I had a dream last night that I was in an alien planet. Imagine Bonao, from the Dominican Republic, or Maní, with a dash of Iraq; very desert-like, but with villages or small towns that makes if feel Earth-like. The aliens seem carbon-based, but also a bit plastic.
I stood there, in one of the streets, I can see it’s the middle of its day, almost noon, but the places are closed, like a strike happened. It wasn’t a strike. I’m in a place where there’s a war going on.
Still, I see kids playing ball (football-type, football as in soccer). I see people going inside their homes. I tried talking to someone, but I get closed tinned shutters. I meet one boy, well, a guy, a dude, seems younger than me, but of some age. (Funny enough, as a fellow carbon-based human, I can somehow get a sense of their age)
Picture quadcopter AR Drones hovering every once in a while, surveying, bombs going off in the distance, and not so distant. These are alien ships from the other side of the war. I seem to be in the short end of the war.
The ‘dude’ invites me to huddle in what I can translate as an abandoned cafe or cafeteria. No one’s there except a hand of his pals. I see that one or two of them are not his friends but work together for the common survival. The one he doesn’t get along with seem to have gear and tendril-like cables, a helmet. The ceiling is woodwork, so because the scaffold being ripped by wind from the warring ships, we can see patches of the ships without being noticed.
I’m utterly horrified! But I make myself relax by seeing how relaxed everyone else is. They seem nice enough too. Who cares what kind of alien I am as long as I’m with them.
And just like that, the dude, the one guy I can see myself being friends with, is zapped. Just like that. He shriveled into a shard of plastic sheet. I carried him, laying him on a table like a ripped napkin.
I begin to cry. I tell the rest that he was the closest thing to a friend in this planet. And just like he got zapped, one of the guys slams his hand, palm to the plastic. BAM! Without a hitch, he says “He’s dead. Crying for the dead is useless.”
I saw their faces, their vitriol reactions to my reaction. This whole sinking feeling got to me, that their words and faces aren’t doing their culture, their morals, and their situation justice, that there’s way more than this surface level of the concept of the dead and that I have my work cut out. I get this unnerving feeling that as part of the human race I’m getting the concept of death wrong, not in a basic level but in it’s complicated filigree.
I wake up from my dream with a new scope in life!
And now I’m sharing it to you. There are so many variations to the concept of death. My dream was an alien dream that taught me that I must remain open to the fact that I, that us, don’t have all the answers, even if we see them in all the examples “on Earth” as common. The concept does not end or begin on Earth. The concept itself is alien.