A Dying Dream
Dream | April 10, 2011
A supermarket converted to operational headquarters for a military coalition assembled to stem a revolution in Haiti. Monitors and control stations had been setup in the deli section. A constant stream of military personnel bustled about between the main area and the stockroom. I was some military officer in an unspecified branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. The coalition was sharply divided along ideological grounds with Communists hailing from Russia and China, and Capitalists from the United States, Israel and Britain. High tensions were diverted by the expediency of the task at hand.
On a large tan couch Benjamin Netanyahu was being interviewed. He described how he had won the Nobel Peace Prize (in this dream I think I had him confused with Yitzhak Rabin) and why he would never sleep with any other woman but his wife. When the interview finished I asked another officer who looked exactly like Harvey Korman to help me move the couch.
"Hey, Hedy Lamarr!" I called to him.
"Hedley!" He responded irritably, and grabbed one end of the couch.
As we hefted its bulk down the aisle some thin fellow with the air and impish grin of a joker appeared to be sitting on the couch's armrest nearest to me. I scolded him and we tipped the couch so that he fell on his butt. Then we set the couch down and rested briefly.
The revolution outside had calmed down, but inside, animosities between the two opposing coalition groups was heating up rapidly. From the storeroom came muffled shots, followed by a wave of Communists flooding through the double doors. Instantly everyone was armed. Sporadic exchanges of fire erupted between both sides but we were quickly outnumbered. A group of us bolted for the front entrance of the supermarket.
As I pushed through the glass door a bullet slammed into my right shoulder, driving me against the door. Catching myself before stumbling, I turned left and ran along the front of the supermarket.
A wide walkway ran parallel to the storefront, flanked by a maze of large white appliances — refrigerators, washers, dryers and stoves. Some in our group had taken up positions behind them and were waiting for the Communists to emerge from the building. I scrambled down the walkway and ducked behind a refrigerator, breathing heavily and aware of the sharp pain in my shoulder.
The enemy arrived in such force that they swarmed down the lane and quickly dispatched our defenders after a brief gunfight. When I shot at them, a soldier stepped around the fridge and fired point-blank into my chest. The impact threw me to the ground, clutching the wound. Their group continued on. All around were our dead and dying.
But I wasn't finished yet! Still holding the gun in my right hand, I heaved myself up with my left arm, resting for a moment on a washer. Then I staggered forward after the enemy.
A soldier in the rear did an about-face and I shot him in the face. As he dropped I wrestled a knife from his belt and stepped on his chest. Approaching the next soldier I drove the blade forward into his belly as he turned around, ramming him forward with my weight and momentum, and firing over his head at the backs of the other soldiers in his group. The remaining few men turned left and re-entered the supermarket through a service entrance.
Mostly concealed, I shoved open the door and let a burst of bullets rush by me. Then I ducked down low and picked off two more soldiers. The last one fled through the supermarket.
Inside, the fluorescent lights were extraordinarily bright. All the vivid food products on the shelves were washed out. People drifted by like vapors. But my target was clear when I shot him. He rolled over and I saw his face — the soldier that had blasted me in the chest.
Then I was walking towards the front of the supermarket as I had done before, this time in a slow-motion trance. I passed and elderly man pointing out something to his wife. A fat middle-aged man was asking a store employee where something was. In my mind a French horn started playing a slow, sad tune that reminded me of the theme song from the animated film Wizards. The lights were getting brighter and brighter. With every step the plodding tempo of that song throbbed in my mind.
When I pushed through the front doors again the outside world was brilliant white so that the sun was nearly invisible. Amidst the hazy sea of white appliances I was still able to discern the dead soldiers. A strong emotion of sadness and despair filled me with emptiness. Then I saw a body straight ahead.
It was me, red hand across my chest, lying on the ground in a pool of blood and looking up at the sky.
The song played its final notes. I stood there watching myself die. The whole world faded into an infinite white.
I woke up then. The profound emotion of that dream heaved me over and felt myself on the verge of crying without tears.