Another extended and somewhat overly complex dream. Getting it down here at the request of my beloved. Will set up a break for those who are justifiably sick of reading about other people's dreams.
Still here? Right.
In the dream, I was living in a block of flats somewhere in a sort of expanded version of Aberystwyth, more "small city" than the grotesquely overgrown village it actually is. There was a bunch of relatively irrelevant stuff, then eventually a friend and I found a neighbour dead in his flat.
This being the kind of block of flats where you occasionally wind up at parties thrown by other inhabitants, I sorta knew the guy. He was from Nigeria, and had come to Aberystwyth to study UK law before returning to his home country to practice since Nigeria, like many Commonwealth nations, has a legal system based on British common law.
At first we were in total shock and confusion over all this, but as we were standing around in his flat waiting for the police to arrive, we found a bundle of letters partly hidden. And that's when the dream went from kind of depressing and painful to amazingly inspiring, if in a bleak way.
Turned out the guy had been part of some kind of network of people across dozens of countries that have the death penalty. This network comprised of people who worked in legal or associated trades, the prison system and the medical community, and all of them were communicating for one specific reason; they were sharing ideas and concepts about how to actively impede executions.
Some of the letters were from a Texan nurse who worked in the relevant section of the prison system and kept having "unavoidable technical accidents". Others were part of the legal system, mainly state prosecutors and similar, and were actively trying to construct their cases in such a way as to avoid capital sentences. All of them were aware of the conseqences of their participation in the system, and all of them had made the decision to bear it in order to save what few lives they could. And their responses to our neighbour made his position pretty clear. Put simply, this guy was a hero in the making; studying at a UK university would allow him to gain a decisive advantage in getting ahead in his country's legal system. Long-term, he was determined to become a judge and exert direct judicial authority to this end.
We were talking over how astonishing this was, and whether we should go to the press or keep it secret for the sake of the "network", and trying to work out why he would have killed himself... And that was when his boyfriend arrived at the flat :(
We quickly pieced the rest of it together. They'd started seeing each other very recently, a few days before, after a long friendship had somewhat unexpectedly"turned hot". Perhaps carelessly, this had happened in a fairly public place and there was likely some evidence of it. To the (British) boyfriend this was a bit troublesome since he wasn't previously out, but he was willing to deal with it.
But to our neighbour, this represented the end of everything he'd worked for. He couldn't complete his studies and return, as he'd be a walking liability to his cause, and likely get used by the homophobic forces in his home country as a stalking horse via blackmail (since if they had any evidence at all he could be sentenced to death himself). He couldn't return without his degree as he'd be failing his family. If he returned at all, he'd be abandoning this new relationship (and he'd never consider taking his new boyfriend into that situation). And if he didn't return at all, he'd be abandoning everything he was working towards and believed in.
So he took the only way out he could see.
The police arrived around the same time as Cessie turned the lamp on and woke me up, and we still hadn't decided whether to show the police the letters, or go to the media, or whatever. *
Incredibly intense dream, and remarkably long given how little sleep I got last night, which was about 5 hours all told. My dreams tend to be accompanied by music I've been listening to lately (blame movies) so most of the "finding the letters" section was scored according to Disturbed's "The Light", which is amazingly appropriate. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LypjOTTH6E
I find the idea of a network of people dedicated to preventing or delaying executions both incredibly inspiring and really believable. The suicide bit was less joyous and I wish my subconscious didn't have such an apparent love for bittersweet emotional cues.
(Oh, and if you're wondering why I haven't mentioned the guy's name anywhere here, it never came up, despite reading multiple letters addressed to him. Blame dream logic.)