Tired, sick, discouraged. Maybe that's why the dreams are so vivid.
Dark night on the streets. Grey, formless, it’s mixed up with another dream where I remember bright lights in a shop window – triangles and other ornaments in red neon and sparkling fairy lights. Lots of people. There always are lots of people, all faceless and nameless and they’re walking quickly, always never showing their faces. I’m walking too, past little lanes where there is water on the tiles – little lanes like those in Panglima Street or those alleyways locally here where there are drains and the backs of shop houses. In the other dream I know I hid with a group of people or at least came into contact with some like minds.
In this dream, I remember soldiers. Huge cordons of them around the city, wearing Berlin colours and bright brass buttons on their jackets. They’re menacing. The sheer force of so many of them makes the air prickle with danger. It makes me uneasy. I look at my companion – he’s faceless and nameless too, but a comrade-in-arms, that I know – and we both think with the startling clarity of thoughts in dreams that with so many of Germany’s forces gathered en mass like this, one good hard blow would cripple them permanently.
We must have agreed. In dreams, things like consensus happen as if by magic, completely naturally. The roads are dark. We’re on the way to where Berlin has headquartered their forces. Ahead in the night sky, a plane lifts off and the glow of the aerodrome halos in the darkness, menacing and cold. There are trees silhouetted against the halo and I think, ‘Luftwaffe.’
We need to hide. There are searchlights and beacons all around us as we try to get into cover. One of the beams catches us and throws us into high relief and I am terrified in case we are discovered and shot, but somehow, miraculously, the guards leave us be. We are in a drain, an overgrown, weedy monsoon drain shallower than most. I go down a little ways, and discover that it’s a hidden passage to the sentry box. We need uniforms or disguises. There are three doors near the sentry box – again, with dreams, the most illogical things seem possible. I know one of my comrades manages to find a uniform, and another, but when it is my turn, I can’t, and I remember thinking that we need to hurry, I can see their boots under the stalls and if I can’t find something to wear and soon, there will be trouble.
I turn the chainmaille ring on my finger and think that such a small gesture against Germany’s massive army is like a piece of tiny chainmaille in a sea of boots. A drop in the ocean. I wonder why we’re doing this, and the implications of failing. We don’t seem like heroes, just madmen.
When I wake, echoes of the Luftwaffe and the sour taste of futility linger like tired rags.