Monday, November 22, 2010


Fife had nightmares about this trip now every night, sometimes waking up screaming sometimes not, but always in a cold sweat of fear and panic the essential essence of which was a feeling of complete entrapment. Trapped in every direction no matter where he turned, trapped by the patriotic doctors, trapped by the longfaced crewcut infantry Colonels who demanded the willingness to die, trapped by Japanese colonial ambitions, trapped by chic grinning S-1 officers secure in their right to ask only after other officers, trapped by his own government and its faceless nameless administrators...In the dream all these came in on him in an insane jumble of shrieks and accusations while they sat waiting in the middle distance positive that he would prove them all right and show himself to be yellow. Even when he drank himself to sleep those nights after getting out of the hospital during the week of 'rest', the nightmare or one of its variations came. Sometimes it was bombers and polyglot faces laughing down at him from the bombbay doors as they released their loads on him: they had trapped him into bravery and killed him. Either way he lost.