Monday, August 13, 2012

Expeditioner's Dream

Every now and then, one cannot but wonder at the powers of the human brain. These last days I have been growing incredibly nervous, and, as well as getting the last finishing touches ready, I have been eating large amounts of cheap almond chocolate to deal with my nerves. In a state of borderline euphoria, it is natural that one's imagination may trump one's consciousness, or manifest into very colorful dreams plagued with meaning and emotion. Here's what happened last nigh...
I dreamed that I was wandering around the streets at sunset, walking slowly and taking random naps in the little nooks under trees and park benches. I stepped into a Toyota dealership to take a look at the trade-in vehicles, to only find a shabby Volkswagen Westphalia and a Hummer H3. Plastered on one of the dealership walls I saw a big poster that announced a collaboration between Volkswagen and Toyota in their new Touareg / LandCruiser platform... oh, what dreams do!

I walked onto a narrow dirt road, where I found a bright red Mercedes G-Wagen that –in that very dreamlike, certain way– I knew was waiting for me. I marched on to the muddy path, splashing myself lightly, crossing puddles and caramel slime, towards what soon turned into a mine tunnel.

The vehicle in question... what does this all mean?

At idle speed, I kept crossing the tunnel, lined with aged wood and splintered planks.  I soon hit a large boarded gap and opened the worn, rotten gate. As soon as I came out of the dark, I found myself in my great-grandparent's living room. This living room, however, had nothing to do with the real thing: it was all an imaginary construction that I had dreamed with close to ten years ago. I was beyond impressed to be revisiting a dream this old!

My great-grandparents are long gone, and this current dream definitely reflected that. What used to be a clean, almost sterile, space had now become a neglected room with layers of dust spread in uniform thickness. No one had been there to pillage the place since I last visited, and it showed. I opened one of the drawers to revive the old memories, and sure enough, everything was where I left it!

This book is called a "devocionario" and it is given in the First Communion ceremony.

In one of these drawers I came across one of the two mother-of-pearl prayer books that I had found in my previous dream. It was still there, in the same tatty shape that made me choose to other book to take for myself ten years ago. The next drawer revealed a torn Bible affected by moisture; many of the pages were missing, just as I remember. However, the great surprise came when I opened the drawer in the sad, out-of-place kitchen table right next to this last chest of drawers.

My grandfather, Luis. He laughs like Popeye and loves to fart in public.
My grandfather used to visit my great-grandparents quite frequently, leaving many things in their house. His love for wrenching made him spend many a good afternoon in the neighborhood parking lot, changing the oil or replacing a worn suspension bushing. Even as a kid I remember a set of ball bearings that he handed to me because they just looked so cool!

Ball bearings... when they broke, I had solid steel marbles to play with!

When I opened that drawer I found a stack of papers –nothing too exciting–, but as I fumbled towards the back, I found two tubes that I had never found interesting in my previous dream. They were two tubes of wheel bearing grease, a completely necessary supply to take on my expedition. I did not care if they were slightly spent –by my grandfather, years ago–; I just stood there, in complete awe, with these two silly tubes of grease in my hand.

I came to the sudden realization that I had turned into the kind of adult who could identify those funny-looking mechanical parts, those mysterious toys; I realized that I had unlocked their real purpose. I could now fix things, not being afraid of the exotic and the complicated. It was a strong shock to suddenly find out how these unchanged items, lying in a little pocket of my subconscious, were waiting to be useful in my life expedition, and that they had remained the same for almost ten years in the backwaters of my mind. In this introspective visit, I realized it was me who had changed.

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