Friday, August 17, 2007

Dream: Dinner for Two at the Mansion

Dinner for Two in the Mansion

A dream that I had in Cairo while hoping for a dream that would clarify the decision about whether or not to stay in the military.

My girlfriend and I are sitting in the dining room of a very large mansion that could very well be in the same house as the library in my other dream with the Library Man.

The furniture is dark wood. The room is expansive, the table is long and we are using very fine crystal and china dining ware. We have a butler, and servants. The conversation is predictable and stunted. The room is mostly silent, except for short, matter-of-fact statements, and there is a noticable lack of enthusiasm or vitality in the air. Everything feels stale and practiced.

Suddenly the viewpoint of the dream changes from that of myself sitting at the table to that of one of our servants working in a cottage-like shop in a distant corner of the property of same estate.

In this somewhat removed, dark, and dank location, the live, writhing bodies of the poor, disenfranchised, helpless members of the surrounding Dickensian village are being tortuously run through a meat grinder by a hulking, ugly thug of a man that looks something like a troll or a medieval executioner wearing leather armor.

Their screams ring out as he grabs them up with one hand and throws them, flailing, into the massive machine that destroys them in a matter of seconds. The executioner doesn't pause to give them a second glance before throwing them into the jaws of death. He doesn't seem to necessarily relish his work, but he carries it out energetically, with a sense of purpose. He doesn't seem to be bothered by the cruelty of what he is doing. He may even believe for some reason that he is doing the world a favor by ridding it of these vermin.

Next, the focus of the dream returns to the dining room, where my girlfriend and I continue to dine politely with the almost imperceptible addition of classical music playing gently in the background. We share some more uninspired conversation together as we sit at the table, satisfied within the confines of our routine.

While I'm sitting at the table with my girlfriend, my mind begins to conjure up the scene just described from within the distant slaughterhouse. I experience a very small tinge of regret that the place exists at all, but I shrug it off and continue eating.

She starts to carefully cut the food in front of her into small pieces. The dish is meatloaf.

At that moment, it dawns on her where this dish originated and how it has been prepared. She starts screaming at me saying: "How could you let this happen!" "Why didn't you tell me this is what we were going to be having for dinner?!"

I look over at her calmly. While continuing to slowly and deliberately chew my food, I say: "You can't possibly be telling me now that you didn't already know that this is where our food is coming from. You know very well that we couldn't survive without the sacrifices of those poor souls. I don't like it either you know, but it is a fact of life. Just be thankful that you get to enjoy all of this and that you've not been born as one of them. Now hurry up and eat your dinner."

That is the end of my dream.

The first thing that I have to say is that I would NEVER actually talk to my girlfriend that way. I think that this post is a political dream, partially inspired by our eye-opening experience of the blatant caste system on the cruise ships that we've been on, which is just a micro-version of how the economic system of the world really works. We enjoy the luxuries that we have because others suffer. That is the harsh reality.