I didn’t tell anyone, especially Francisco, I’d dreamt of being held up at gunpoint.^
It was one in a series of darker dreams, indistinguishable gray psychic smudges that were accumulating on my nocturnal palimpsest in recent weeks, working out… what?
I don’t know.
If I said it out loud– “I dreamt of being held up at gunpoint”–if I said, especially, “It was in el DF”–the words would somehow make me more vulnerable. I’ve never felt unsafe here. The dream would be classified in the folder of DF/Mexico stereotypes that aren’t congruent with my experiences or emotions.
I didn’t want that to happen.
Besides, I’d been reading Bolano’s The Savage Detectives (which takes place in DF) and Citambulos, a “guide” to the parenthetical (overlooked, marginalized) Mexico City, and Tony Hiss’ book, In Motion, a discourse about “deep travel.” My readings of these books were converging in a way I was afraid, again, to explain out loud, not sure anyone would understand. But I felt, after having read these books simultaneously, that I was going to see and know Mexico City in an entirely new way.
After an expensive dinner, I go budget and take the Metro to my hotel. I move to the end of the platform reserved for women and children. As the train pulls out of Polanco and then to Tacubaya, and then to Juanacatlan, and then to Sevilla, I think “I don’t know how this makes me feel.” And then “I wonder how many of these women have been violada.” I think all this in Spanish.
I remember the dream and I don’t like the way it makes me feel. What I like even less is not knowing what, exactly, that feeling is. And I don’t like that I don’t want to talk with Francisco about it because it will worry him. We used to have overlapping dreams, which was both uncanny and exhilarating and strangely intimate.
But it hadn’t happened in a long time.
[Excerpt from a Skype chat with Francisco, upon returning to hotel]
Francisco Collazo: Can I tell you something before you continue? [2:17:07 AM]
Julie Schwietert: Yes, of course you can tell me something.[2:19:53 AM]
Francisco Collazo: I was afraid this time for you to go to Mexico, I did not mention anything to you because I rather think that was I thinking bad things, but just be very very careful. When you told me that you are going out that late for fotos I got so anxious and expecting something bad. I don’t have a good feeling this time. You must follow your instincts.
I go to sleep after that. I dream.
But what I dreamt, I don’t remember.
^this was several nights before I left for DF.