Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Sting & Trudie in Islamabad

I know it's really obnoxious to relate one's dreams because, really, if you're not there it's just not that fascinating. But it's my blog and I'll write what the hell I want.

It began with some kind of family/close friend get-together that included a trip to Afghanistan...except it didn't seem like Afghanistan. We were all hanging out in this large room, preparing our "bits" as it were, because we were going to stage a family talent show. I was quite proud of my aunt who said she'd prepared a spoken word piece. My aunt...who's so shy she'd probably never get up in a room full of people to say a word about anything...a "spoken word piece." She rocked in this dream! I can't remember what I planned to do, but I remember thinking all of a sudden that ol' auntie might be some stiff competition.

But then it sort of morphed into a pathetic "Queen for a Day" contest. And suddenly Hildy, the Trading Spaces designer, was there with her unattractive, very Catholic, Irish husband and their six kids (hence the Catholic angle). I remember thinking, "Wait a minute, I thought she lived in Paris with her French husband." But you couldn't help but feel some affection for her and her ugly family (and these were some unattractive kids) because they all had problems of some sort. The lone son had a metal plate in his head (you could see it through the skin), some of the girls were learning disabed, etc. And brave Hildy was not only holding down her full-time designing job with "TS," she was going to great lengths to do everything for her visiting her oldest daughter at boarding school and hand-washing the 25 or so white blouses she needed for her school uniform. I couldn't help but vote for Hildy.

You'd have to be really old (my age) to remember that truly weird "game show" from the (early?) 60's called "Queen for a Day." I used to LOVE that show when I was little. But I don't think I understood--at all--that these women were competing to see who had the saddest, most pathetic life. I was focused on the word QUEEN. What I remember is that whoever won that day's contest would have a tiara placed on her head (at least that's what I remember, unless I made it up) and would then be awarded some kind of prize...a new washer and dryer, say. I lived for the moment at the end of the show when some "lucky" gal would be crowned queen.

But back to the dream... After "voting" for Hildy to win our pathetic contest, next thing I knew I was walking into a hotel in Islamabad, asking for Sting and Trudie's room. Turned out they were in the first room next to the desk. When I walked in, they were both in their jammies and in bed. Actually Sting was in bed reading with his glasses on and Trudie was sitting on a hard-backed chair next to the bed, with one foot on the bed, massaging a spot on her very pregnant belly. She looked like she was about to give birth any minute. On one wall in their room there was a dutch door and the top was open, and it opened right onto the front desk area. I thought that didn't give much (okay, any) privacy, but they said they stayed there all the time and the staff was like family and they liked it that way. (Must have made it interesting for the staff with all the legendary tantric sex going on...)

Suddenly Trudie seemed to be near to going into labor and Sting began to hustle about to get her to their doctor. They called for a car and their favorite (underground) driver. But then it became clear that I'd have to get back to Afghanistan somehow. So as we milled about in front of the hotel with many others who were trying to get one of the scarce taxis, I saw his driver arrive on foot. Sting intercepted him, whispered something to him, slipped some money into his hand and then the driver took off in the direction from which he'd arrived. More and more people arrived to get into the taxi line. And there was a similar line across the street. I remember looking across and marveling at all the Brits that seemed to be in Islamabad and someone said to me, "Oh yes, there's a heavy British influence." (How did I know they were British? The accents.)

I was commenting to Sting that I didn't know how I could have been so stupid as to come into Pakistan without my documents. He told me not to worry about it, that people did it all the time and mostly because they wanted to disappear into Pakistan and stay for awhile. Trudie and I were chatting with a British woman who had two small daughters still in their lacy first communion dresses; we were complimenting them on their outfits. Finally, a tall Pakistani man showed up. Sting introduced me and said he would drive me back to Afghanistan and I looked in the street and saw a small sedan waiting with the back door open. I hugged Sting, thanked him and whispered, "Did you pay him?" He just smiled and shrugged. I whispered again, "Please tell me how much you paid him so I can pay you back." He just shrugged again as if to say, don't worry about it. I hugged Trudie and thanked her and wished her well with the birth.

Then I approached the driver, as if to shake his hand...and he suddenly planted a very wet kiss on my lips. There was nothing romantic or perverse about it and he didn't seem lecherous...I just assumed it was some weird Pakistani custom to kiss a total stranger on the lips in greeting. Then I stepped off the curb, suddenly feeling a tad afraid since I was about to get into a car with a strange Pakistani man and hoping that his intentions were honorable and he really would drive me to Afghanistan...and I looked around again and thought that Pakistan really did sort of look the way I imagined...and I thought quickly of Daniel Pearl...and wondered how all this would turn out............and then I woke up.


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