- While following a blueprint which would create time machines out of gravel, the process malfunctioned and opened a portal to hell. This created a hell on earth, which among other things manifested itself by reversing the direction of the food chain: rabbits preyed on bears, for example. The result was pretty terrifying, particularly coupled with the fact that the new hell-on-earth arrangement also opened random holes in the earth which went down to infinity.
- Many, many dreams in which overlooking one class meant I never actually got my Ph.D.
I don't normally ascribe any specific meaning to dreams, though (as anyone who applies to a school they REALLY want to get in can attest) this was naturally a pretty stressful period.
Lately my dreams have been more closely tied to current events, for example the one this Saturday (which I assume was inspired both by news stories about Iraq and the HBO miniseries Generation Kill).
Anyway, in this dream, I'd been seconded as a maintenance technician to a Marine Corps squad stationed in Iraq. Out of an interest in protecting the environment (I'd probably mixed this up with the depleted uranium shell controversy) the soldiers were all issued water guns, which expelled ordinary water at such a force that they were lethal at an amazing range. It was these weapons which I'd been charged with helping maintain.
The problem was that after being shown how to field strip and maintain these weapons, I couldn't remember how the procedure exactly went and didn't feel comfortable possibly risking damaging one of the weapons. So, as I went around the squad asking everyone if their weapon needed maintenance, I'd quickly follow up that question with some question about the war or that soldier's personal life. People like talking about themselves, so this would basically make them forget the whole maintenance thing and I managed to get through the dream without doing the maintenance procedure even once.
However, there was a bit of a dark turn (this part of the dream was vague as to particulars) when the squad I was with ended up accidentally killing a civilian. The entire squad was pretty upset about this, and when we camped for the night it actually made things worse to see a whole house full of American citizens up on a nearby hill (apparently we were in the American sector of Iraq...) holding a "we support our troops" vigil: they were all holding candles and staring down at us piously, as if they were at a religious ceremony.
The general feeling in the squad was that we were all fine, and if there should be a vigil for anyone it should be over the dead civilian.
Fortunately (in the interest of fitting in I suppose), I'd apparently brought several cases of beer with me, and so the entire squad had a wake for the fallen civilian. The Americans on the hill just thought we were partying, which was kind of insulting.
And, that was the end of the dream.