Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Cherry Coke Dream

I just woke up from perhaps one of the strangest dreams I’ve ever had, probably because I also had one of the longest sleeps. Extremely deprived for the past week, I was out for sixteen hours (seven to eleven). And like all dreams, I can see the elements of my mind come together in a strange, randomized hash. Some of it I can recognize, some of it I have no idea. But I really don’t know where to begin, to be honest. The dream seemed so long it’s as if I don’t even remember the entire first half, or large intermitting portions of it. It’s always hard trying to recall or retell a dream as vividly as you experienced it.

I do remember one scene where I was at a pool party, and the sky was gray like it was yesterday morning, but the only people I could remember there were Paco and Jude, and the pool was covered in layers of broken ice. Paco was swimming, and I thought he was insane. There was even a metal slide that led into the water. Some random APO adult went down it, and he never came back up out of the water.

It was sunny now. We were in a giant grass field, with a mountain of some sort to our left. And there was an improvised boundary separating the field (neon tape, etc.), and one massive group of APO was on my side (including Jude and Paco) and another massive group was on the other (including, I only remember, Gil Chris). We all had these long wooden sticks with a curved point on the end that bent to the side, like a scythe but much less dramatic. And some of us also had tennis rackets. We were volleying a light balloon-like ball between our groups, using our scythe-like sticks pointy ends (the ball never felt like popping), and apparently, I was really good at it, so we had an intense, noisy match.

I guess later a few of us went into that mountain I mentioned earlier, which reminded me of one of the old APO camps, where the campsite was a huge slanted hill. Anyway, it was now dusk, and to the side of the area, there was a nest, with a trench that led to a bigger nest on the higher end of the mountain. It was orange, and littered with white straw or bird waste – I don’t know, but it was white, I even remember wondering this in the dream. Unfortunately and strangely enough, I know a lot of my dream revolved around this area, and there were a lot of people featured in this part, but I don’t remember a thing about what exactly happened here, or with whom exactly I was with. There was a lot of hanging out around this area, and a lot of fear of the place – something perhaps gruesome or haunted lingered around the nests.

That night, the setting shifted at one point into a city. The buildings were large (to be honest, they kind of reminded me of those cheesy custom maps from old video games I used to play), and Jasen was coordinating a massive fireworks event. I don’t know why. Nonetheless, he was doing a good job. I left the noisy area to retreat to a quieter spot, and walked along the side of a building that was more like a massive block of concrete. And I sat by a light pole calling my girlfriend because I wanted her to be there. She wasn’t picking up, but on the bottom of the building, a good distance away, I saw Beatrice in a car trying to yell something to me. I don’t know what she was saying. But eventually, we hear Jasen’s voice booming on a microphone that seemed to reverberate through the entire city, and he was counting down the fireworks. But it wasn’t a normal count down. Rather, every time he said a word, a firework went off in a random place along the horizon. I don’t remember what he was saying either.

The odd night ended with Jasen, Tiffany, Beatrice, and my parents around a table eating cake in a small, yellow room, lit by a chandelier, with the city viewable through a couple windows. I remember my dad asked, “What did you use?” and Jasen responded, “Cherry coke.” I have no idea what that meant, or what it referred to.

I woke up, home alone, only able to think about the dream that just ended. I decided to write about it because I don’t want to forget it. For now, I guess I don’t remember the rest. But I do know I’ll go about my daily life and randomly remember parts of it I forgot to mention. That happens to you too, right?

And seeing as to how informal this entry is, I might as well shamelessly plug a play I’m going to be in! Come to Monroe High School (9229 Haskell Ave., North Hills 91343) from 6:00pm-9:00pm on October 11, 12 and 13 (Thurs, Fri, Sat) to watch me play the part of a paranoid politician in Neil Simon’s hilarious Broadway hit, Rumors! Bring your friends, bring a date; it’s only $3 for students and $4 for general admission, and we’ll sell food and drinks there for you. Maybe even cherry coke.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Oh Please, That Was So 2001

When it comes to that whole thing about what happened on that one day a few years ago, it’s really pathetic. And I’ll admit: I wasn’t all that moved by the whole movement. That sudden rush of patriotism and faux-“In God We Trust” attitude reminded me of deceitful wartime propaganda, and the people that follow that mindless nonsense reminded me of the Revolutionary War’s wonderful loyalists.

What makes me even more sick is that the perpetrators of this disaster got exactly what they wanted out of the American people: fear. I glimpsed over today’s Daily News’ front page to review their obligatory special on the issue, and found a module listing peoples’ replies to questions about the event. One 66-year-old woman said, "I am always scared. We have to be more vigilant."

Always scared? Is she serious? Ma’am, you lived through the Cold War, and you should know better. There’s nothing to be afraid of, and this vigilance you’re talking about is only setting your grandchildren up for worse, because as we continue to attack people that don’t deserve our vengeance, we’re only asking for more in the future. It’s about as ridiculous as mercilessly bombing the nation of Afghanistan and violently invading Iraq because ten guys from Saudi Arabia and Egypt and the United Arab Emirates did something bad. (Oh, wait.)

“[Name withheld upon request], 24, of Woodland Hills, a doctorate student, said, ‘I don’t feel safe anymore. I’m constantly thinking about what they (the terrorists) are up to. They keep on sending pictures and messages to us so it scares me because there are so many groups against Americans right now. I’ve become more cautious with certain groups of people. People are becoming more racist against Arabs. I personally don’t like them.’”

Apparently and evidently, terrorism actually works! And with people like [Name withheld upon request], it’s no wonder “so many groups” are “against Americans right now.” Clueless morons like her are the reason this pointless war is still going on, and more Americans still have to suffer. I’m not just talking about the countless troops that are stuck in the Iraqi desert right now, or about the American military deaths that greatly overshadow the ground zero death toll, I’m also talking about our hapless Muslim community (and Arab community, due to ignorant racists like [Name withheld upon request]). An interviewed Chatsworth student said, "I’m more self-conscious now and I try to keep a low profile because I am a Muslim."

It’s sad, really. We all get so scared and become so evil because an event that, when thrown in the big picture, seems so little. It was bad. Seriously, it was awful, and the victims of terror all around the world deserve our deepest respect. But we have to understand that how we’re “resolving” things the way right now is not the way to do it. From that event, 2,752 died. From the “war on terror,” over 80,000 people so far have lost their lives. What are we even fixing, especially when we’re in a country that had nothing to do with the crime?

Joseph Stalin once said, “A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.” And we’ve blown this single death all out of proportion. That day pales in comparison to what we've done since then, and so many people don't realize it.

Are we still blind from the flashes of those explosions? Who’s the true enemy here? Who's the real terrorist, and who's the bigger murderer?