I dreamed last night I was on a playground, surrounded by kids dressed like the characters from Dick and Jane. Old time kids, with ancient hair cuts and patent leather shoes and girls wearing dresses instead of baggy jeans and half tops.
They were playing marbles on the blacktop, even the girls in their pretty pinafores kneeling on the dirty ground, their knees blackened and tiny little pebbles sticking to their skin. The boys would flick the marbles around and the girls would cheer.
They saw me standing there and stopped the game. I must have looked strange to them, dressed as I was in a football jersey and torn jeans, Converse All-Stars on my feet. I thought at first they were frightened, but then they gathered together and formed a circle around me, holding hand, skipping to the right and then to the left and singing:
I see London
I see France
I see Jamie's underpants
I looked around for Jamie, whoever he or she was, but didn't see any little kid crying at being singled out. And then the kids pointed to the sky.
The sky had darkened, not with clouds or rain, but with thousands of helicopters and planes. Here and there a flame would shoot across the sky like a comet, followed by a loud bang.
The kids circled me again. Skipped to the left. To the right. And sang.
I see Germany
I see France
I see Saddam's underpants
I giggled nervously and then joined hands with kids as we circle around a flagpole, the stars and stripes waving in a hot wind brought on by fire.
And then the damn alarm.