Three Parts of Cilia: A Dream

Cilia is a friend. Retired from one profession, she’s now a professor and department head at a local university. I know her through my wife. She’s mostly her friend.

First, there was Cilia and the book. I was outside with a group, walking on a sidewalk downtown, when I encountered Cilia. She had a book. Tremendously old and maroon, with one of those warped cloth covers with its title in faded gold print, it was about almost four inches thick and six inches square. I’d heard of this old book. When she showed it to me, I asked with delight, “May I see it?” After she passed it over, I opened the book. The pages inside were very thin. Many were separated from the spine and loose. But there were also metal toys embedded in the book: a steam train engine, car, artillery piece, truck, along with others that I can’t remember. These simple pieces were painted with silver, black, red, green, and yellow enamel paint.

As everyone was looking at it, talking, they tried to turn pages or touch the toys. These was causing the book to come apart, forcing me to tell everyone to be careful before finally ordering everyone to stop touching it. As I returned things to their places and carefully closed the book to hand it to Cilia, noticed she seemed very upset. As I apologized, she departed, tight-lipped.

In the second dream with Cilia, I stopped by her house. She and her husband had friends over for dinner. I didn’t want to impose so I began to leave. Her husband came out and gave me a huge steak, telling me that it was extra, and since I was already there, I might as well have it. I sat down out in the living room and ate it with my hands as the rest continued eating in the dining room. I could hear parts of their conversation but nothing really concerning me. The huge steak was fantastic, cooked just right. As I finished it, eating aroun fatty parts, Cilia came out to ask me if I wanted to take the steak with me if I couldn’t finish it, then was surprised that it was already gone.

The third part of my Cilia dream had Cilia coming out as gay. She had a female partner in addition to her male husband. I was really surprised. Beyond that, she had striking green eye shadow on, very contrary to her usual reserved appearance, with a matching green shirt, with her hair cut in a Dorothy Hamil wedge, and dark red, both quite different from her actual appearance.

We were in her house. A dozen others were there, all women. I was the only male. The gathering had broken into smaller groups. People were talking about math or literature. A woman to my right was asking questions about sines and cosines. Someone noticed a painted ceramic plate hanging on the wall. The plate had four handles. I said, “Is that a volksmarching award?” Rising, I went over and confirmed, yes, it had the usual markings of a volksmarch on it, as Cilia confirmed that she used to volksmarch. I did, too, I told her.

Someone took the plate off the wall to look at it. One handle broke off. As I took the plate from that woman, along with the handle, I told Cilia, “Oh, no, your plate broke.” As I was speaking, a second handle broke off. While we reacted to that, the third handle dropped off. I said, “Cilia, the handles fell off your plate. We can probably glue them back on, but there’s only one left.” Then the fourth fell off in my hand, breaking into two pieces. As I gawked at that, I said, “Never mind. That one broke, too.”

Per the plan, we then left the house to go have something to eat. Then, like a play whose acts had changed, we were returning. Although I’d had a good time, I felt it was time to leave. Cilia though, presented me with two small glasses, declaring, “An aperitif for you, Michael.” It was pale green. I took the glasses, questioning, “Two?” As she replied, “Yes,” I asked, “Aren’t aperitifs served before the meal?” But I drank them, then prepared to take my leave. First, though, I’d apparently borrowed a light brown leather belt from her with a metal tip. I took that off to give to her. Then, also, I’d borrowed a matching light brown leather jacket from her which I’d been wearing.

That’s where the Cilia dreams ended.

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