I’ve spent the last few nights watching The Pacific on Blu-Ray with an air-sick bag close by. Television programming is so repetitive with rehashed themery that it has become a blister on the minds of most viewers. Shows like The Pacific are the rupturing of that blister into a gore fest of hyper-violence. I found myself cringing for most of the miniseries until about half way through the disks when I adopted a sort of withdrawn third person view of the scenes, remaining within and away from the moment if you will. The days of Shakespeare are long past but some of the writing was fair. One of the people in the series is a newspaper writer and a former Marine. At one point after the war, he goes on a date with a girl whom he has written many letters never sent during his time in the Pacific. Upon revealing this fact to the girl on their first date, the Marine answered her question of what they contained with, “They contained my best writings.” This is something I can relate to as I’ve written some of my favorite words when secreting them to mon amour. I’ll wait…
Welcome back. I had this dream once a few years ago. I was a part of a resistance group fighting for the survival of humanity from the onslaught of an alien plague. Our fight was wholly one-sided in that we received no incoming fire. Our threat instead was turning into the bug aliens with which we battled. It was sort of like the 28 Days Later movies, but instead of the Rage Virus, we would turn into these giant black bug creatures like something out of a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon. One minute you were fighting with your human compatriots, the next, you were running away from their now bug-enveloped bodies, their mandibles clicking as they slowly hopped along toward you like giant ticks. So in this dream, I found myself in that very position, hiding behind a 70’s hippie bus with a green roof and giant flowers on the doors. The sounds of shots around me silenced as my friends all turned into bugs. I was now alone as I fired, retreating behind a hay bale, the bug aliens outpacing my steps. I ran backwards firing my rifle dry at the black blobs. I dropped the useless iron and wood and switched to my handgun. The red barn behind me offered few hiding places but time was short and the bugs were closing in on the farm. I ran inside and climbed the thick wooden rungs of the latter up into the hay loft. Crouching behind two giant piles of hay, I checked my clip and found two bullets left. I could hear at least seven of the bug aliens down below clicking around the barn floor like fingernails on a keyboard. I heard them climbing the ladder and without considering my actions, I turned the gun to myself and fired as if it were the most natural thing in the world and the only final route of escape.
My view shifted to the light bulb’s height above my body. A veil of light partially obscured my view as I swept higher. The bug aliens scampered toward my lifeless form but I didn’t seem to care now. Higher, I melted through the roof of the barn where I saw the hay bale and the hippie van. I turned toward the mountains and flew to distant horizons of sun-lit clouds. The hills below me, all I felt was peace. That’s when I woke up.
I’m not sure what lessons to analyze out of this dream, though I’ve had years to consider the implications. This wasn’t a lucid dream, I was along for the ride just as you are now. At one point I felt it meant that if I were ever in a dire and hopeless situation, I would choose a personal victory over the defeat by an external actor. Then I considered that my previously honorable act was an act of cowardice, choosing to face death rather than a life of alien bug envelopment. At one point, the interesting part wasn’t a revelation of life after death, it was that once I was in that second life, my earth-bound fears and troubles fell away like so many lead weights from my balloon-like ascension. That was cool. Recently, I was asked by my four-year-old niece to tell the story of my dreams. Of course, while on the spot, the only dream I could ever remember having was the suicide dream. So I told her the whole thing except for the part where I killed myself. I did tell her about the hay loft, but I told her that I ran up there, heard the aliens approach and without knowing why, I floated up and out of my body. I told her about the fears melting away and flying through the clouds over hills to the distant mountains. I told her about not caring about the bug aliens attacking the body I was leaving behind. She was fascinated and asked me a few questions to which I revealed my own ignorance of the meaning. Then she asked me to tell her about the dreams of the squirrels around us, the birds and her stuffed animals. I somehow came up with about ten pretty good stories off the top of my head. We sat talking for a long time out on the deck with the sun falling behind us. So maybe the meaning of my dream was nothing more than a fiction, a story I wouldn’t forget so I’d have something to tell my unborn niece. As I revealed it to her, I felt a new role being born within myself. Now I reveal it to you in the hopes of a similar revelation. Take what meaning you will from it.