I had a dream the other night. It followed me all through my day, staying in the back of my mind. Ali and I stood at the counter making coffee, our work day had ended. He wore his leather and I told him to take it off and stay awhile. And then it fumbled out from my lips and into his ears. He listened intently as I took him into a world I find myself half living in and unable to get out of each morning. I wake from my dreams and recall moments of another life.
A vehicle took me and an old lover to a place with sand dunes and sagebrush floating in the wind. We were dumped out into the open of a barren lend, left to fend for ourselves. In a matter of moments we would be captured and caged, forever a hostage in our own land. Unable to leave or enter again. I was afraid of being caged and refused to sit out in the open while the soldiers came down upon us. I told the men I was with to wait, I would leave the cover of the tree and nearby cave we were hiding in to seek a way out.
I remember running over the dunes in the open, looking above me with the feeling of being watched. I saw a car parked near the exit on the other side of where we had been dropped off. I saw a couple girls sunbathing, wearing dark sunglasses. I ran to them and pleaded with them to let me hide in their car and get over the border to get help for my friends and the others hiding. They agreed and I crouched down in the back of their car. They told me to get my ID out in case we were checked at the border. I didn’t want to tell them that my ID was what had put me here in the first place.
There were other events in the dream. I carried the constant feeling that I was running from something/someone that was chasing me, trying to keep me caged. I did escape, after a couple attempts, but was still located on the outskirts of the border, talking and pleading with others to help me assist in the escape of my friends left behind. I was unable to know of their whereabouts, whether they were safe or whether I would ever see them again.
I looked at Ali, “In your dreams, you were a Palestinian,” he responded.
The water was boiling. He poured Arabic coffee mixed with cardimum into the pot. We watched it cloud and boil, creating a serum that soothes us after another day at work. We walked from our kitchen to our porch. He lit a cigarette and I leaned against him as he told me about his day. Freedom. To love. To feel. To come and go freely.