It was all wet, black and white, for a while. I was with many strangers in a dilapidated, rusted out industry area. Worn out, rusted metal and falling brick walls dominated the land. Seems like a railroad yard was not far off. There were many cyclone fences, barbwire topping some. Holes were in the fences where people had trashed them. Gloominess prevailed.
I was being detained (wrongfully so, in my mind) with all these strangers. I was to stop and stay there. Didn’t want to but recognized fighting against it would be foolhardy, a conclusion supported by strangers giving me warning stares. Okay. Authorities were threatening a black man, same age as me, a few feet from me. He had a long closing knife, brass and wood, which he covertly dropped and kicked to one side. (The knife was the only color in the dream at that point.) I shifted, covering it with my foot, then drawing it back, biding my time until I could slip it into my pocket.
Later, after the authorities moved off, I gave him his knife. He thanked me in broken English. We chatted, and he warned others not to bother me, acting as a protector. He seemed like he was Japanese, then I realized he was Korean. I mentioned that I’d been to Kunsan Air Force Base in Korea, supporting the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing. He showed me a color photo of a Korean male. I recognized him and told him we’d worked together at Kunsan. That seemed to bond us.
We were released shortly after that, but now specific customs and rules needed to be observed, like where to stand (and not) while waiting to cross the street. Watching others, I quickly picked up on what was what, but my new friend took pains to point everything out to me. I appreciated that. We made our way through the gated area to an intersection, then waited with others for the light to change so that we could cross.
After crossing, we realized that we were going in different directions. He showed me the knife again, thanking me for recovering it and hiding it for him, then showed me the photo again (at which we laughed), and then shook hands and said good-bye. When I turned and started walking, I was suddenly by busy freeways of white cement. The rain had stopped failing. The clouds were breaking up, and night was coming.
I felt happy for having met the man and helping him, though it was such a small effort for me, and pleased with how he’d helped me.