It’s 7:13am Monday morning and I’m sprawled in my warm blue sheets having a dream. My girlfriend and I are sitting outside a beachside café while an aerial battle is going on. Two squadrons of about fifteen planes a piece are locked in frenetic oscillation, their khaki green bodies murky against the pale sky. Like the jerky direction of a Hollywood film, it’s hard to tell who the teams are. I sit entranced as they swoop, spin and somersault around each other, bullets and missiles cannoning in all directions, leaving wisps of grey morning smoke.

I pay attention to one plane in particular who’s underwing has the most foreboding set of weapons. It has been coasting along the skyline, away from the core of the battle, but now ducks its nose into a vacant pocket of airspace, unloading its cache one by one. Planes in the distance continue to perpetually loop, seemingly unaware of the threat. I watch as each missile glides in the slipstream, before arching gracefully skywards and reversing its trajectory. I’m surprised to see heat seeking technology present amongst these world war two era planes. I lose track of them amidst the cross fire, but a few seconds later hear a succession of deep explosions as each rocket meets its target. One pilot has managed to bail out, and his purple and white patterned parachute floats forlornly into the dark blue sea.

A moment later the pilot emerges from the shore, legs trudging through white foam. He’s cradling a guitar, and my instant concern is what the salt water could do to the strings. The pilot walks up the beach towards our table. He is dry now and still wearing a leather helmet and goggles. He proceeds to reach into his pocket and pull out a ten and five dollar note.

‘I need to buy some breakfast, but have no idea where to start. It would really help me out if you could take this and buy me the best thing you can find.’

I am concerned. I don’t particularly want to help this man, I feel like I have other things to do. My girlfriend turns to me and speaks quietly.

‘I’ve really got to be getting home soon, I’ve got a lot of reading to do for uni.’

I would rather just leave as planned with her, but suddenly have a world war two pilot dependent on me. I am not comfortable with this, and the sense of responsibility curdles into deep seeded dread.

I consider for a moment another option, of taking the man’s money, combining it with my own, and offering him a $20 note. While I cannot buy him breakfast, I could at least boost his funds and perhaps give him a tip on a decent cafe.

My dream ends.

War scene: Last night I watched a few minutes of Pearl Harbour on TV.
Heat Seeking Missiles: I’ve been playing a lot of Mario Kart lately.
Pilot with guitar: A metaphor for my relationship with music. This year I have written a number of songs as direct cathartic responses to feelings of distress.
Pilot asking for help: Lately I’ve been finding buying food a monumental chore. My dread in helping the pilot reflects my current inner unrest, and feelings of not having the emotional resources to offer anyone.
Girlfriend needing to do uni work: My girlfriend has recently become a university tutor and is much busier.