Two recurring dream segments I had growing up, one just returned last week. Both are culminations of zany and menacing pursuit dreams, with me fleeing through forest, farm, and city. The reasons never mattered as much as the absurd settings and hazy foes. Some of these from my life, some from history, some from the news, some from fantasy. The chase always ended at one of two places, never both.
The first place, from my earliest dreams, has me hurrying along the edge of a newly plowed field. There is a man with a hoe and a brimmed hat working in the field, silhouetted black against a blue sky. I am in the trees, watching him, and I know what’s about to happen. The man is working the hoe, ignoring me, until the moment he rises up and the hoe is a rifle. He raises the gun, shoots me in the leg, and I stumble off, the chase resuming. I usually wake soon after. He always shoots me in the leg and I always know he’s going to do it.
But, this is not the dream segment that came back last week.
That dream segment has me running again. Same fleeting places, real and imagined. Same undefined foes. But, this time I end up on a balcony overlooking Red Square in Moscow. Naturally, there is an NFL game going on down there where the Red Army used to march for review. (Will probably march again.) The Dallas Cowboys are always playing. Don’t ask me if the quarterback was Tony Romo, Troy Aikman, or Roger Staubach. The crowd roars and I stand where Stalin stood, where Putin stands, and watch America’s Team play forever. I had this dream last week for the first time in maybe 30 years. I am a child of two cataclysms of the 20th century, the Cold War and the Dallas Cowboys.
Thank you, Putin.