The Pestle

I just now woke up from a dream.

Clunk... clunk... clunk... somewhere in the deep forest an old Indian woman is outside her hut grinding with mortar and pestle. It is night time.

I am inside an old Mayan building, a stone temple-fortress, at the corner of an L-shaped hallway. On the interior walls there are cells, two high, three wide, and two sets in each direction. They are stone bunks of a sort, completely sealed off with thick glass. In each one is a young Mayan man. They are in a deep sleep; a stupor. They are dressed in ragged pants and shirts. Their faces are dirty and bodies unwashed. They sleep on beds of straw and dirt.

The woman begins to narrate. She's speaking in a language I don't know, but I can understand her meaning in my mind. Her voice is heavy with sadness. These are young nobles who have forgotten their royal heritage. They are peasants now. Liquor has stolen their sensibilities.

Every evening they come, she says, and take away the food we prepare for ourselves. And they imprison the young men. When will this end? She calls to my mind some of the books I've read and particularly a paper I wrote as a college senior on the Mayans.

One of the young men wakes up (leftmost, top of the cells). His glass wall is gone. There is nothing preventing him from leaving. But he freezes. When he sees me he is afraid. I look down and see that I have a ring with iron keys on it. I'm a guard. I tell him he has nothing to fear.

You are their brother.

I start figuring out how I can free them.

note: I'm not saying this is some kind of inspired thing. Just a neat dream that left me wondering and awake in the early hours.



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