I post to this blog irregularly. If you would like to be notified when I do, fill out the form at the end of this post.
Ambien has the curious side effect of making your dreams incredibly vivid and lifelike. Some dreams are so vivid they form regular memories. This particular dream still haunts me.
I lived in Yemen for a couple of years. It still influences my dreams from time to time. They typically start with astonishment of being back there and then morph into worry about my personal safety as the place has changed over the years. This particular dream veered into the general paranoid political vibe of the Middle East. There was always the worry that some group or other would do something and you would be swept along in whatever came next.
I had been nabbed by a group of men. They were either from Hezbollah or the Mossad, my memory is hazy about it. In any case, whichever side they were on, a meeting with a representative from the other side had been set up to discuss the identity and location of several prisoners. The informant would only meet with someone that was not affiliated with either group. I was to be that contact. I didn’t quite understand the situation. Were they a double agent? How was it that the identity wasn’t known to either side yet both knew about the meeting? My captors informed me that whatever I might think of the situation, I was now in it and there was no way out. My understanding was irrelevant, I had a job to do.
The location had been swept to insure there was no video surveillance but it was assumed that audio was unavoidable. I took this to mean that they would certainly be monitoring the situation and assumed the other party would be too. Therefore it was imperative to do the entire meeting in complete silence in order to preserve the agent’s identity.
I was terrified. Lives were in my hands. Stressed to the max, I found the location and went inside. My heart was pounding waiting for the agent to arrive. When the door opened I could hardly believe my eyes, I knew her! I blurted out, “Amber!”
Amber and I had been friends throughout high school and into my sophomore year of college. At the time of this dream I probably hadn’t seen or heard from her in over 20 years. She was a photo major as well but went to a Baptist school in Bristol Virginia. Needless to say I never would have expected anyone from my high school days to show up in a situation like I found myself in the dream. On top of that, of all the people I knew in high school she wouldn’t have cracked my top 25 list of people that might have gotten into spy craft.
When I blurted out her name she stopped and stared, clearly as surprised as I was. Then the color drained out of her face making her freckles stand out even more than usual. Without saying anything, she strode over to the table and pulled out some markers from her pockets. I noticed her hand shaking as she brought the marker to the paper but steadied in order to write. She made several shapes and wrote some things in Arabic. The information was several names and cell locations. I could feel her looking at me when she stopped writing. Looking up she wordlessly asked if I understood. I nodded.
That’s when tears welled up in her eyes. Only then did I understand that by revealing her name and that I knew her I had blown her cover. She probably wouldn’t be alive for very much longer. Grabbing the paper she turned around, pulled out a lighter, and lit a corner. With her back to me she dropped it in the wastebasket by the door and watched it burn. Once the flame died she walked out without ever turning back around.
Then I opened my eyes and I was back in my room.