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De Gaulle

Dreamed 1998/5/20 by Hélène Cixous

General de Gaulle paid us a visit.We were all were in our rather improvised camp in the forest. He spent the day in the comon room, talking with us. When he stepped out for a minute, I went over to rhe window that gives on the forest and we exchanged impressions. I had noticed I hadn't seen his nose. He had however behaved like a nice old man.

When he came back we went to the local shop together. How poor such places are. They sell a bit of this and a bit of that. If I lived there I might be forced to mke a grab for the two books in the middle of sweets and flies. The old man wanted to give me some token gifts, I picked out a few small items and half a box of wild strawberries. Because I was afraid to take roo much. But at the end when it was time to gather it all together and pay, I nevertheless took the rest of the wild strawberries.

Out we went. De Gaulle and I and the others made our way along the woodland paths. Then we reached town where he got his car to take me back home or somewhere. His car was special, a sort of big convertible armchair you slide yourself into after raising a Plexiglass roof. Not bad. I sat down beside him, I had my things, my bag, I was elegant.

He drove off in reverse. Still, after a few minutes I was surprised: were we going to drive down the whole of the main street in reverse? The other cars faced forward, and we hadn't turned? But De Gaulle replied in town here it's permitted, no cause for complaint, of course, some people might find it difficult to drive backwards at the normal speed, but for him no problem, it was just fine. And on we went, in the tide of cars going down, we went down, but the horses' heads faced back uphill.

Source: Dream I Tell You by Hélène Cixous, 2006, translated by Beverly Bie Brahic; a collection of 50 raw dream narratives. Title and paragraph breaks are mine; the original is one long breathless passage, readable on the page but hard to follow on screen. My apologies to purists.

LISTS AND LINKS: leaders - presidents - cars - wait, horses? - weird dream humor - a more alarming backward drive: Chronophobia! - Cixous, Helene

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