Cousin Christoper | The Dreamweaver

I was at a seaside resort in Mexico with my father’s family when my cousin Chris suddenly remembered it was his mother’s birthday.

Chris came to my hotel room and asked me if I would come downstairs to the hotel’s gift shop to help him pick out a silk scarf for his mother.

Looking at a clock I noticed it was only two o’clock so I told Chris the shops would be open for another few hours so there was time to walk into town and look for a gift.

We walked down the cobblestone road that led to the village from our hotel and when we reached the bottom I suggested rather than buying a physical gift—probably something my aunt wouldn’t really need or use—that we could buy a gift voucher for a spa treatment which she was sure to enjoy.

Chris loved the idea and as I’d been coming to the resort for years, I knew many of the shopkeepers and service providers in the village.

As we walked up to the salon I had in mind, I noticed a sign on the door that said the establishment was closed for vacation.

I then proceeded to walk inside the main market building where I knew the porter, who I found sitting at his table in the small porter’s “closet.”

Speaking to the porter in Spanish, I asked him if he could recommend a reputable salon where my aunt could get a spa treatment that included a facial and pedicura.

He told us to go upstairs and see the curandera, a word meaning “healer “ or “shaman.”

While I was a bit surprised that the porter would send us to see a healer for a spa treatment, I trusted him and his recommendation.

Chris and I walked up the steep, winding stone staircase that led to the shops and suites upstairs.

On our way up, we ran into quite a few shady characters such as drunks and prostitutes, one who was wearing a tight grey dress that revealed she was heavily pregnant.

Once we reached the top floor, we saw a long line of people—mostly those with severe mental and physical disabilities—waiting to see the curandera.

Chris anxiously looked at me and I convinced him I was certain that the treatment for his mother would be conducted in a private suite inside specially designated rooms.

Just then, a man standing a few feet away from us started staring at me and a few seconds later, I could see he was becoming quite agitated.

The man began slowly walking towards me with a very angry look on his face, and to avoid a confrontation, I took Chris by the arm and hurriedly started walking back to the stairs.

On our way back to the hotel, we noticed we were suddenly being followed by a number of stray dogs and cats until a woman who was walking her dogs appeared and she shooed away the stray animals.

Hearing the cathedral bells chime the half hour, I told Chris we still had plenty of time to find a nice gift at the hotel gift shop.

Then I woke up.

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