Saturday, April 21, 2012

A weird dream I had

The U.S. Army tapped me to serve as a sentinel (guard) for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In real life, this is one of the most honorific duties a soldier can receive. It requires incredible discipline, hardiness and education about Arlington National Cemetery. They don't stop guarding for any reason, including hurricanes and terrorist attacks. They spend six hours a day grooming their uniforms. The standards are so high that only a few hundred men and women have ever occupied the post.

And they gave it to me. 

The commander gave me the uniform to put on and asked me if I knew the drill. I snapped a salute and said, "Sir, yes, sir!" He asked me to try it out. I did the 12 steps (it's actually 21) perfectly, and he was impressed. He warned me that my shift would take an unspecified amount of time (he didn't say, though I've since read it's 30 minutes to two hours depending on the time of day or night). He offered me nicotine Tic Tacs for energy, but I declined, saying I can pile up sleepy time later (which is presumably why I have bizarre dreams like this in the first place).

The rest of the dream was of me counting out 12 steps from one mark to the other. I usually covered the distance in eight steps, though, so I had to adjust on the fly. Also, people kept sticking boxes in my way. And sometimes my feet came down in unnatural directions. Also, at one point, I lost the marks in the mud that's apparently all over the beaten path. And I took off my pants for some reason before putting them back on.

But nobody noticed, and when the commander came back out, he continued to be impressed. "Nice job, soldier," he said. "I've done this before, sir," I replied, because apparently I had in this universe.

Then I awoke, but still kept having the dream somehow. I kept counting pretty much until I stood up and finally told myself to stop.

This dream may have been about not letting obstacles get in the way of my self-determination. But more likely, it was an acting dream. Yeah, probably that.

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