Sunday, April 01, 2007

Dreamt that Karl Rove was planning some kind of convention for Republican Congressional candidates and he was saying he'd have the Navy flag with Navy veterans sitting beneath it, the Army flag with Army veterans, etc. It got me pissed off. I felt like saying, "Fuck the veterans." I realized what a great taboo this was, and I didn't really mean it, but I felt it should be said under the circumstances. So I said it, but the words got a bit caught in my throat. Suddenly I was imagining, or watching – or both – a movie about two veterans who end up going to this convention. One of them was troubled, imbalanced. He would exclaim bizarrely during speeches. The other was wary of his behavior, knew it was coming. Maybe they'd been soldiers in the same platoon, or shipmates, I don't know. But they were close friends, and it grew apparent that the crazy one was intent on doing something drastic, and that the other was to be his victim. I saw a close up of the sane one's face – it bore a grim and bitter expression, marked by the realization that something awful was about to happen to him. His friend was going to kill him. Then I saw the crazy one's face; it was somewhat pocked and bloated, and he had a grotesque smile. I could barely look, I was so appalled and frightened. Then I saw some scenes of the crazy veteran in his quotidian life, walking through streets and a park with his family. He wanted to distance himself, to be alone. His family tailed him worriedly, unsure of what he might do. Then he was telling a story of his experiences as a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War, as though he were now the subject of a documentary. He said that often he could not get the helicopter to rise. It would lift off for a moment and then come crashing down awkwardly so the wheels would get broken off. Then there'd be a cloud of dust and smoke nearby – that was the Viet Cong. Finally he'd manage to fly the helicopter away. But he described many episodes like these, getting shot at, becoming traumatized, being forced to leave doomed soldiers behind. A narrator explained that this was during the "early part of the war," when for some reason the soldiers didn't take fighting seriously and were given to drink. The soldier described how he and his comrades would raid a huge, apparently abandoned liquor warehouse they'd stumbled upon and bring the booze back to camp. I saw scenes of them looting the best whiskey, vodka and gin from the shelves of the darkened store. It was said that the alcohol, combined with the terrors and rigors of fighting, had left some men mad.