It begins with a fascination with brown, leather, driving gloves. They are slender and have a cuff long up the arm. I see other people wearing them as a new fashion, which irritates me because I had that same pair ten years ago and so did my husband. Indignantly, I tell another woman this, that I had them first. She begins to tease me for holding my luxuries too dearly. She taunts me playfully, asking if I won’t wear my diamonds out now because others have diamonds, too.
We are planning to go somewhere, a restaurant, but I want to know the results of the horse races. I can’t get an answer. We are to be seated at a very expensive and exclusive restaurant, but the table is small with booths instead of chairs. It’s extremely cramped, but all the wealthy people are seated as if it’s normal. On the way past a man in another booth, I ask if he knows the results of the horse races, but I’m hurried past by the waiter, who is brief with us. In the booth, the table is almost against our ribs. I move out of my side and sit beside my friend. That way, we can push the table away toward the empty side and have some space. Other diners see what we have done, and some of them want to do the same, yet others feel that they shouldn’t change anything, since this is a fine restaurant, after all, and the standard of luxury.
The restaurant changes. We’re sitting at a proper table with chairs. The lighting is dimmed. My husband is with me now, and there is a dark-haired man, very handsome. Fronds and firs hang from the rafters and in arrangements all around the restaurant. There is an event going on with the plants. The wealthy people purchase the plants and then donate them as they leave. The man and I discuss whether this is economically efficient. Wouldn’t it cost more to support a greenhouse and transport energy than it would be to simply leave the fronds and firs alone in the first place? To us, it seems a way to let wealthy people feel like they’re doing something for the environment when they’re actually doing the opposite.
I wonder once if the firs and fronds are even real. There is a group of people just leaving the restaurant, having their pictures taken with their donated plants before they go. They are very happy, lots of smiles and fun and standing in various poses. They are close enough that I can extend my hand and brush my fingers across the tip of the frond to verify that it’s a live plant. It was dry, crackly, but alive. I report that to my husband and dark-haired man.
Something makes me angry, maybe the brusque service of the waiters. I’m not sure what angered me, but I think it was about the restaurant. I get up from my table and storm out through a glass door. Immediately, an alarm sounds. That’s normal whenever anyone leaves without checking out. I don’t care. If they want to stop me, they’ll have to come after me. On the other side of the door, there is a wide staircase going up. I begin the ascent, but see one or two waiters there and realize this is a service stair, so I go back down and choose to go through a marble-floored foyer that leads through the outer glass door.
The dream changes now. I am much more aware of myself as a person. I have my own body, slender and tallish. I have my own hair, dark, long, wavy and thick. Outside, I find myself in an empty city. The streets and sidewalks are broad and even, but there is almost no one using them. It is night, but the lights of the city make it seem like early evening. It is very clean, which makes me think of Europe, but there are many skyscrapers, which gives it the feel of the U.S., so I don’t know where I am, maybe in the future. It looks futuristic and so do my clothes. I’m wearing a knit fabric, a contoured, minimalistic dress with a hem just above my knee. It has a cowl that is continuous with the dress. I’ve left my purse, so I don’t have a wallet, a phone or any other possessions. I’m wearing high heels and walking very determinedly, especially as I leave the restaurant still in an outrage over something unknown.
Outside, I begin to calm down a little in the cool air, swinging my arms lightly, walking with enjoyment on the even sidewalk alone in the nearly empty city. Once in a while, I think of my missing purse, but it’s only a distraction. I like the freedom without it. I come to an intersection and need to cross the street. There are three lanes going each way, six altogether, but only one car in sight. I start across without a light because there’s no fear of traffic. Halfway across, my light turns green, and the single car comes to a stop to let me pass.
The skyscrapers recede, and there are more people here, mostly with dogs. I must be walking beside a park. I keep my distance from the dogs, which I see as strays. They seem filthy and diseased with mange…and slobbery. I don’t like them touching me. I have raised my cowl against the night and the touch of chill. My hair is long and wavy, curling out from the edges of the cowl. A female jogger going the opposite direction on the sidewalk comments breathlessly, “Your head fits that hood well.” It was such an odd way of saying she liked the cowl that I remembered her words. I then pass a homeless woman with a long, large face, who is lying on a park bench. She sings a long, wailing note, strong, wavering and ethereal. I wonder if there’s a reason homeless people learn to sing these haunting tunes or if it’s the other way around. Does a singing talent precipitate homelessness?
I have calmed down completely from the anger about the restaurant. I continue walking along the wide sidewalk, the park behind me. The skyscrapers rise again. The street is lonelier than ever. Now I see that I’ve come to the end. There is a wide, public stair that leads from the sidewalk to where the street begins to slope downward and then turn into a tunnel behind a retaining wall and railing. I imagine the trucks that must use the tunnel, disappearing into the dark.
Here at the end of the empty street is where I am attacked from behind by two men and a woman. A man wraps his arms around me and then wraps me in tape like a long, sticky streamer. I ask, “Is this the best you can do?” I am loose in his arms, as loose as the tape. He tells me I am going to be their new drug “br...,” a fence for selling drugs. (I can’t recall the word exactly.) I’m not frightened, not even worried. Whatever will be, will be.
As the man tells me this thing about the drugs, my husband suddenly arrives with a huge force of police and militia. There are many different units, lots of uniforms, weapons and lights, maybe even helicopters. They take the three criminals prisoner and free me. I am smug toward the criminals, saying something like they should never have attacked me because look what happened to them.
There is a discussion between the leaders of the different units about my husband. They compare the kills of his different hunts and determine that he kills more when it’s important. Judging now by the number of militia he has brought, they conclude that this hunt(?) was his most important ever.
My husband coaches me at the top of the stairs on how to kiss him in front of the cameras so that it makes a good photo for the news. We kiss twice for photos. I have to thank the chief of police, as well. Then I ask my husband what took him so damn long to come look for me after I stormed out of the restaurant. He and the dark-haired man both have guilty looks on their faces, so I know they finished eating before coming after me.
Going back the direction that I came, we walk in the wide street, once empty now cluttered with police/military. I want my purse but, instead of handing it to me, my husband tosses out my wallet onto the street. I pick up the wallet that contains my credit card and the access it gives me to…anything. He then tosses out my iphone, and I must have retrieved that, too. I woke with the image of the iphone in my mind.