Dream of: 03 December 1996 (2) "Carrefour"

I had run into Birdie. We hadn't seen each other in many years, and although she didn't seem particularly enthusiastic about meeting me again, she invited me to come and see her. She mentioned that she lived in New Boston, in a rather run-down section of town, across the street from a restaurant which she named. However, she didn't want me to come to her home, but to her office. I was more than willing to go see her.

***

Birdie and I were sitting in her office. I was sitting in a chair and she was sitting right across from, slightly higher than I, as if she were perched up on top of her desk. I couldn't help but stare at her face, for I was amazed at how Birdie looked. When I had known Birdie, she had had a particularly attractive face. I had expected that after all these years, she would have aged and lost all her appeal. But what I saw was just the opposite: her face was beautiful. Although she was obviously older, she had the complexion of a woman of 20. I was mesmerized by the rosy tint and the hint of childish freckles on her cheeks.

Birdie seemed reserved and humorless. It seemed obvious from her office that she had been successful in life. But she offered no explanation of what kind of work she did. And I didn't bother to ask, for I was mainly interested in her appearance. I finally blurted out that I had expected her to be "old and haggard" after all these years. She disdainfully repeated my words, "old and haggard." She seemed to think it was amusing that I was so surprised to discover that she had maintained her beauty.

***

I had gone to pick up Carolina, who was apparently working in some kind of retail store. After arriving, I climbed up on top of a step ladder and sat down on the top, looking out over the store. I wasn't wearing a shirt; I realized my attire was inappropriate, especially since I had the breasts of a woman. Sensing that people in the store were looking at me, I held my hands over my breasts and climbed down from the ladder. Once at the bottom, I saw Carolina walking toward me, and I could immediately see that she was embarrassed by my shameful behavior of sitting half naked in the store. She quickly led me away to where she was working.

By the time we reached the counter where she was employed as a cashier, I was wearing a shirt; I quietly watched Carolina perform her job. It was soon clear that Carolina was having difficulty. A number of people showed up at the counter at once, and Carolina didn't seem to have any thought-out method of ringing up items on the cash register and of sacking them up. In addition, two girls (each about 10 years old) walked up and began crying about something and begging for Carolina's help. Carolina seemed overwhelmed by it all. I didn't interfere, but I was anxious to take Carolina out of here as quickly as possible. I had in mind a particular place where I wanted to take her.

***

I had returned to Birdie's office, this time with Carolina. Along with Carolina was another young fellow about Carolina's age, in his early twenties; the fellow was something like a servant who normally accompanied Carolina and me. For some reason, I wanted Carolina and Birdie to meet. With Carolina and the other fellow in tow, I marched up to Birdie's desk, where Birdie was still sitting, and I happily announced, "This is my troop."

Birdie and Carolina looked each other over and began a friendly conversation. As I watched, I was particularly interested in the age difference of the two women, with Birdie being more than 20 years older than Carolina. I wondered what Birdie would think about my being married to such a young woman.

I only heard a few snippets of their conversation. Carolina was asking Birdie about the feel of a baby's skin. Obviously Carolina knew Birdie had had a baby, and Carolina wanted to know more about what it was like to have a baby. In response, Birdie made some kind of particularly pithy statement, the last word of which was "carrefour." I had heard this word before, but I couldn't remember that it was the French word for "crossroads."

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