November 29th, 2006

Eric Korea Memorial

Two Dreams

Last week, I dreamed that my son was was in his late teens or early twenties in a para-military group protecting a political figure on the moon - he and his group were all in combat gear, gray fatigues & black Kevlar helmets, modified MP5's all sitting in a transport. They were getting ready to deploy as a protective force around the political entity, but the guy in charge of the squadron, a real megalomaniac, was making bizarre demands of his men's trustworthiness - trying to force them to be completely obedient to his personal agenda. This wasn't the military, so he had no right to do what he did, but when my son hesitated, because he understood that what the leader was about to ask them to do was illegal, he shot my son, killing him.

I was devastated. It hurt so bad, every day, him being gone. And I kept waiting for it to get easier, and it never did. I didn't go into work for a month. I didn't talk to my daughter at all. (Who, incidentally was the age she is now.I felt bad, like the parents of the boy with the dead older brother in Stephen King's Stand By Me, but it didn't matter. Nothing did. I didn't get near a computer, I didn't answer the phone, or watch television. I didn't want to do anything but grieve. Finally, my boss drp came to the house. He understood, but insisted I go back to work. So I did. And every day I walked down the hall, into the Information Services suite, unlocked my office, turned on my lights, closed the door, and sat in there for 9 hours - not answering the phone or checking emails. I did nothing but sit.

It was a horrific dream.

This week I dreamed that I was trying to install Solaris 7 on a multi-headed workstation for my lawyer. I was growing frustrated because I knew that if I were using Solaris 9, it would work. Ernest remembered he had a copy in his office at work, so he called drp and asked him to bring it. drp walked in and my kids were with him. So was Joe, the janitor at work. He was mopping. My boss said something about all the activity outside, so I went outside with him, Ernest, and my kids. There was a group of US Military setting up towed artillery along a half-mile stretch of boardwalk, facing across a wide river. The sky was blood red. I looked across the river and saw the Chinese Army turning self-propelled artillery into position against us - and their artillery consisted of 16-inch guns, dwarfing what we had. I couldn't believe how many civilians were swarming around gawking - gawking! Didn't they know what was happening? I tried not to panic. I left my kids with drp, who was assessing the enemy's strength while Ernest was calculating trajectories. I burst back in the building where I was putting together the Solaris server but my lawyer had already run out. Joe was still mopping and asking me what all the commotion was about. That's when we heard the first shell come across from the other side of the river - it made a noise like Armageddon and filled me with fear and dread. I was trying to comfort Joe before I ran out to get my kids - I didn't know where the shell was going. This horrible noise seemed to go on for several minutes before I realized the shell had overshot us. I rushed back out and saw the Chinese recalculating their trajectory for the next shot. Peering down the half-mile or so of boardwalk on the other side of the river I saw dozens of these 16-inch self-propelled guns all adjusting their angle of elevation. I found and gathered my children with me and woke up
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