I had a weird dream last night. Part of it involved Q-tips. I have no idea.
Another part of the dream was a field trip. We went sky diving. I remember being in the plane watching the instructional video. Instead of jumping with the trained parachutist, you stepped off the plane first, in a horizontal position to maximize drag, then your expert dove after you, caught you and released the parachute. In this dream, however, there was no distinction between my watching the video and the army guy holding me in the middle of the air. I didn’t realize I was already dropping through the sky. We floated and glided and landed in the middle of the ocean. There was a lot of green algae floating at the surface. Boats picked us up and took us to a base, in the water, where an officer gave us these weird controls with numbers on the buttons and assigned us numbers. I was 8. We were still floating on the ocean; I was with a few people at my station, which was the same boat that picked me up. The officer was yelling numbers through a megaphone, and all of a sudden things were blowing up, and it occurred to me we were in a war zone. I heard “8” and I fumbled and located the button and pushed it and nothing happened. I pushed it again. A submarine passed in front of me and I got the impression that was my target. It collided with a supposed enemy station a few hundred feet in front of me, and everything exploded. The other people on my boat had somehow died, and our boat shattered, and I ended up at the front of the boat, which managed not to sink. The battle was over, and I looked for shelter. I found a larger part of another boat where a few others had gravitated. I started rummaging for a container to keep my cell phone dry. Then rescue boats came and picked us up and then we were on buses that were going to drop us off at our homes. I got out my cell phone and dialed the number of a childhood friend’s parents. Her mom picked up and I asked if my friend was home. She said no. I explained our field trip. I explained that I hadn’t seen my friend and if I heard anything I’d call the mom. My voice cracked as I spoke, and the mom sounded as if she might cry, too. I hung up. The bus turned onto State Road 218, yes, in Florida. I sat and imagined blogging about this experience when I got home, how the first line would be “I killed people today” and I’d express my utter confusion and try to sort out all the implications of war. That last scene repeated on a loop, me sitting at a computer screen, typing “I killed people today” and trying to figure out what else to write while I felt someone had punched me in the stomach and taken away most of the the air in my world because I could barely breathe.
Then the alarm went off. I woke up.
And I still feel that way.