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The unfinished diary.

He had always prided himself on having a scientific mind, immune to any outside pressure that might try to change his strictly empirical concept of the universe. During his adolescence, he had flirted now and then with Freud's theories on the interpretation of dreams; but the impossibility of confirming the master's ideas through experience soon made him lose interest in such theories. As a result, the first dream about a space ship did not seem particularly important, and by morning he had forgotten the details of the dream. But when the same thing happened again the next night, his interest was aroused and he tried--with some success--to reconstruct the details in writing. According to those notes, in that first dream he saw himself in the middle of a desert, sensing that something very important was about to happen, but unable to pinpoint exactly what inspired that anxious anticipation. Starting on the third night, the dream became recurrent, with a strange twist: an additional episode was tacked on at the end of each rerun, like the serials he used to see in his youth. From then on, he kept a sort of diary, and every morning he would describe the scenes from the previous night's dream. By rereading these notes--which became easier to write every day, since the dream was increasingly clear and its details easier to reconstruct--he was able to follow his dream experiences step by step. According to his notes, on the second night he was able to glimpse the space ship spiraling down from the sky. The third night, the ship came gently to rest at his side. On the fourth, he could see the hatch of the ship slide noiselessly open. The next night, a gleaming metal ladder emerged. On the sixth night, he witnessed the solemn descent of an alien being twice his height, dressed in a luminous green suit. On the seventh, he received a warm handshake from the unknown visitor. On the eighth night, we went up the ladder with the cosmonaut, and on the ninth he examined the astonishing array of complicated instruments inside the ship. The tenth night, he dreamed that he was beginning the silent ascent to the mystery of the cosmos ... but that experience was not logged in the diary, for he never awakened.

Virgilio Diaz Grullon, a native of the Dominican Republic, is now living in Santo Domingo. He is the author of a number of short story collections, including Un dia cualquiera (1958) and Cronicas de altocerro (1968). Some of his stories have been published in previous issues of Americas.
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Title Annotation:Latitudes; short story
Author:Grullon, Virgilio Diaz
Publication:Americas (English Edition)
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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