A Journal of my adventures in the world I inhabit while I'm asleep.
I joined the Army, and now I’m in training. I volunteered for airborne, so I go to jump school with a group of new recruits. The training camp has had budget cuts, so the equipment is pretty ratty: second-hand parachutes, old ripped uniforms, etc. We have to dig through piles of gear stored in an old warehouse to equip ourselves. I find a pretty good parachute, a kevlar helmet that’s in decent shape, and a set of fatigues that fit, but have seen better days. (The pants are ok, but the shirt has a rip in it.)
The Sergeant marches us out to the training grounds and tells us to strap on our chutes. There is a huge old wooden roller coaster in front of us. We board the coaster. The track keeps climbing and climbing, we’re up several hundred feet, and out over the ocean. The water is directly below. The cars stop alongside a platform. The sergeant orders us out, “You’ll jump from here. If your chute doesn’t work, the water should help break your fall.”
The morning sun is reflecting off the water, sparkling like gold. It’s really beautiful. I feel no fear as I jump from the platform. Time seems to stand still. Then the chute opens, and the wind carries me back to shore. I make a perfect landing on the beach.
The sergeant says he wants to see how we function as a group next. He gives us all copies of a crudely drawn map, and points towards a trail. We’re on our own. We have to follow the map, then call in when we get to our destination.
We’re all pretty disorganized. There are about twenty of us, and no one wants to be the leader. Some of the guys head in the wrong direction, I go back and get them. I end up leading one group, another group splits off at a fork, thinking their direction is the right one.
As it turns out, we’re both right. The paths converge a little while later. We finally make it to our destination. It turns out it’s a Denny’s restaurant. We all march in and order dinners; we’re famished.
Nobody wants to be the one to call the base. The guys figure whoever calls in is going to get stuck being squad leader. They finally talk me into doing it, but I’m not too happy about it. I call the sergeant, and he congratulates me on our success. He tells me to bring the squad back to camp as soon as we’ve finished eating.