Dream of: 28 June 1982 "Lebanon"

My father was driving a car in which my mother was sitting in the front passenger seat. My sister, my crippled brother Chris, and I were sitting in the back seat.  My sister was sitting in the right passenger seat, Chris in the middle, and I on the left passenger seat. We were exiting the city of Beirut. As we departed, I argued my father about several subjects. I was becoming upset (although he wasn't) and I raised my voice.

As we drove along, I noticed many refugees leaving the city because the Israelis were bombing the area. Children and women (among the refugees) appeared to be in terrible shape and were having a difficult time. I screamed that the Israelis ought to be lined up and shot for what they were doing to these people. I proclaimed, "Begin (Israeli prime minister Begin) ought to be the first one to be lined up and shot."

My speech irritated my father. Until then he had remained calm; but now he became angry and began arguing back. He didn't look like my father; he was young and had brown skin. I put my hands on his throat as if I were choking him, but my hands were small and I obviously wasn't hurting him. I was just pushing and shaking him.

I thought that the Lebanese and the Vietnamese were somehow connected, that the Lebanese had supported the Vietnamese during the Vietnam War, and that in fact the Lebanese were Vietnamese. I wondered and couldn't figure out why the United States hadn't bombed Lebanon during the Vietnam War.

My family and I now seemed to be in a large van which my father was driving extremely fast through the throng of thousands of refugees who were trampling in the road. As the refugees scattered in front of us, I hollered to my father, "Slow down! Slow down! You're going to hit one of them!"

The refugees barely abandoned the road in time. I was sure he was going to hit one, but he never did. When he continued to drive fast, I told my mother to tell him to slow down. When he finally slowed down, I realized my father himself was from Lebanon, and I asked, "Aren't you Lebanese?"

He answered, "Yes, I'm Lebanese. I'm a steel foreman."

Apparently, he worked in a steel factory.

Since he himself was Lebanese, I couldn't understand how he could be so callous about the sufferings of his own people. He seemed to think that the people were safe and that the Israelis were only doing what they had to do in order to flush out the terrorists.

I could see some truth in what he was saying. Although I agreed that the terrorists needed to be flushed out, I still disagreed with what he was saying.

We continued arguing until we reached a small town where things looked much better. The refugees disappeared. I looked at the people in the town and I said, "Well it looks like these people are doing all right."

Indeed the people there seemed to be doing well. We had traveled quite a ways from the city, and these people seemed removed from the war.

As we rode through the town, we came to a steel mill where the steel workers were dressed in orange uniforms. My father said something like, "This is not a religious place."

I was unsure what he meant and we continued through the town until we emerged upon a charming countryside where people were selling food along the road. The people looked poor, but they didn't seem to be devastated.

My father continued driving until we reached a mountainous area, a part of Lebanon which I had never seen. The mountains loomed larger and larger. When we reached the crest of a ridge, I could see gigantic mountains in the distance. It was beautiful. I held Chris up so he could see. As I did so, I wondered whether it was even worth it that Chris see these things. But I thought that even though Chris was going to die young, it was just as important for him to see those sights as for anyone else to see them.

As we continued on, I wondered where my father was headed. We began descending from the mountains, riding toward the ocean. Soon we reached a place where we could see the ocean in front of us. There was a bay and quite a few people were on the beach. Some had inner tubes and were lying in the water. Even though gigantic waves were breaking on the shore, people were swimming and some were lying in the sun in an area sheltered from the waves. It all looked beautiful. Still holding Chris up, I was enthralled by the beauty of the place.

My father (driving fast) skidded around a curve. When we reached the beach, he drove right out into the sand, turned the car around, and became stuck. Although he couldn't go forward, he was able to back up onto some coral. I was unsure, but I thought we were going to have trouble getting out.

Everyone except Chris jumped out of the car. We wanted to see where we were. My father said, "They've roped off the road."

I saw some white ropes across the sand. My father said the area hadn't been roped off the last time he had been there.

I looked toward the water, which had an assortment of junk floating on it. The ocean had looked much better from inside the car.

Something in the water near the shore caught my eye, but I was unsure what it was. Looking closer, I thought it looked like a large white hat with a black band around it. It looked as if it were about three meters tall and about three meters in diameter.

When I looked back in the direction from which we had come, I saw a black man in a white shirt walking toward us. He must have been almost two and half meters tall. Unsure what he might want, I became apprehensive. I thought I had about $150 in my wallet, which I quickly pulled out of the left pocket of the blue shorts which I was wearing. I wanted to stick the wallet down the front of my shorts, but since I was afraid the man would see me, I quickly stuck the wallet inside the back of my shorts. Then I turned around and saw another man on the other side of us coming toward us. That bothered me.

When both men reached us, the black man was holding his hand behind his back. He turned around and I saw that nothing was in his hand. When he turned around again, however, he had a small black gun in his hand. I thought, "Oh, no. He's going to hold us up or something."

For a split instant, I thought I might be able to grab the gun -- but then it was too late. He pointed the gun toward my family. When I made an untoward step toward him, he quickly turned to me and pointed the gun right at me. I had visions of the whole family being shot and left there. I thought I would be shot first. Even though the situation looked desperate, I tried to think of some way out.

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