Dream of: 29 September 1995 "Berlin"

I was in a hurry, fearing I was late, as I arrived at a plenary session of congress where all the congressmen were gathered and seated. When I saw the president, Bill Clinton, arriving at the same time I did, I was relieved because I knew it wouldn't matter if I was late as long as he hadn't arrived before me. When Clinton took his seat, I saw that the only seat left was the one to his right, and I realized that that seat had been saved for me. I knew that Clinton and I were close friends, and that other people must be envious of my favored position next to Clinton. As I took the seat I simply said to him as a greeting, "Mr. President."

Now that Clinton had arrived the session began. It became immediately clear that Clinton's party was under attack. To counter the attack, members of Clinton's party had decided to make an example of someone who had opposed them. Several men grabbed one of the seated members and forced him to stand up. The man, clearly shocked and disconcerted, stood trembling. He was probably around 50 years old, pudgy, and dressed in a light gray suit.

Clinton stood and walked to the aisle, apparently to get a better view. When I walked over to him, he asked me for a cigarette and I pulled one out of a box I had and handed it to him. He then asked me if I had a match. I didn't think I did, but feeling my left shirt pocket, I found a match book and pulled it out. He told me not to light it for him, but to just hand the match book to him. I did so and he tore off a match and lit it. But when he tried to light his cigarette, he discovered that the cigarette was broken and he couldn't do it. I thought of trying to light the cigarette for him, but instead I pulled out the box of cigarettes and handed it to him. The cigarette box was rather unusual. It was long and slender with two rows of about 20 cigarettes in each row. On the cover were red and blue designs and letters on a white background. As Clinton looked at the box, I thought he liked it and I said, "Keep it."

He apparently liked the box because instead of handing it back to me, he threw it down in an empty chair so he could retrieve it later.

Turning my attention back to the action in the chamber, I seemed to be looking at a movie screen where a movie was unfolding. But the scene from the movie was so intense, I seemed to be in the movie at the same time. And it seemed that Clinton was no longer with me. In fact I was thinking to myself that it must be difficult for Clinton to go to the movies because he would attract so much attention. However I wished he were watching this movie since I thought he would certainly learn something from it.

I knew the first part of the movie had shown the scenes of the member of congress being pulled to his feet to be made an example of. But now the movie showed a different location: the streets of Berlin. It was clear that this was the Berlin at the end of World War II right after the Allied forces had marched in. The city was in ruins and devastation poured onto the screen.

I thought to myself of all the people who had suffered through that cataclysmic time. I was puzzled that I didn't hear any sound of the voices of the suffering. Almost immediately I heard the cries and moans of people coming from the ruins. The scene shifted to the outside of a building being used as an American command post. Two old women in rags were thrown from the building. Clearly the Americans didn't have the resources to help all the suffering people there, and had to turn them away. I thought of how many families must have been torn apart and would never be able to find their loved ones again.

I also thought about Clinton. I wished he had been with me to see this movie. I had the feeling that he had gone to see some entertaining movie. But this one would have been much better for him to see. Perhaps it would have made him more cognizant of the power he wielded.

The scene changed to a small stream of water in the city. The water had a deep blue tinge and was obviously an open sewer. Standing or floating in the water which was up to her neck was a young girl probably nine or ten years old. As I noticed a boy about the same age standing on the bank, I felt as if I were the boy, and I began talking to the girl. I told her she should get out of the filthy water, but she insisted on staying. She said the stream led past her home, and the only way she could find her home was to stay in the water and follow the stream.

We were both trying to avoid the Germans. Apparently we were Jews and had managed to escape capture during the war. Originally another boy had been with us, but he had died. The girl recited a little poem about how three children had started off on a journey, how two had died and only one had made it to the end. I knew she was saying that she intended to survive, and that if I didn't join her, I would die, just as the poem said. But I couldn't bring myself to jump into the sewage, and I watched her disappear as she swam down the stream.

The stream soon ran underground and she came out in an open subterranean area. On the side of the banks were small cubicles which appeared to be made of cardboard or plywood. This obviously was where she had stayed during the war. But now there was no one left there. She was looking for her family, but the place was deserted.

From above her some water began falling into the stream, apparently water being flushed from a commode. Mingled with the water were hundreds of Deutsch Marks, now worthless and being discarded. The water was covered with them.

The stream led through a tunnel and off in the distance I could see a faint light where the stream would come out of the tunnel.

***

I was walking alone down a Berlin street. The city had returned to normal, and although I still seemed to be in the time right after World War II, it also seemed as if the war had been over for many years and the city had recovered. People dressed in nice clothes were strolling through the street and an atmosphere of posterity pervaded the scene. I noticed someone had dropped a large amount of popcorn on the street in front of me, and I thought how starving people would have scrambled for the popcorn during the war. I scooped up a handful of the popcorn, threw one into the air and tried to catch it in my mouth.

Although I hadn't spent much time in Berlin, I was familiar with the area and knew where I was going. Suddenly I found myself at my destination. Before me towered a huge concrete building which I knew was the library. I had intended to go into the library and do some work. But suddenly, upon seeing the building, I became emotionally choked up and thought I was gong to start crying. Seeing the building I knew this was where I belonged. I had known for a long time that I belonged in Berlin. This was the place where I could do my life's work. Why had I wasted so much time in getting here? Why had it taken me so long?

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