Dream of: 12 August 1993 "Religious Vows"

I had just flown into Puerto Rico from Mexico, which I had been visiting for a short while. I was now on a bus, happy to be in Puerto Rico, even though I wasn't yet sure what I was going to do here. I felt somewhat disoriented it seemed as if I had been drinking something alcoholic while I had been in Mexico. I had left Mexico in a hurry and wasn't carrying any baggage with me. I thought I should probably find a hotel as quickly as possible.

A fellow on the bus sitting next to me on my left spoke to me. He was probably in his late 20s and had longish light-brown hair. I immediately liked him. I started off speaking to him in English, with a foreign accent. But finally, even though he was an American, he responded to me in Spanish. His speaking Spanish made me happy because I much preferred speaking Spanish to English. One reason I liked Puerto Rico so much was because it had always been easy for me to meet people here. I could already tell that this fellow and I were going to stick together.

The fellow asked me questions about my life, and I queried him about his. He asked if I were married, and I told him that I was, although even I was unclear of the details of my marriage. I wondered how old he was probably in his thirties, I imagined, younger than I. I mentioned that I had just flown in from Mexico, and that I had only stayed there for two hours. It seemed strange even to me that I would drift into Puerto Rico from Mexico without having made any plans. Finally the bus stopped, and as I debarked and looked around me, I enthusiastically proclaimed, "I love Puerto Rico."

The two of us walked into a building where some tables had been set up, something like a restaurant. We soon encountered another American, with whom my new-found friend began talking. It wasn't long before the two of them sat down at a table together, while I remained standing. I was disappointed to hear that they were speaking English with each other. I didn't want to be with someone who spoke English; I wanted to be around people who spoke Spanish. Speaking English ruined the whole atmosphere for me.

Although I joined into the conversation, I only spoke to my new friend, and only in Spanish. Finally I realized the second fellow (probably in his early 30s, and dressed better than my friend and I), didn't speak Spanish. Nevertheless I continued speaking in Spanish to my friend, uncertain whether the second fellow could understand me. I decided that if my friend were going to stay with the second fellow and continue to speak English, then I was going to leave; if they were going to speak English, I should part company with them as soon as possible.

Right next to us was another floor level, slightly above us, where some other tables had been set up. Sitting at a table on the other level was a woman staring right at me. When I looked more closely, I saw that three women were actually seated at her table. I immediately divined that the woman staring at me wanted to be with me. She was close enough so I could clearly hear her when she finally asked me, "Quieres ir a un lugar a oir a una banda?"

At first I didn't understand what she had said, and I was going to ask her to repeat her words. But suddenly I understood that she had asked me if I wanted to go somewhere and listen to a band and I answered, "Si."

I looked at the woman more closely. This was just another example of how easy it was to meet people in Puerto Rico. As I expanded the conversation with the woman, I found her to be attractive, although she had quite a bit of rouge on her face. I asked her if she wanted the other two fellows to accompany us to hear the band. I wouldn't mind now if the English-speaking fellow went with us, because the woman clearly intended to speak Spanish anyway. Turning to the other two fellows, I asked them if they wanted to go with the three women.

Meanwhile the women were standing up from their table. One (probably in her mid 30s) was dressed in dark blue. Since her face was rather ugly, I definitely didn't want to be with her. The two fellows also stood up. They had decided that they also wanted to go with us, and we all started walking out together. As we exited, I asked the women their names. One was named Aliosha, and one was named Mityia. Since I didn't want to forget the names, I began repeating them over and over in my mind so I would remember.

***

All of us walked into the nightclub where the band was going to play. I immediately saw that no one was here except the employees. Since my watch said that it was a quarter after nine, I thought to myself that it was still too early.

The room was filled with tables, in the middle of which was a small dance floor, about three meters by three meters. As we all headed toward a table somewhat removed from the dance area, I thought we would probably sit down and order drinks. But as we approached our table, I suddenly remembered that I had quit drinking alcohol, that I had made a religious vow to God to stop drinking. I didn't want to break the vow, but I thought this was going to be difficult, because the others were clearly going to drink. I was already beginning to think I might sip on a mixed drink. I didn't want to, but I was afraid if I didn't drink, I would lose the women. But suddenly I remembered I had also made a vow to stop having sex. I now felt as if I might also want to break that stringent vow. Questions of whether I should drink, and whether I should have sex, jostled through my mind. As I tried to think of some way I could remain here, and still keep my vows, I wondered what I was even doing in this club. Perhaps I should not even be here.

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