I dreamed about a bookstore of yours, for the second time. This time it was very different, but I was reminded of a dream I had years before. I was there, spying, or being a detective as you would say. You were out of town? I found myself in your bookstore, but then customers kept coming in, even though it was so tiny and I didn’t think it was actually successful. I assumed all the books inside were you and your boyfriend, now husband’s old books. I assumed you hadn’t bought any for the store. Anyway, an Amish family came in first and selected one book. When I opened the cover to check the price I found a long scrawling list in pencil, not your handwriting, nor your boyfriend’s. I was able, somehow, to decipher $6.78 as the price, and tax was shown to be $7.78. I kept trying to add these numbers on a calculator on the desk of the store. The calculator was broken, or some buttons weren’t working, or it was glitching. In my dream state I couldn’t really figure it out, but I was getting more and more stressed. I found another calculator on the desk and try that one, but it’s the same story. I realize I can add these on paper, and realize how much time I’ve wasted with calculators when I could have a total by now, but I’m ashamed of doing math slowly and having people watch me, so this feels arduous as well.
More customers come in, and my anxiety goes up further. Will you come back? What am I supposed to be doing in here anyway? Surely not helping these customers. I see a small brown enveloped with the words
Where the address should be. I’m confused and scared and curious. I pick it up and begin to open in, but there’s nothing inside. Instead, the envelope begins to fall apart and I realize it’s been pieced together by scraps of paper I have written on, but don’t remember writing on. Some of these scraps don’t even have my actual writing, just the indent of writing, like they’ve been taken out of a notebook with writing on the page before.
Then I’m in your apartment, and you’re there, too, and maybe your child as well? It’s a loft apartment, with large windows and cement floors. It’s decorated well, of course it is, it’s your apartment. There’s a large table with paper lanterns above, suggesting large parties or gatherings or some communal eating situation. A large staircase leads up and out and, I realize, directly into the hallway or entrance to the apartment building. I’m confused, as anyone can enter your space without going through a door or ringing a bell or using a key. You don’t seem bothered by this, and maybe that’s the strangest thing of all. I never knew you to be anything by highly anxious and on alert in the most mundane of circumstances.
There’s a beautiful runner up the staircase. Red, pink, and purple hues. I turn back and watch you ascend after me.