Dream of:09 December 1987 "Speaking Burmese"
I was a soldier in Vietnam, and I seemed to be Vietnamese myself. I was watching a battle scene which looked as if it were on a movie screen. In the scene, a number of soldiers were scattered around in muddy fox holes. Suddenly a bomb flew in and exploded in their midst, leaving a large crater. I was unsure if anyone had been killed by the bomb, but I saw one fellow in a fox hole right next to the crater and I thought about how narrowly he had missed begin killed.
The incident made me reflect about the lunacy of what was going on here. I myself could be killed at any time and it simply didn't seem worth it. I decided that I wanted to try to leave the country.
I was in vehicle being driven by a fellow soldier whom I trusted, and I began talking with him of the possibility of fleeing to Burma. At first he thought I was just joking. But gradually I convinced him that I was serious, and I proceeded to point out the terrible danger that we were both in here in Vietnam, and how that at least if we could try to escape to Burma, there was a chance of survival. Slowly he began to believe what I was saying. I remembered that one of his duties had been cleaning the latrines here and I pointed out that at least he "won't have to shovel shit" in Burma. Finally he agreed to go with me.
My fellow soldier and I were are driving in the direction of Burma. Suddenly up ahead I saw a United States military checkpoint. My friend was a black American. He apparently had a pass and shouldn't have any trouble passing the checkpoint. I myself now looked American, but my passport wasn't American and I anticipated problems.
My friend pulled up to the window of the checkpoint and two American soldiers began asking questions. I told them I was going to Burma for the weekend. They seemed to think that was a bit odd, but not completely out of the question. I asked them about the quickest route and I almost asked them whether I would have any problems going through Cambodia. But before I spoke, I formed a mental image in my mind of the map of Southeast Asia, and I saw that to get to Burma through Cambodia, I would have to go through North Vietnam, which was enemy territory. There was a direct route to Burma through South Vietnam, where I was, which I should follow instead. So I didn't say anything to the soldiers about Cambodia. I just discussed whether the route through South Vietnam was dangerous and they seemed to think I should be able to make it without too much difficulty.
They wanted to know if I knew anyone in Burma and where I would stay there. I told them I didn't know anyone, but I had heard of other soldiers going there for the weekend and being able to find accommodations without much problem.
Finally the soldiers asked some other questions and my friend went back to a jeep which parked several meters behind me and got another soldier in the jeep to pretend he was an officer and he said something in support of my going to Burma. It looked as if I was going to be let through without incident.
I was talking with a woman on the phone and she was apparently in Burma and apparently was speaking Burmese. Although I didn't understand what she was saying, there was something about her voice which made me want to continue listening to her. There was something familiar about it. Finally she said in English, "Do you rememberBirdie?"
I could hardly believe it, but apparently it was Birdie talking to me. I wanted to find out exactly where she was so I could visit her.
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