Have you ever dreamed the same thing over and over again?
Many of my dreams include houses. I used to dream repeatedly about a two-story house with a center staircase. Though I haven’t dreamed about it lately, it’s still very vivid in my mind and I wonder if it actually exists somewhere.
I’ve also had this dream before, the one about mail. The setting is usually different, but the result is the same.
Last night, I dreamed about my son, Phillip. If you’re new to my blog, I should tell you that my son passed away on May 4. In the past, I’d often dreamed about him as a young boy.
I am a vivid dreamer. My dreams, always in color, tend to be wild and crazy. Sometimes, they star strangers. Usually, they’re centered around people I know. I’ve been dreaming about Phillip a lot since returning to the US three weeks ago.
In this dream, Phillip was an adult. He was helping me garden. With the best of intentions, he dug up most of my plants. There was one in particular that I felt sad about losing. It was a hearty plant, a succulent. He had chopped off the flowering top and left the roots planted in the ground.
For lunch today, the hotel receptionist recommended a small restaurant near Castro’s town square.
I made my way there and easily found the place, but it was mobbed, every table taken. There was a small round table for three out on the patio, but it had the remains of someone else’s lunch still on it. One of the waiters motioned me over there anyway, mumbling something about clearing it, but I sat in front of a pile of dirty dishes for at least ten minutes before someone came to clear them away and take my order.
Meanwhile, a young man came in, carrying a yellow plastic bag. He hovered near my table, which put me on guard, but the waiters all greeted him as if he were a regular there. Next thing I knew, he said something to me that I had to ask him to repeat.
“¿Puedo almorzar en su mesa?” Can I eat lunch at your table?
Surely, I hadn’t heard him right. In four years, I had never been asked to share a table at a restaurant in Chile. Most Chileans would be too polite, too embarrassed, or too timid to ever do so, but this young man was flaunting tradition. I nodded my assent and he sat down.
I had just spent yesterday touring around with another guest from my same hotel who had been Chatty Charlie. After that, I wasn’t looking forward to a gabby lunch companion today, but I needn’t have worried. Except for ordering, “Hector” was silent, scarfing down bread and double-dipping it into the spicy pebre. I tried not to think about any floating germs, as I tried to eat the pebre around the edges of the bowl.
In the end, we did talk a little. He was a Socialist from Santiago, here for work, who was curious about my political views. I think we were both surprised when we found some common ground. We raised our voices over the guitar player to my right and the loudspeakers that blared Latin jazz on the other side.
He finished before I did and, as he left, he reached into his yellow bag and laid two apples in front of me. “From my tree,” he said.
Silence is golden, but meeting new people is priceless.