Flora Del Sol

by Guidel Presume


From Soul In a Bottle by Madison Smartt Bell


I'd told my story to just about everyone I ran into in Haiti who I thought might have an understanding with Les Mystères, might be able to explain matters and generally help me out, but all along my highest hopes for a solution had been from Lôlô and from Présumé. If Présumé saw me as an envoy of God, I saw him as an envoy of the loa, though this was not a role he especially wanted to assume. He was careful to tell me that he went to the ceremonies, when he did go, only because he liked the drumming. It was quite possible, I recognized, that I had created him in the character of spiritual guide purely out of my own need for someone to conduct me-- perhaps it really had nothing to do with him. 

At the same time, I sometimes had the sense that I was being studied. Occasionally I felt that I had passed little tests I had not even known I was taking. On different and very minor occasions, Présumé told me casually that I had a bon règle, a belle manière, and a bonne croyance. I knew that these qualities were important to him, if only because of our friendship.

Also Présumé was the first person to make any sort of direct answer to my question, as I had secretly hoped he might be. When I told my story of that summer night: the screams that I heard outside myself, the sense of being shredded apart, that sense of an internal twinning... after I had described the whole experience, the first night I found him during this trip, Présumé brightened and spoke without hesitation. "C'est la confusion spirituelle," he said, "That is spiritual confusion."