Buzz

Curry Créole
6 Sep 2017
Dream Blog - S.P. Somtow • Somtow Sucharitkul

I know I am always saying I had a very strange dream, but....
This kind of takes the cake. 

It starts off at the lunch counter of some kind of diner, where we are lining up to get plates of curry. The curry looks and tastes very inauthentic and presently I hear a voice behind me, "That's because you didn't order a croissant with it." I'm wondering why it should be served that way when I hear the voice of the owner of the restaurant behind the counter and he's speaking French. He's a middle aged, slightly balding man in a chef's costume.

"Things are terrible. Business is bad," he says. "I must sell my slaves."

We're in front of the building now. and there is a dirt road. The restaurant is right in the center of a small town where this is the only street. Two black women dressed in rags are standing there. One is slender and attractive. The other is very large, like an earth-mother, a neolithic Venus. Everyone is speaking French. There is a small crowd gathered.

I notice that it's not really French. "Ici on palé kréol," one explains to me, in something that is halfway between French and Haitian Creole. He goes on to explain that Creole is the official language here, but no one can speak it properly, because this country is called Louisiana, not Haiti. (And yet the place looks nothing like Louisiana USA either — it's another country that happens to have the same name, maybe a Caribbean island.)

The restaurant owner says to the two women, they are to be sold. Each one of them is lashed, face up, to the back of a horse. I panic, thinking that they are tied to both horses and that the man will have them pulled apart. I offer to buy them to save their lives, but he says, "Non, non," and explains that this is simply the custom in this sparsely populated town of making sure enough customers bid in slave auctions. He slaps a horse's withers and the two horses fly in opposite directions, each with a screaming woman spread-eagled on its back. 

My dream-eye follows the horse with the large woman on it as it races through the fields. There are sugar-plantations and distant blue mountains. People look up and stare curiously. She is screaming. It's a harrowing, break-neck journey. Eventually the horse seems to realize it has reached its limit and turns back. We are in the street in front of the restaurant again.

The beautiful woman on the other horse arrives back at the same time, but I'm following the fate of the earth-mother-looking one. "Untie me!" she says (now in English.) She screams as they pull her off the horse. She spreads her arms in a sort of "crucified" pose and they take the ropes off her arms and I see they have caused lacerations and that she must be in terrible pain. The owner is grumbling that there are no customers.

I wake up. This isn't a dream within a dream, but a pretty one-layered one. It was incredibly vivid — REAL, even, like reliving a memory — and realistic as well — not with fantasy elements like many of my dreams. 

As I sit here I realize that it's actually 3 pm. Last night I had unbelievable insomnia and didn't sleep until 6 am. It's broad daylight here. The dream, too, was very very bright, unusually so. And so clear that I keep feeling it must contains elements of a past life memory, even though I don't really believe in reincarnation.

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