During my afternoon nap, I had this dream:
I was a young free coloured woman, living in France sometime in the late 19th century. My mother was a mulatto, and my father was a white Frenchman. I was very pretty, and very interested in the arts and music and such, highly educated.
I met and fell in love with a much older white Frenchman, an artist himself. I was about seventeen or eighteen, he was in his late 30s, early 40s. We were both very taken with each other.
He asked my family to marry me, but they refused for petty reasons. He didn’t have enough money, he was an artist, they had dozens of reasons.
Instead they married me to another free coloured man… his mother was a slave from Haiti, his father a French nobleman.
He had emotional problems, and he wasn’t very nice to me, although never violent.
On the day I entered the dream, he and I had had a rather large argument. Not about money or some such…. he was just acting very erratic. I was pregnant (a month or two), and very worried about his behaviour.
He was wandering the house half naked and taken to bouts of shouting. I found him in the attic railing in a language I didn’t understand… I asked him what was wrong, and he started screaming at me.
I ran back downstairs in tears, grabbed my bonnet and ran out of the house. I walked the rue very worried… and as I walked past a park, I heard a mouth harp being played and stopped. I looked into the park, looking for where the sound was coming from.
When I found the person, from the back he looked familiar and I went through the park gate and walked towards him. He was surrounded by children and young people. I walked around the crowd and stood before him. It was the white Frenchman I was in love with.
After he had finished his song on his harp, the children dispersed and he got up and took my hand. I asked him what he was doing there, and he said he comes and spends afternoons in that park, hoping I’d come by.
We talked, and he offered to walk me home. Except, we didn’t walk home right away… we walked and walked and talked and talked. We walked all through the neighbourhood I lived in, which was very toney and upscale, and finally into a more working class neighbourhood.
Then I woke up…