January 19, 2007

I Had a dream

Woke up at about 3 a.m. in one of those cold, sweaty deliriums you usually equate with Vietnamese prison camps. I had one of those time-warp dreams where I was back in a college classroom, standing before all my fellow students, about to give a presentation. . . about what only God and Lucifer knew for sure.

It was odd. I recognized the classroom, so I knew which class I was in: some 400-level history class that consisted of mammoth writing assignments that never seemed to end, followed by presentations of said writing assignments. I only really remember one presentation I gave during that nightmare class. It was about some museum going up in D.C. that was going to show the Japanese side of the Hiroshima atom bomb dropping. There was controversy surrounding the museum at the time. There still may be. I got my passing grade in that class and never revisited the projects that caused me such unfair stress.

One thing that struck me about the Hiroshima musuem assignment was one of the accounts I read about the pilot and crew of the Enola Gay during and after the bomb dropping. According to this one account I read, after the shockwave hit the plane and the mushroom cloud ascended upwards, the head pilot reportedly tapped some tobacco into his favorite pipe and declared he believed the war would be over shortly.

For some reason, that has stuck with me over the years. I don't know why, exactly. There's something about the image of a B-29 bomber pilot (Tibbetts?), smoking a pipe during a bombing run that just struck me as so. . . sophisticated? First an unprecedented atom bomb dropping, and then you pose for a book jacket. With a pipe, you're ready for anything. I wonder if he read some Hawthorne and nipped at a nice cognac, with his favorite hunting dog, Duke, at his feet on the bear skin rug in front of the hastily installed fireplace, during his return to base.

An atom bomb drop, followed by a good pipe smoke. When I think of a manly man, it's hard to top that image.

Which is maybe why I had a dream about that class last night. Who knows?

Posted by Ryan at January 19, 2007 09:51 AM | TrackBack

Because you want to be a manly man? Or because you want to take up smoking?
And why are hunting dogs always named Duke?

Posted by: Donna at January 20, 2007 11:37 PM

After dreams about my school I can all the day think about it about my schooltimes.

Posted by: Eva at January 28, 2007 09:21 AM
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