ACT 1: I guess the first big thing that happened was the Blizzard of ‘77. I was ten. It snowed for a week, and with all the wind off the lake, 75, 80 miles an hour, there were drifts 20 feet deep. People were trapped in their office buildings, their houses, at gas stations, wherever they were. Some died waiting for help to come, some even froze right in their cars, they weren’t even found until a week later, they were still waiting. Outside, you couldn’t tell where you were anymore; the houses, malls, stores, roads, and schools had all disappeared. They declared a state of emergency and sent in the National Guard. People said it was the worst thing that ever happened to Buffalo, all those people that died, all that lost business, but what they didn’t say was that it was the first time most people acted like they were alive, the first time anything really mattered to anyone. Dad and I made tunnels in the snow. We got the guns and put them in the living room, Jennifer was scared as hell until she and mom made a list of everything we had to eat, in case it got any worse. Do you know how much food you have in your house? How much clean water? They worked it all out. I guess it was the only time my mom really acted like a mother, the only time any of it worked the way it was supposed to.
ACT 2: There must have been about 40 of them in the bunker, it was pretty dark from all the smoke, more smoke than you can imagine, we could have just blown the whole thing up, but we let the ones that would surrender come out. They were all in rags, half-starved, worse than beggars. The other ones, most of them really, wouldn’t come out no matter what we tried. So we got in the Bradley and rolled right over it. Then the bulldozers came and buried it, they were doing it all up and down the line. Some guys took pictures. We kept expecting something else to happen, something big. We thought there would be a real army, or some kind of missile attack or something. But there never was. Except for the one guy I picked off from half a mile away, just to see if I could do it, it wasn’t all that different than being in Kansas, only the food sucked. So when people were getting home, all these assholes jumping up and down about how they won, I mean how can you win when you never even fought in the first place? When your dad asks you what you did are you going to say I buried twenty unarmed men under six tons of sand? That’s what I did? Or that you pretended there was a war for nine months and now everyone is pretending we won and so you pretend like you won too? What are you supposed to do? So you go with it, just like always. Everyone makes decisions every fucking minute. A million decisions whether they admit to it or not. We agreed to be there. What happens when people stop agreeing?
ACT 3: As of April 23, 1995, I am no longer waiting. I am no longer waiting for America, if there is an America, to wake up. I am no longer waiting for my guns to be made illegal and my phone to be tapped. I am no longer waiting for the television to start telling the truth. I am no longer waiting for justice to be handed down from God. I am no longer waiting for people with no education and no future to figure out right from wrong. I am no longer waiting for Terry and James and all those fat-ass white army fucks to get their shit together. I am no longer waiting for the few good people to lose their jobs and homes while all the liberals and welfare cheats steal everything they worked for their whole lives. I am no longer waiting for the prisons to fill up and the cities to burn down. I am no longer waiting for something else to happen. I am no longer waiting for the war to begin.
Dreamland is a fictionalized account of the life of Tim McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber. Ending moments before the explosion that killed 168 people, Dreamland unfolds the tragic logic of a terrorist’s life, re-imagining the time and place that could produce such a person. The screenplay is based on both the public record and speculation (such as the fictional internal monologue that serves here as a synopsis) about McVeigh’s internal life.
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