Well, here it is, 3:00 in the morning, hadn’t been asleep very long, and I had “the dream” again, for the first time in maybe three years. It never gets any worse, but it’s bad enough, bad enough to leave me with the damn shakes.
In this dream, it’s a repeat of something I did in the service, which I am not proud of. I didn’t want to do this, but I did. I have dreamed about this for years. I was on perimeter guard, in Beirut, by the airport. It was dark, it was quiet. I hear this sound behind me, and I turned, just in time to have this kid behind me nail me twice in the back with a bayonet. He hit me on a real tight slant, sliced me but didn’t stab me, very deep. I came across his face with the butt of my 16, and he went down on the ground, flailing around; I couldnt see his face because it was dark, and he’s trying to kick my legs out from under me. I’m trying to step out of his way and kick his weapon away, and he kicks me hard, I nearly go down, and I have to stop him becaiuse I know if I go down, it’s over. So I bring up my 16 and I put three rounds in his upper chest, and he stops moving. Two guys down the way hear the shots and come running, and one of them says to me that I’m bleeding, so he gets on the radio and calls for a medic, and I’m looking at this kid that I just killed, maybe 15, 16, years old, laying there in the dirt with blood all over him, and they’re asking me what the hell happened, and I can’t think or talk or even stand up too good, and all I can think about is that he never said anything, not a word. Why is he here? Why am I here? What’s a 15 year old kid doing with an automatic rifle and a bayonet, trying to stab people in the middle of the night? OK, so he’s a Palestinian, but why me? He never said a word, just came up behind me and wham! And now he’s dead, and I did it.
That’s the dream. It’s always the same, a repeat of the thing, ends at that point. I got sewed up at an aid station and bandaged, and my C.O. was telling me that I’d be okay and I did the right thing, but that’s never in the dream. The dream is always just of me killing the kid. And sometimes I wonder if it always ends at that point because maybe it wasn’t okay, maybe I didn’t do the right thing, but then I think if I hadnt done what I did, I wouldn’t be here right now. And I wonder what would’ve happened if I hadn’t heard him at the last minute. I wonder what filled him with enough hatred that he was out there to begin with, when he should have been out playing basketball or something. All this stuff goes around and around, and I don’t sleep too good after this, although I’m okay enough in the morning when the sun comes up.
I’m sorry for putting all this up here. It’s my problem, I deal with it when it happens, but it’s the middle of the night, you know? I guess I just wanted somebody to talk to.
Thank you for listening…I hope you all sleep better than I did tonight.