Week 2: Dreams

by Daryl L.L. Houston

76: In the aftermath of beating the Pakistani cab driver, page Pelletier and Espinoza discover that there was a sort of almost sexual feeling for them during the beating, help not as if they wanted to have sex with the cab driver but rather more masturbatory. The experience is described has having taken place during a dreamlike state.

78: Pelletier is married to Norton and living near a cliff overlooking a beach. People are always on the beach, medicine usually doing frivolous, meaningless things and apparently waiting for something. Sometimes he can soar over the beach like a seagull. Norton is something of a background presence in the house, sometimes making noise or speaking, but declining to enter a room he’s in. Pelletier loses any sense of time and tries to sleep sitting in his chair but keeps his eyes on the beach, looking for a glimmer of light. He discovers that the Archimboldi papers before him are in fact written in French rather than German. One day, the beach folk leave the beach, so that all that’s left is a “dark form projecting from a yellow pit.” He wonders if he should go bury it but thinks about how far he’d have to walk to get to the beach (compare to Morini’s observations of distance in his own recent dream). He sees a tremor in the sea and hears a hum of bees, and then silence. He calls Norton’s name but she doesn’t answer. He weeps and watches the remains of a simultaneously horrific and beautiful statue (formless stone, remnants of a hand, wrist, and forearm) emerge from the bottom of a metallic sea. This statue recalls Morini’s dream of a female figure making her way to a rock jutting from the edge of the pool.

85: Having slept with a Mexican prostitute (among many others of late), Espinoza dreams one night that he remembers some indecipherable words she had said to him. Within the dream, he knows he’s dreaming and fears he’ll lose the words and resolves to remember them before he wakes up. The sky is spinning and he tries to shout to wake himself up but all he hears is a distant moan as of an animal or child. The bulbs in the house seem to have burned out. All he remembers of the dream after waking up is watching the woman standing in a dim hallway. She’s reading something written on the wall and spelling it out as if she doesn’t know how to read.
94: After meeting with Edwin Johns, Morini disappears, and Espinoza and Pelletier spend a lot of time worrying about him and trying to find him. One day, he suddenly appears as if he had never been gone. Bolaño describes Pelletier’s first talk with Morini afterward as having been like waking from a bad, baffling dream.

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