I was on a big green microbus with a friend headed to see a large woman about something she had borrowed from the friend’s boss. I can only say my friend because the only thing I remember about her was that she was a young woman about my age, nothing more. No name, no distinct physical features or mannerisms, just that she was incredibly shy and timid: this is why I needed to go with her. She was very scared of this other lady we were going to see and with good reason. We were supposed to pick up something they called “The Crown”, which is a wig not made out of hairs but out of hundreds of strings of vibrantly colored beads. It was truly beautiful. Not exactly my style to wear but it was the most colorful and delicate piece of work I’ve seen in a long time.
The friend and I entered the room where the large woman was sitting and started to ask “well, you see, you borrowed something a long time ago and, it belongs to somebody else, and, he would like it back, as, well, it really belongs to him, so, please, we’ve come to pick up The Crown.” The woman pondered for a few seconds and replied, “no. This belongs to me. I did not borrow this from anybody.” My timid friend was about to take that as her final answer and leave, but I pressed on, “prove it then” I told her. It was clear in her way of holding herself and manner of speech that this woman was used to being respected, used to getting things exactly her way, and not used to anybody questioning her, which was probably why my friend was so scared of her and so ready to leave without obtaining what we had come for.
After much more conversation, she gave me directions to her file cabinet on where to find the paperwork for The Crown. She then actually took me there, opened the cabinet (which was actually practically empty, with only a few old and ragged manila folders which had been renamed many times with tapes of various colors on their tabs), and sorted around for a little while looking for the paperwork. She finally found it in the bottom drawer in a manila folder in the very back, and brought me out two or three sheets of paper stapled together. The papers were a license to collect gems, dated for December 5-6th. Somehow I knew that today was December 6th so I started to question her.
“So, you mean to tell me, that you went out and collected all the stones in this Crown yesterday and today?” “Yes” she replied. “And you had sufficient time to clean them, punch all the holes in them, and string them on this wig?” “Well, of course I had a team, the work went very fast” she answered. I began verifying that the license was for a team of persons and not just one, then I asked her to see The Crown. She was very hesitant but finally handed it over so I could look at it. It was sitting on a table with a bunch of other artisan crafts, necklaces and bracelets with little wooded carvings in the shapes of different animals mostly deer and moose and other large game animals. There were also cookies in the shape of deer and turtles and other animals, and they were very big. I started rummaging through all the goods on the table looking for clues, while the large imposing woman watched me as if I were going to steal something. I picked up a bracelet and she snatched it away from me. She really did think I was going to steal it.
We didn’t end up getting The Crown, and the ending to the story is a little unclear, but apparently we were the ones who brought the cookies, maybe as a peace offering? Anyway, we decided to take the cookies back with us but as we went to collect them from the table somebody had put each one (about 6 in total) in an small individual white plastic bag.
**Now, to many of you this may not be funny, but to anybody who’s lived in Guatemala for as long as I have you’re used to saying many times a day “pero…no necesito la bolsa”. I don’t need that in a bag, thanks. Guatemalans put everything in plastic bags. I’ll go to the store to buy two eggs and they’ll put them in a bag. I’ll buy a can of soda or juice and they’ll put it in a bag. I’ll buy a banana and they’ll want to put it in a bag.**(not part of the dream)
When I saw that some mystery person and come along and bagged up my cookies, I got really heated. I started running around screaming (in English) “WHO put this in a bag? WHOOO!?” I ran up and down the streets looking for the perpetrator but could not find this strange bag-person. So, we left without The Crown but with our cookies, now neatly packaged in their own individual white plastic bags.