Dream of: 22 June 1988 "Dying In Prison"

Several companions and I were in Iran and were involved in a war taking place in a city. Government troops appeared to be fighting against rebels and we were assisting the rebels. Actually it seemed as if we had been captured by the government forces once, but then had escaped a week or two ago. Since then, my companions and I had been trying to get out of the country, but had also gotten involved in fighting against the government troops.

My problem was that I only had a small rifle and I needed a more potent weapon, such as a machine gun. I saw a group of government forces coming down the street, and I imagined how I could probably stand behind the corner of a building, hold my machine gun around the edge and shoot them all, if I only had a machine gun.

As it was, I didn't have a powerful enough weapon to stand up against them. And now I noticed more troops coming from another direction. I seemed to have been cut off from my companions, because I didn't see them anywhere. Although I didn't like the idea, I quickly decided I was going to have to surrender. Surrender was better than death. I stepped into the open street, dropped my rifle to the ground and held my hands up in the air. I saw some government soldiers and walked toward them, hoping they weren't going to shoot.

Once I had reached them, they quickly took me into custody and led me into a prison directly behind them. Once inside the gates, I was left alone outside in a grassy area. I lay down in the grass and I was surprised to feel relieved. At least here I felt relatively safe and I didn't have all the anxiety about worrying about being killed.

I stood up and walked over to the entrance to the prison, where there was a small building with a guard sitting in it. He was a young fellow and I tried to communicate with him. I spoke some French and he seemed to understand some. I told him that soon our places would be turned around, that he would be the prisoner and that I would be free. What I meant was that soon the rebels were going to win the war and the government troops would be made prisoners.

He seemed to have a difficult time grasping that concept. I almost told him I had seen that same thing happen when the Shah of Iran had been overthrown by the Ayatollah Khomeini, but I stopped and decided it would be best not to bring up the fact that I had once before been in Iran, especially since I knew I had also been in prison that time.

Another soldier walked up. He was fairly large and seemed to want to wrestle with me in a playful way. Although he was bigger than I, I decided to wrestle with him, and we both began rolling around on the ground. I was surprised to see I was able to pin him down on his back. My right arm felt especially strong and with it I pushed his left arm to the ground. My left arm wasn't quite as strong, and I needed the help of my left leg to hold down his right arm. I let him up. We were both still friendly toward each other.

About a half dozen well-dressed men and women were walking around and it sounded as if they were speaking English. I myself was now dressed in some gray prison clothes. I approached them and asked if they were Americans. They said they were, but they certainly didn't seem friendly. I remembered I had recently talked in this town with someone who had said that they sometimes visited American prisoners here, but that they didn't like doing it because the prisoners depended on them too much for too many different things. I imagined that these people didn't want to say much to me, because they didn't want me to become dependent on them and then have to help me. But it was somewhat upsetting for me that these Americans wouldn't be willing to help me here in these circumstances.

One of them did ask me if I had a lawyer and I explained that I didn't, because I had just been arrested today. I thought about mentioning that I myself was a lawyer, but I didn't say anything about that.

They disappeared behind a wall. I looked under a wall and it looked as if a primitive toilet was there. Maybe even one woman was using it. I pulled back. I thought about throwing a piece of scrap paper which I had in my hand in the hole, but I didn't.

Finally I just sat down and contemplated the situation. Maybe other American prisoners were here. Maybe I could sit close to the entrance and somehow sneak out. But the truth was, I was beginning to worry I might die here. The more I thought about it, the more incredible my being in an Iranian prison again seemed. My father and my mother would be devastated if I were killed here. In fact, I remembered my father warning me about returning here.

Why was I here? If only this could be a dream and I could just wake up. That would be wonderful. Maybe it was just a dream. But no, this was just too real. For certain I was sitting here in this prison and I wasn't going to wake up.

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