Mexico Department

 moral, lobotomías,
 curo de sueño, orgasmos por teléfono,
 arcoiris portátiles....
             -- Octavio Paz, "Augurios"

One night, while living with my girlfriend in Mexico City, I had a dream. I do not remember the particular circumstances in the dream but when I woke up I remembered that in my dream a series of words had appeared to me. This was the first time I'd ever dreamt words, so I took note of them as I woke up. I turned to my girlfriend who was in the bed beside me waking up along with me, and I told her the words:


Such strange words. I wondered what they meant or if they would signify something, for I had a strange sense that they were prophetic words. For some reason I felt they were words connected to a message from God. I told my girlfriend that maybe that day I would see a rainbow. And all day I scanned the skies, but come afternoon I had seen nothing. It started to rain at around 4pm, as it often does in Mexico City in the spring, and I thought sure enough now I would see one.

But after the rain storm, as we were walking back to her place, I still had not seen one. When we got home, she and I went to the roof of her building, where the cages for the laundry were and where there was a beautiful panoramic view of the city and of the sky. There was a golden patch of sunlight emerging from the clouds, yet alas despite my mad hope, no rainbow appeared. I lingered up there for a while, looking and waiting, till I returned to her room.

Eventually, after driving her crazy since I was repeating the ridiculous words RAINBOW TO HUT SOLO RAINBOW TO HUT SOLO and pacing around the room, I went back down to the street, determined to heed the call of these mysterious words.

I looked at the sky again for about 20 minutes but saw nothing. It was beginning to get dark and I knew that time was running out to see a rainbow. So I thought again about what the words meant. There was a newspaper vendors stall up the street so I thought perhaps that was the 'hut' portion of the message. I examined the entirety of the now shuttered stall but could find no clue for what to do next. So I just stood there looking at the sky. Indeed I remained fixated on the sky, not looking at my phone or replying to the messages from my girlfriend asking me when I'd be back. But all I saw was the sky become darker.

When I had truly run out of any hope, I looked down at the street dejectedly. Some force or God had told me to spend all day looking for a rainbow and I truly believed that I would see one, but now I felt foolish and empty. That's when I noticed there was a parking attendants hut across the street, in front of the fence of a building. And I looked again and noticed there was another parking hut only 20 feet from the first one. TOO HUT meant TWO HUT?

I crossed the street and to my amazement I saw that each parking hut had the words SOLO on them. ("estacionamiento solo para residentes"). I felt a chill run through me and I knew this was the place I needed to be. I began looking at the sky again, sure I would see my rainbow.

But no rainbow appeared, only a darkening sky lit with the last glow of the day, a velvety grey and purple. I thought that perhaps this message in my dream, which I was certain was a message from God, was empty. I despaired of ever believing in it, it just seemed so stupid, here I was hoping at dusk to see a rainbow because of a set of impossibly dumb words in a dream. I think I said something stupid to myself like if I see that rainbow I'll know forever God proof of your existence, and I thought of all the silly and intensely private reasons for why we either believe in god or not.

Anyway, I looked again at the sky and saw nothing. I felt ridiculous. To have both totally but also jokingly place my faith on such a thing, to have spent hours under the spell of some stupid words. I stopped looking at the sky. Standing alone between the two huts, I took my first steps towards home, as a woman walked by, and as she passed I saw in the middle of her fabric grocery bag a single iron-on patch: of a rainbow.

(This occured in April 2017, in Colonia Napoles, on Calle Nuevo York, CDMX, Mexico)

--David Stokes