Of an indiscriminate age, I was at work somewhere. The place was vague, basically dark office facilities somewhere, like I worked in during the forty years that I was employed or in the military. My occupation and that location weren’t defined. Tired, I was waiting for word that I could leave. I was almost asleep. No one else was there, but every now and again, as I waited, the theme music to the old Tom Selleck “Magnum, P.I.” television show would play. I don’t know its source, and its timing for being played seemed random.
A phone call came in. It was my old friend and boss from my start-up years in coronary angioplasty. I could go home now, but I needed to be back or call in at ten. There was big news, and it was really exciting. Laura wouldn’t say more, but she seemed pumped.
Ten was only a few hours away. I hastened to leave but decided the place needed to be tidied before I left, to present the right image. As I began that, another guy, from my military days in Germany, came in. I started cleaning, and told him to help me. The two of us began picking up and doing dishes.
A friend from my time stationed at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa came and went. Then some friends from my assignment in Germany entered. I was almost done cleaning, and was hurrying to leave. Their arrival slowed me. I had some stuff to take with me. I wanted to put it in a bag, but the others would ask me questions and divert my attention. I kept going back to get a bag.
An ex-commander came in and ordered us to run a mile. When he did that, I saw that there was a quarter mile track. Everyone else began running. Food was being served. I think it was soup. Some of the bowls being used had been washed but were still dirty. I realized that the other guy had done a poor job of washing the dishes. That pissed me off, but I took it on myself to collect the bowls and wash them again, and then I rushed out and ran the mile, as directed.
The “Magnum, P.I.” theme music played. Time was running out. I felt exhausted. I just wanted to put my head down and sleep. I began believing that there wouldn’t be time to leave and call in, and that I would be better off staying where I was. I didn’t want to accept that. Others were talking about the news. The others were mostly military friends and co-workers, but there were some people there from my civilian work. The military personnel heavily outnumbered them, though.
I finally found a bag. It was a folded brown paper grocery bag. Another friend of mine saw me with the bag and said, “That’s what I need.” I took him back to the bags, showed them where they were, and gave him one. I put my stuff into a bag. I thought that I couldn’t leave but needed to wait, but I was stumbling around in exhaustion, with my eyes barely open, so tired that I struggled to think straight. I was asked to set up a connection using the phones for a conference call, but my lack of rest kept me from doing it right. What should have been done in seconds stretched out as I had to start over several times.
Laura, my old boss, arrived to give us the news. She saw me and hugged me. Everyone was told to gather to hear the news. The “Magnum, P.I.” theme music played.
Putting my head down, I went to sleep.
End of dream.
Writing this helped me recall and realize the elements in it, and put it into perspective. That’s why I write, to help clarify what’s in my mind and help me understand what I think. Running around, and being delayed, doing my duty, catching up, and waiting…it all made sense. Even the theme music from the television show made sense. They’re re-booting that show, the current entertainment parlance for remake. They like to say something is being rebooted, or re-invented. I believe that I’m being rebooted, again, as I was with so many military assignments, and then again with start-ups after retiring from my military, and again with my move into the formal corporate structure at IBM. I associate Laura with wonderful things happening, such as advancement, and financial pay-off. Working with her, I learned a great deal. She was a great mentor.
Either that, or this was a stew of hope, anxieties, impatience, memories, and wonder.
That works, too.