I had the most sinister kind of nightmares last night and woke up scared out of my wits and longing for a warm body to turn to. I fumbled for my phone and face timed Peter in San Francisco. Words seemed completely useless as I tried to describe the images, the sounds and the sensations that I lived so vividly in the nightmares. Peter listened sympathetically while he brushed his teeth, getting ready for bed — what a sweet and reassuring sight. I was so happy that I caught him before he went to sleep. My stories didn’t make much sense, but the effort of recounting the nightmares made the perverse phantasm lose potency, much like the sun disperses the fog. Dreams don’t belong to the realm of words, voicing them break their spell. No matter how you try, you can never truly reconstruct precisely the ephemeral dreams with words. Once spoken, they are gone. That’s why you should never attempt to tell the ones you want to keep.
It was hot outside and for most of the day I stayed in the room and binge watched House of Cards — occupying myself with other people’s nightmares. After 6 episodes, I needed a break. A little aimlessly, I walked along the now very familiar Kiraly Ut. and turned on Bajcsy-Zsillinszky Ut. toward the St. Stephen’s Basilica. That was where I noticed a little sandwich shop called Durcin Szendvics, where for less than a dollar you could eat an open-faced caviar sandwich. The place looked like a fast food chain, but you could see the Basilica from there (if you craned your neck a bit). I enjoyed my caviar sandwiches in the sun as the saints peered down at me. Had the restaurant used better bread — which is available everywhere in Budapest — this would have been a gourmet sandwich. But I can’t complain. Caviar for less than a dollar. Where else do you find that?