Dream of: 02 July 1986 (3) "Man Of God"

song can express love

An American fellow (four or five years younger than I) had just escaped with me into the jungles of Nicaragua. As Nicaraguan soldiers chased us through the tangle of plants, we spied a huge tree where we thought we might be able to hide. We raced up to the tree—which was dull white and had no leaves—and began climbing its side. As we ascended, however, something bizarre happened: the body of an Indian native fell from above, down through the limbs. The body hit a second Indian body which was lying on a lower branch of the tree and together the two bodies crashed to the ground. Both bodies were of young men (probably in their 30s) clad in tea-colored leather, with long black hair. I figured the Indians had been caught and died in traps which had been set in the trees.

Although my companion and I were obviously in a dangerous predicament, we saw no alternative except to keep climbing. Once we reached the top, however, the limbs could no longer support our weight and began to bend from the pressure of our bodies, breaking underneath us. As one limb would bend down and snap, we would grab onto another lower limb. That limb would then bend and break, and we would repeat the procedure, thus descending back down the tree. Along the way, I tried to help my friend by pushing limbs in his direction so he could grab them. Happily we made it about half-way down the tree without falling. At that point, the tree's limbs again became solid enough to support us without bending and breaking. Nevertheless, we didn't halt, but continued descending the tree until we again reached the earth.

Once on the ground, from where we were, we could look across a field and see a village on the other side. Figuring that the soldiers would be in the village, we decided that crossing the field and surrendering would be best. Concerned that land-mines might have been buried in the field, we thought about setting off the mines by throwing things in front of us as we walked across the field, but we finally decided we would simply take our chances and tramp straight across the field without trying to first set off the mines.

Before setting off across the field, we walked through a large barn on the side of the field. When we exited the barn, I gave a cursory glance to my right and spotted a Nicaraguan soldier, not 20 meters from me. When other soldiers in the field saw us and hollered for us to approach them, my friend and I raised our hands in the air and began compliantly treading toward the soldiers. On the way I managed to step into some cow manure piled up around the barn, but I quickly stepped back out of it and into the grass. As my friend and I approached the soldiers, they quickly gathered around us. When the soldiers began leading us from the field, I asked them if anyone from the United States had tried to find out about us yet, but the soldiers didn't know.

The soldiers escorted us to the village on the other side of the field, led us into a large building, and marched us down some halls. As we walked down some stairs, I said to the man behind me, "Es mi primera visita a Nicaragua."

I had been trying to make a little joke by pointing out that this was my first visit to Nicaragua, but the guard didn't seem to appreciate my humor. I began to realize that the soldiers weren't playing games and that my friend and I were in a deadly serious situation.

We were finally shepherded into a room which resembled the interior of a tiny store. On one side of the room was a shelf laden with items for sale. Along with other cheap electronic gadgetry, I noticed a camera and something which appeared to be a radio. Behind the shelf was a door which led to the outside. When the soldiers finally pushed the shelf out of the way, we all walked through the door.

We came out into the lot of a gas station, where I noticed a sign which said that the price of gas was 57.9 cents per liter, apparently even more expensive here than in the United States. I had thought gas was supposed to be cheaper in Nicaragua.

When two yellow taxis pulled up and parked, the soldiers began roughly pulling people from the cabs. As the people were pulled out, they held up their hands in the air. The soldiers then lined up the people and stood behind them with machine guns. I reflected upon the repressive nature of the Nicaraguan government; it seemed to me that the government had basically gone insane.

Four of the people who had been pulled out of one cab looked like teenagers. As we walked past them, I suddenly heard a shot behind me and when I turned around, I saw that one of the soldiers had shot one of the teenage boys in the back. The boy had fallen into the arms of his three companions, who had looks of absolute horror on their faces. One teenager holding the boy—a black-haired girl—had thrown both her arms around the boy.

I now knew that my companion and I would probably also be killed. Still, there was a chance that the soldiers might not shoot us because we were Americans.

While no one was paying attention, I separated from the others, but continued in the direction which I thought I should be walking. Suddenly, a large tall muscular unshaven Nicaraguan soldier dressed in a green uniform said, "You. Come over here and knell down."

I turned around, looked at him and then walked toward him. He obdurately commanded, "Knell down here in front of me."

He was holding a machine gun which had a small yellow flame coming out its barrel. Another man with a large camera was standing beside him, waiting to take my picture as I submissively knelt down. Not understanding why the soldier wanted me to knell down in front of him, I thought he might simply kill me right here. Deciding that I didn't want to humble myself to this Nicaraguan soldier, I looked him in the face and said, "Fuck you."

I defiantly turned my back to him and stretched out my arms straight out from my sides parallel to the ground. Thinking that the intransigent soldier would probably kill me, I waited for him to shoot me in the back of the head. It would be an honorable death and I was unafraid to die. When the inevitable shot didn't come, however, I thought the soldier might simply wallop me in the back of the head.

With fortitude I prepared myself for a blow to the back of the head, but when that blow also didn't arrive, I thought the soldiers might not shoot me because I was an American and that they might want to keep me for some other reason.

I raised my arms and held them straight up to the sky. Gazing upward and noticing some fluffy white clouds against the blue background, I suddenly felt strength and power flowing through my body to my hands. Since I might be on the verge of dying, I thought it was as good a time as any to be mystical and spiritual. I looked at the sky and half uttered, half sang, "Father, I love you. Father, oh father, I love you."

I knew I didn't have any power over the clouds, but an indistinct vortex did appear to be forming in the clouds over my head, as I seemed to be having some effect on the clouds. I felt extremely strong and brave. Prepared to meet whatever destiny was waiting for me, I felt as if I were a man of God, and that was all that mattered.

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