Dreams, August 25, 2012
This building has turned into a prison; the other women and I are not allowed out. We are being shuffled from area to area. Oh! I lost my bags, lost my purse; they were right there, but now they are gone. Some women are sitting in the aisle where I last had my bags. Are they there? No? Where could they be? No time to look; we are being moved to another room.
“But it can’t be that bad,” I think. “I must be dreaming.” Now that I realize I am indeed dreaming, I expect the scene to evaporate and I will not know how it ends. But the scene remains, and I remain in the scene. “I am dreaming, but I am staying in the dream,” I realize.
I must try to call my parents so they do not worry, but I do not have my purse with my phone. I become afraid, because I am still in the prison even though I know it is a dream. As my group is being led into the hospital rooms, I linger and stay back. I become separated. An orderly sees me, and I say I am a visitor who needs to find the door. He is friendly and doesn’t question me. He shows me the exit door and I am out. Free! But, I do not have my purse. Without it, without my money, I can’t get around. I am just a homeless person. A kind man helps me to get on the bus and pays my way.
* * *
The pilot shows me how to get up the narrow, gray-carpeted steps to the passenger section of the helicopter. I am so cramped, I am so uncomfortable. “Can I get any more space?” Yes, they move my seat back. I am intimidated because I do not understand the military or military people; I am a fish out of water. But, I must serve this 24-hour duty. “It’s really more like 36 hours,” someone explains, because we are crossing so many time zones. We are headed to Kuwait and after that, we will be in Hawaii before we go home.
I am nervous, but I will make the best of it. When we land in Kuwait, the pilot personally escorts me down the stairs again; he called me by name so I think we are just going down for minute so I don’t take my purse. That was a mistake. Everyone is going downstairs for a training session. The other women have their purses.
We are sitting around in a circle but I can’t find a good chair. Mine is much too low for the table. Oh, I see a better one. But that one is more a stool; no back to it. I make do. What I’m really worried about is how to get upstairs to get my purse. May I take a break? Am I allowed up there by myself? Someone asks for a break for the group, so I can get my purse. I am grateful.
Later, as we go back upstairs, I admire a tree through the window. “I don’t know about trees; I never studied trees, or parts of trees,” someone says to me. I explain the tree starts below the ground with the roots, then the trunk develops, branches, leaves. We admire the huge trunk of the unusual tree; I don’t know trees in Kuwait. I wonder what I can contribute to this military exercise. Would they be interested in my personality type? I am a fish out of water, but they are being kind to me.
I promised Linda to let her know David’s phone number in LA, so she could connect with him when she visited for a day. But I cannot get my phone to work, even after I find the blue slip of paper with the number. So hard to get the phone to work. I am missing making the phone call; they will miss the connection. I hope they will understand when I tell them I was on military duty in Kuwait. Surely they will understand and forgive? I can only hope.