Belgian Chocolate (part II)
You see, the Antwerp City Hall bore a striking resemblance to a hidden castle from my recurring nightmares, the ones that started around the same time as I started to get scared of flying. This castle was a place I wanted to reach very much in my dreams, because it contained harlequins and Pinocchios and secrets from my childhood that for the life of me I can’t figure out when I’m awake. In my dream, I am drawn to this place like a sea turtle is drawn to the beach where it hatched, and I know what it looks like on the inside, but I can never seem to reach it.
I wander aimlessly through terrifying subway tunnels, beaches with black waves, cobblestone paved streets in the darkest recesses of my mind, but no matter how close I might get, I can’t get inside. Or maybe I don’t want to. Did I mention the sun doesn’t shine in these dreams?
So here I was, in Belgium, facing the forbidden palace. It seemed less menacing in the sunlight. As odd as it sounds now, it didn’t even occur to me at that time to go inside. We snapped some pics and went on our way, only to come across a procession of…harlequins. I was rightfully creeped out at this point and my mind began to search frantically for the meaning to all this. Did it mean that I was going to die the next day, while on my way home? Obviously not, as I am writing this right now (or am I?). Perhaps it meant an end to my nightmares – not exactly true either, as I kept having them, albeit much less frequently and less terrifying. Or perhaps the physical world responded to my fears. Or maybe there was a short circuit in the wiring of the universe, allowing a mortal to peer at the exposed seams.
We left the city the same way we found it. With a dark cloud hanging over it. To say my experience in Antwerp was mystic is one way of putting it. It is the explanation I prefer.