Thursday, September 24, 2009
sons and daughters of the revolution
What a very strange dream I had last night.
My first recollection: I am in what might be best described as a large maze of auditorium lobbies. Something cataclysmic has just taken place. This event is not detailed, however it will change the way we live - societies conventions and conveniences can now be forgotten or dismissed.
My first thought is to survival; accumulate food, then shelter. I scavenge through the nice, gourmet-like concession stands for dry goods. Strangely - or not so strangely to those who know me - I am preoccupied with accumulating sufficient quantities of coffee. The labels will let me know if this one is without caffeine, or this one adulterated with artificial flavoring. I am united with a group of seven, these out of a large number of people rambling about in the unseen background. Our group begins to have valid concerns about others stealing our food as conditions deteriorate.
We break up in a search for shelter, as this proves to be a larger problem than finding food. In a small room I find a couple, Amanda and Leo, with a small child - these are out-of-dream people I have actually known in the past. They have secured a bed in a small room of wall-to-wall people which they invite us to share - this is in keeping with the nature of the actual couple. It is a spacious bed, distanced from the chaos surrounding. Our group accepts the invitation of shelter, but as conditions deteriorate in the aftermath of the disaster, we realize that we must leave the maze of lobbies, swarming with unrestrained and hungry masses, in order to survive.
We decide to evacuate the maze in groups of two: down a drab, poorly lit corridor, through an exclusive restaurant full of dining people, and out glass doors at the opposite end of the restaurant. Amanda and I are the last to leave. As we begin our walk down the corridor, I worry that Amanda's height - several inches taller than myself - might arouse suspicion. Looking down the corridor, in the direction of the busy restaurant, shut doors are now guarded by an armed sentry who looks up to determine our motives. I quickly change plans and try one of the side doors - pretending that this was our original intention - hoping the door is unlocked. Leading Amanda into the room, we hurry to a small window and use a desk chair to break the window as quietly as possible. The commotion is heard, and we hear hurried activity outside the room's door. Amanda slips lithely out the window; as I attempt to follow her, my bulk hangs and catches against the narrow opening. I am punctured in the side with broken glass. Amanda and I work feverishly to free me from the window's toothed grip.
The escape out the window starts a long period of running and hiding - a period I will not record here - as the old order collapses and a new order develops. As several years pass, Amanda and I are the only ones left of the original group that escaped. Our nights are filled with scavenging; our days are spent hiding and resting in a series of post-apocalyptic bunkers improvised from the shells of middle-class houses. Eventually, near the end of our fugitive period, Amanda and I are separated. I assume the worse fate has befallen Amanda, my only companion and consolation in this grotesque new world. Separation. The loss is overwhelming. I can vividly remember the earthy-sweet smell of sweat and grime on her pale, bad-complexioned skin; the soft greasy feel of her unwashed hair; the consolation of her voice.
I remember losing hope at that time. Traveling by day. Taking risks. Daring fate. Fearless, for I had spent my life's quota. On a foggy early morning, I see a small group of soldiers standing in the road, blocking my way. As I approach, I sense that they are friendly - I knew this, (the way one knows such things in dreamland).
The dream now takes a turn for the better. The stable government that rises from the ashes of the disaster is favorable to those who dared escaped the maze in the beginning; most of those that remained in the maze were conscripted into the short-lived, feudalistic factions that sprang up after the fall of the old order. Once fed and cleaned, I am taken back to the original maze of corridors, there I am reunited with Amanda. She is weak, but alive. She looks a decade older, tired - as if the entire upheaval has been thrust upon her scarred body and gentle, swollen face. She is, however, washed and cared for - in a clean linen gown - held between two attendants bracing her unsteady body. Her eyes speak the same generosity and peace that they possessed when she offered our original group the greater share of her living space.
Those few that originally escaped from the maze of corridors were considered heroes of the revolution. A social convention was held; being the more healthy of the only two survivors, I was invited to attend. I go to the convention with a younger man that has befriended me. The gathering is held in an auditorium with approximately 2000 seats. When we arrive, and begin searching for our seats, my companion takes our ticket numbers to mean that we are sitting about 2/3 to the back of the auditorium. As were take our seats, an usher takes us by the arm, explaining that there has been a mistake. We are led down the aisle until we are at the fourth row from the front - the first ten or so aisles reserved for dignitaries. My companion is sure there is some kind of mistake, but surprisingly to both of us, I show him an engraved gold plate on a rifle that my right hand oddly seems to possess. This gun-plate apparently signifies my position in the new government. We sit down, a dinner menu is offered to me, my companion, and the rest of the elite. I think to myself how strange this has all turned out - how strange to honor someone who has merely acted out of fear and panic. I question my more worldly-wise friend as to what my new responsibilities are to entail in this government - praying that they will not separate me once again from Amanda - knowing full well that I am not qualified to hold any responsible position. An older man seated in front of us turns to inform me that the original 'son's of the revolution' are considered retired generals; my time is my own. My first pleasant thought is that I can spend my last days attending Amanda and gardening to my heart's content.
Just before my morning alarm went off, I chose the cordon bleu from the menu.
After finishing this blog post, I think I will go out and garden a bit. Due to some malfunction within my psyche, I find it difficult at times to distance myself from certain vivid dream worlds, (often recurring). It feels as if, upon awakening, I have lost a lifetime of memories and friends - at times my relationship with certain people has changed drastically - thrust at the sound of an alarm into a world no more real; my sense of loss no less overwhelming; my relationships confused and awkward. (Often the greatest difficulty is not allowing this to be noticed by my few friends, and my family that I adore.) - Gardening will help - it always does.