Last night I dreamed a dream.
I was standing before an enormous theme park with friends and family. Inside, one could see roller coasters stretch so high and far that the structures resembled a city of the future, sprawling over miles and miles of lush, green plains. The smell of cotton candy and fried corn dogs lingered in the air, mixing with the sound of gleeful screams to form an intoxicating invitation to enjoy the park. Every ride was painted red and white and moved in shapes so magnificent and contrived that I wondered how it could be physically possible for them to move like they did. The line to enter was very long, and as we stood there my Dad was trying to find a way to get a deal on the park entrance. This was when he spotted the booth.
To the left of the entrance line was a small, square, PVC and canvas tent. The front of the tent was open and a table was set up inside with a young man in uniform. My dad went up to the guy and started talking, then motioned for me to come over. I could tell by the opportunistic look in Dad's eyes that something interesting was about to go down.
"Hey! Barry! We can get into the park for half price if you join the Army!"
I nodded politely, pretending to actually consider the possibility. Under the facade, though, I was dumbfounded. Did Dad remember that we were at war? He wanted me to join the Army for a mere discount on park entrance!?
The next part of the dream is fuzzy. I only remember that Dad was very insistent on me joining the Army and I finally joined and we got into the park. When we entered the park I was issued my gear and gun right then and there, so I had to walk around the park with this HUGE duffel bag in my arms and an M4 slung over my shoulder. I wasn't at all happy with my decision, but figured I'd make the most of it and started wondering if I'd die when I was shipped out on my tour. We got on our first ride - the biggest rollercoaster in the park - but because of my gear my seatbelt wouldn't latch.
And then, to my great relief, I woke up.