My nightmares from Vietnam are totally second-hand.
Not only have I never been to Vietnam, I've never served in any of the military branches. I don't spend much time at all stuffing my head with military history or watching the Director's Cut of Apocalypse Now
I have dreams where, just far enough from the beach that the wind in the baobabs and banyans are louder than the ocean, angry old white men psych themselves up into monsterdom and climb trees with rifles slung, drawing beads on unsuspecting foreheads in tropical neighborhoods.
Their daypacks are filled with sandwiches so they can make a whole day of it.
I know what it's like for frustration to build day after day with no outlets except the ones you had drilled into you over and over. Deep breaths, young man. Cry if you feel you need to. Take a deep breath and visit your Happy Place.
Some people have different training. Some people have much, much different Happy Places. Some of those Happy Places involve the sound of wind in the leaves, a slung rifle, and a daypack full of sandwiches.
Is it possible to envy your nightmares?
Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri