A few nights ago I had a vivid dream which has stayed with me. These are the details.
After many years I have returned for an extended stay in San Miguel de Allende. It is night, and there is a new attraction: An enormous restaurant that spreads in and around tree branches for miles. There are only a few steps up to the front porch, so it is as if the enormous tree has been cut down such that the upper branches are much closer to the earth. Parts of the restaurant are open air, and parts are enclosed with walls, and there is no discernible pattern as to what part will be open air and what part enclosed. Given the size of the place, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of customers milling around the bar or sitting at booths. The servers are all clean cut, young, handsome men. They are squeaky clean wholesome, like the Osmonds from way back when or the teenagers in “Father Knows Best.” They are all Mexican. The customers are a mix of rich Mexicans and American expats. Everyone is having a ball in a vast space that seems like a cross between the Tiki Room and the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse.
I walk up the steps and across the porch. I see the bar, but I focus on the booths. One of the servers points me in the right direction. The dining room space is an assortment of tables, booths, hanging tree branches, tree stumps (now the one vast tree is a forest of trees), swaying vines, colorful birds on wood swings, crackling torches, and a manmade pond with a fountain that looks like something from an Esther Williams film. The floor is composed of creaky wood planks like on a pirate ship. I walk quickly to the booth, and I seat myself beside Sharon and across from two American expat friends I have not seen for years. In my dream, I seem to have known them, but their faces are not the same as any of the friends I actually had in San Miguel de Allende.
We order a round of Margaritas. The server is not as boyishly handsome as all the others. On the contrary, he is scrawny, unattractive, and seems to have a chip on his shoulder. I go out of my way to be friendly to him.
We all break into animated conversation after the server steps away. The friends are very happy to see me, and they want to know what I have been doing. I feel very much in my element as we dine and talk well into the night.