Sunday, February 24, 2008
Fragments From THE DREAM
Fragments from THE DREAM: I am on Tobacco Key, a tiny Belize reef island, 45 minutes boat ride from Dangriga. I have come to snorkel in the pristine Caribbean water. Stopping to chat with a couple workers under the shade of Coconut trees, I look up and jokingly wonder if the coconuts ever fall on people. One guy says yes, and that he had been hit on the shoulder, and knew a little girl who had been severely injured. The next day, as I sat by a dock waiting for the first boat back to the mainland, suddenly I heard a thud, and loud cry from a man in a group nearby. A coconut had fallen from a tall tree and hit him in the shoulder. Ouch!
I went with Windell, a native of Belize to see his house in the jungle, and make a painting. His Pontiac is a complete mess held together by wire, but he is a mechanic and loves it nonetheless. The windshield has cracks going every direction and the front hood is wired down. To start the ignition, he touches two wires together under the dashboard. A butane tank behind the back seat provides fuel, and as we drive, he cranks up the volume on the CD player, which skips every time we hit a bump. We listen and sing along to the blues as we drive through the jungle, waving to people as we go. The car slows to a crawl going up hills, and I joke about the story of the Little Engine That Could, and say, “I think I can, I think I can.” Windell shoots back, “No. It is: ‘I know I can, I know I can.’ ”
In Belmopan, I spent a couple nights at the lodging of Christine, a friend of Windell’s who rents rooms. It’s relaxing except for noise from a house next door, and a rooster in the back that belongs to a neighbor and that crows loudly at dawn. Christine says the rooster is a nuisance and that she has complained to city hall because it disturbs her guests. Friends have suggested poisoning it. Jokes go around about the possibility of it’s demise. One night, I have strange, violent dreams. At 12:30 AM, in the midst of deep sleep, I wake from vivid dreaming and hear a man’s voice saying, “I am going to fuck with your brain!” Immediately, the rooster crows loudly. I am dazed, and lay paralyzed, wondering if I am hallucinating and maybe have been drugged with something like LSD. I hear many noises; dogs barking, party sounds, and cars. Getting up, I go downstairs, where another guest is on the patio. Disoriented, I ask him if he heard the rooster, and he says, “Yes, it is crazy!” I can’t go back to sleep, and think, well, I’ll go to the party. Getting up, I get dressed and go out on the street, but by this time the party has toned down and I can’t find it.
Today, I went to a big Baha’i gathering celebrating Ayam-i-Ha in Belmopan. People from all over Belize were there, and I enjoyed being in the crowd of mostly brown and black people of all ages.