Dream of: 10 April 2000 "Broken Ships"

Beasley (probably in his teens) was listening to me tell him about a most bizarre event: I had been arrested in Iran and had been put in jail. The arrest had been bizarre because I couldn't remember any details. I couldn't remember why or how I had come to Iran, nor the particulars of the arrest. I concentrated, but my mind was simply blank. My lack of memory was particularly odd because I could still so clearly recall the details of the first time I had been arrested in Iran many years before, how I had been detained on the train and led off to the prison, scenes that after so many years still returned to me in excruciatingly vivid detail. I told Richard I could only remember the charge against me for my recent arrest: possession of cocaine.

At first, I was thinking my second arrest was also part of my past, but slowly I began to realize I was still in jail. It was morning, already around 10:30, and Beasley and I were still in bed, sitting on the sides of our little cots. I knew I needed to get up and write down as much as I could remember of the story which I had just been telling Beasley. Finally, I raised myself out of bed, pulled on some clothes, and picked up a writing tablet and pen lying near the bed.

I walked into the next room, a small classroom where a few students were sitting, and I took a seat at the rear of the room. I opened my tablet and looked for a blank page on which to write. I had already written on many pages of the tablet, mostly fragments of dreams. Page after page contained scribbled notes of dreams which I had scratched out, but which I had never actually written. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, or early in the morning, I would write these notes, so I could remember the dreams, but all too often, I had failed to use my notes to actually write the dream. With time, the notes had become indecipherable. I thought to myself how the notes resembled the broken boards of a ship which had crashed upon the shore.

At least I was going to write about what was happening to me now, and I tried to remember as much as I could about how I had arrived there and what I had told Beasley. As I put the pen to the page, I was determined not to simply write notes, but to actually write the story. It seemed strange, writing the story with pen, instead of on my computer, but at the moment I had no choice, and I began writing, "Sitting in the back of a sparsely filled classroom…"

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