Stories I Tell Myself at Night

I’m in a war zone. Not sure where, but I assume it’s Iraq. I am told there are complications — the troops have split into two factions and are too busy shooting at each other to fight the enemy. I notice that most of the gunshots exchanged are indeed between these two factions and the body count seems to be rising rapidly. I’m told I’ve been brought in to try to resolve this situation. I assume what they mean by that is that they want me to help negotiate some kind of agreement between the two groups so they can stop killing each other and concentrate on killing the enemy instead. I’m nervous about that prospect, because my diplomacy skills are nil.

“You have nothing to worry about” I’m told, “we wouldn’t ask you to do something you’re not qualified for. What we need from you is much more simple”. Then someone puts a small revolver in my hand. I’ve never held a gun in my life before, and I have no idea where all this is going.
“All we need you to do is to keep your eye on this soldier right here, just above the wall. If you see him shooting at his fellow soldiers, then kill him”.
“But he’s bound to shoot at the other guys, that’s what he’s been ordered to do”.
“Don’t ask so many questions, he thinks you’re there to watch his back, so just don’t let him suspect you and everything will be fine”.
“But I don’t want to kill that guy or any other guy, I’m against this whole war thing. I don’t even know how to use a gun, he’ll probably manage to kill me ten times over before I manage to hit a vital organ”.
“Well you don’t have a choice, figure it out. It’s that, or we arrange for you to get killed instead”.

Then I’m left to my own devices. I really don’t want to kill that guy, so I figure I’ll just distract him so he forgets about shooting these other guys, and then I won’t have a reason to shoot him. So that’s what I do. I put on the charm and get friendly with him which isn’t hard considering there aren’t a lot of women around, and as he looks down on me from over the wall, I make sure to keep my gun out of sight and just chit-chat with him while the shooting and explosions continue all around us.

We’re in a resort. It’s one of those huge vacation resorts that has it’s own amusement park and concession stands and even a shopping mall. I hate this place. It’s just so fake. I haven’t gotten along with anyone I’ve met and I can’t wait to leave. One day, the circus crew are moving some of their gear, and I see they have this pole, which must be at least 60 feet high and has some kind of velvety band and straps running the whole length of it. I’m intrigued by this so I ask one of the crew members what the pole is for.
“It’s to bounce off from” I’m told.
“How do you mean?”
“Well, we get you at the top of the pole and you hold on to the straps and slide down real fast, and with the momentum, if you know what you’re doing, when you hit the ground you’ll bounce right up into the air again, kind of like you would with a trampoline”.

As I’m being given this explanation, we happen to be approaching the shopping mall, which is an open air concept and has maybe five or six levels, the pole is being moved very near the banisters. So I dash up the mall stairs, as if my life depended on it, bumping into shoppers, mostly teenagers who look at me with annoyance and as if I was completely crazy, and just when I get to the upper lever, I see the top of the pole right in front of me and so I leap onto it and before anybody’s figured out what’s going on, I zip down the pole and just before I hit the ground, I make sure to keep my knees well bent and sure enough, I launch right up into the air, even higher than where I started out.

As soon as I get down, I bounce right up again and by this point I see that everyone is staring up at me in utter shock and disbelief. I can hear the crew member screaming, telling me to get back down, but as soon as I’m on the ground again, I beg him to let me do that again. He agrees to let me but only if I’ll listen to his instructions on how to do it properly, because apparently I’m supposed to slow down my descent as I go down the pole so I won’t bound up quite so high which is what the straps are for. Well I do the bouncing thing all over again and then I get so hooked on it, that I start practicing jumping down from trees and balconies every day until I figure out how to jump from just about any high place and bound up again. At that point, everybody at the resort just points and whispers when they see me passing by, and I’m treated like a freak, but I’m having so much fun that I just don’t care.

Two very different stories, unlike anything I’ve dreamt about before. And I’m amazed that I was able to remember them in so much detail. I can’t say how grateful I am to have had a dream that could have turned into a horrible situation but didn’t and then an all out fun dream — I usually dread falling asleep because most of my dreams are like nightmares, so this was like a gift and a blessing.

Original pic by adwriter, Flickr
Modified by Smiler

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