The dream felt like a made-for-TV rom-com. I was a clean-shaven young NCO in a pressed service-dress uniform and tidy haircut. Due to weather circumstances and other logistic problems, I was required to help a four-star general for an evening. The general was a notoriously finicky and critical man, but I accepted my assignment with an aw-shucks gulp.
He was at a conference. The evening didn’t go as planned but I managed to keep a step ahead, and it went well from the general’s point of view, if not to anyone else’s thinking. (Sorry, but details are lacking.) The general then wanted to leave – now. But his aide, chief-of-staff, and other personnel weren’t there. Nonetheless, he wanted to go now. So I led him out of the building.
It was late a cold and starless late night outside. It’d been snowing for several previous days but sunshine had prevailed that day. Much snow had melted, flooding streets with icy slush. It was messy and travel was limited. But no problem, I took to the general to my parents’ house. Previously in the evening, I’d come by and set up a place for the general in their sprawling split-level. After showing the general to his place, I went upstairs and told my parents about their house guests. They accepted it with a matter-of-fact shrugs and smiles.
After that, I checked in on the general. He was fine, didn’t need anything and stressed, he didn’t want anyone to disturb him. He had work to do and then was retiring for the night.
Good to go. I returned to the convention center and encountered the rest of his group, as hoped, because they needed to be told what’d happened. They demanded to know where the general was. I explained it all to them and answered their questions. Their hostility soothed, they admitted that I’d done well. One insisted that he wanted to visit the general. I told him the general said he didn’t want disturbed. I left them discussing what they were going to do and went home.
As I arrived home (my parents’ house), a car of young women pulled up. The neighbor’s daughter left the car. The car left with the young women leaning out of their windows hooting and waving at me. The daughter, a short brunette in her late teens whose father was in the military, came over and flirted with me, beginning, “I hear you kidnapped a general.”
I told her the story. We flirted and then I was temporarily called to the house because the general wanted something to drink. When I returned, the young woman’s older sister, a tall blonde, was there. She asked me, “What would you do with slush like this when you were a kid? Wouldn’t you build a dam?”
“Absolutely,” I said.
The older sister said, nodding, “You settled a debate. Good-night.”
She left us. The young women and I went for a walk along the slushy street, building slush dams, but also breaking one open.
The dream ended.
Somehow, from all of this, I ended up thinking that the dream was about the outcome was the only thing that mattered.