreams there sometimes comes a part where you want to make sense of the dream but I couldn't figure out what the hell we were doing in Baghdad. All I knew was we had to go shopping before the bombs hit but there were certain purchases we had to make. We ran around like mad as they were closing the store. A little Iraqi girl helped us sneak out with our groceries. We bought them but did not know how to leave.

We went back to our suburban neighborhood. We lived in a strange type of American-style suburban house that I've never lived in but seen once or twice. Multi-level and an open center with plush carpeting and non-enclosed stairs. One of those attached garages with an automatic door. Some Iraqi neighbors came over to warn us that the bombing would start but because we lived in a neighborhood with a lot of Americans in it we might not get hit. We were afraid anyway. We heard the bombs fall and ran downstairs to the basement. Everything rattled and cracked and we did not know how close things were to us or whether they had hit nearby.

When the all clear whistle blew we went upstairs. A water main had broken and the street was filled with small boats. Some suburban American and British women floated by. They'd been looting and had some looted items for sale. It was odd--very 1950's women with dresses and tight hairdos but also looters. Gold forks, knives and spoons. But most of it was sad, tragic detrius of poverty. Crystal salt and pepper shakers with worn-away silver tops, mismatched plates, broken radios.

I swore at them for their looting. I said I wouldn't give them a cent. Then I was afraid of retaliation for my rudeness and honesty. I apologized. I also saw something I liked. It was a set of 1950's plastic dice in a case. Inside the case were also postcards of the middle east from the 1950s. I asked how much the case was. The woman said I could have the postcards for free, the dice were $5. I was actually somewhat pleased with my purchase.

The rest of it is kind of blurry. Somehow we came under attack by American planes because they knew something about my family--we were traitors. I huddled with my family in fear. The Iraqi police came to arrest us but they spoke perfect English. Then I woke up.

I won't bother to explain what this dream means--it is too obvious. I think that my dreams are vivid because Baghdad looks like the city in New Mexico where I lived as a child. The pictures of Baghdad remind me of cities in the Southwest and Southern California I lived in as a child. Even the mosque because we lived near a mosque and it fascinated me. I remember being happy as a teenager when I discovered the middle-eastern section of town because the food in local cafes and the white minaret allowed me to imagine being someplace else, someplace older, mysterious, more beautiful.


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