22 April, 2005


~ dream diary ~

I am driving in a city. Everywhere there are huge billboards advertising Star Wars Ep III: The Revenge Of The Sith. I am disgusted. As I pass one such billboard, with Hayden Christensen looking particularly pretty and effeminate, I scream bitterly to anyone within earshot, "Revenge Of The Sith?! More like: Return Of The SHIT!!!" I drive further. I am going to meet Snazzles. I listen to the radio about the War. America has declared all-out War on the entire Middle-East, on all of Islam. Cities throught America will be under retaliatory attack within hours.

I arrive at my destination. It is a little strange that the car-park is used as a Vet's surgery, but I like the clean, antiseptic smell. I meet Snazzles. We discuss the War. A TV is on. New York City is being carpet-bombed. All of America's allies are under attack, including Australia. There is a special episode of Oprah on, discussing the War, being broadcast from an underground studio. You can hear the explosions and the city of Chicago collapsing above Oprah's studio. This is what it feels like to be in a War. Not just watching it on a screen, happening somewhere far beyond reach. This is real. Myself, my friends and my family are all in direct, immediate danger. How in the Hell is this going to end, now that it has been started? I ask Snazzles. Bush is going to nuke all of the Middle East: Jews and Muslims, terrorists and pacifists. And once this War becomes nuclear, there will be no turning back. I am almost in tears. "I'm really fucking scared," I say to Snazzles.

My father is here. My boss, and family friend, Mr Warren is here. Other people from my work are here. Snazzles is gone. We are in a small office building, surrounded by fields containing numerous electricity terminal stations. I can hear explosions. "It's thunder," says patermunkey. But it's not. Electricity stations are infrastructure targets in any War. I can see planes in the distance, and bombs falling from their bellies. The furthest of the terminals disappear in belching flames and smoke. The ground rumbles. More planes swoop by, and the terminals in the middle distance explode. This is like waiting on the beach, watching the approach of a wave that will sweep you away.

Mr Warren is jovial. "Leanne will be shitting herself now," he jokes about his wife, who is at home, and knows that we are here. He is confident that only the terminals will be bombed, while the civilian building we are in will be safe. I am not so sure. The last remaining electricity terminal is only about 100 metres from the wall of windows through which we are watching. The planes swoop overhead. The bomb comes tumbling from their underside, like a giant, spiralling Nurofen capsule, falling in a straight line down towards the irregular metal structures of the terminal, just a stone's throw from where we stand.

"Get down!" shouts patermunkey. I am a step ahead of him. I am moving in real time, while the rest of the world lurches into ultra-slow-motion, like a Radiohead film clip. I am as far from the window as possible, in the foetal position, face down on the floor. I hear the bomb hit and explode. I feel the glass shatter and fly around me. The noise is incredible, and my eyes are closed. I do not know if the building will hold up. I do not know if there will be more bombs - a direct hit on this building. The noise continues, and I consciously relax my entire body, breathing deeply and gently. This might very well be the moment of my death, and there is nothing I can do about it. No use despairing or panicking, it is beyond my control - if this is the last feeling I will ever know, I want to know it with peaceful calm.

The noise dies away. I am still here. Covered in dust and smoke and shattered glass, but alive. Patermunkey is alive. My sister Cait is running around, scared but okay. My brother is dead. We lost him. My mother isn't here, but she's somewhere, and she's safe. I know this. The planes have left, for now. But the War will go on. Our stupid, short-sighted, conservative governments have condemned us to this fate. The corpse of my only brother lies somewhere among the ash and destruction. This meaningless hatred will claim us all, sooner or later.




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