Dream of:06 July 1997 "Disenchanted Feelings"
I had heard my good Dallas friend Eloise was avoiding me and no longer wanted to have anything to do with me. I hadn't spoken with her in quite a while; but I felt terrible when I became aware of this. I had the dull sick feeling of losing a friend and not being able or willing to do anything about it. Her avoiding me seemed logical – we didn't have much in common; but she could have at least told me herself how she felt.
I was walking around Portsmouth close to downtown, talking with someone on a cellular phone when I suddenly heard Eloise's voice, "Como estas?"
We exchanged a few words in Spanish; then she asked if I would prefer to speak English. Since her Spanish was rather poor, I told her we could speak English; but she continued to speak Spanish anyway, until I interrupted her and told her she had just suggested we speak English. Finally she began speaking English. I told her I had heard she had opened a small arts and crafts store and I was in fact walking right in front of the store (the store was on the corner of Seventh Street and the street just east of Gay Street, in the building where a radio parts shop used to be). As we talked, I looked in the store window and saw small art objects sitting inside. I was unsure whether Eloise had made the objects, or whether she was simply showing them for sale for someone else. One object had letters on its face; the first three letters were normal; but the rest of the letters were formed from small pictures.
It would be difficult for a shop like this to make any money; but who could say – maybe Eloise would be successful. What if I were to start a little shop like this? I might choose to run a book store rather than an arts shop; I might make the shop a specialty bookstore, such as one which only sold books by authors from Dallas, Texas. But having such a store would be so difficult – there might only be a hundred authors from Dallas; and there would be so much competition from the larger bookstores. Would I sell used books or only new books? New book dealers made the most money; but would I be able to sell enough new books to make money?
Eloise's voice was growing fainter; finally I couldn't hear her voice at all through the phone; but, puzzlingly, I could still hear her. Looking down the street, I could now see Eloise on the corner of Seventh and Gay Streets. Apparently she was unaware I was so close; but finally she saw me. I didn't think it would be a good idea of for us to meet right now; I called to her that I was leaving. But she told me to stay and she walked toward me.
I felt terrible about seeing her, obviously she didn't want to have anything else to do with me and she no longer thought of us as friends. When she reached me, I averted my eyes; but I could still see her. She was about 50 years old; she seemed rather businesslike, even though dressed in her typical off-beat fashion. She opened the door to the store. I stepped up a couple stairs and through the door. Just as I entered I recalled that Eloise was fairly wealthy; along with her friendship, I had lost the opportunity to ever benefit in any way from her wealth. But I just accepted this fact as a matter of course without putting much importance on it; it was just another aspect of our whole relationship which had vanished. Once we were standing inside I couldn't think of much to say; so I blurted, "How's business?"
She made some enigmatic comment; I couldn't tell whether her business was doing well or poorly.
We weren't alone; two other women were in the store – they appeared to be her helpers. One was a tall thin woman (perhaps 40 years old), cooking a pasta in a pan on a small stove. I really didn't want to discuss personal matters with Eloise in front of the woman, but Eloise continued talking. Finally I told her I really should go and we could talk another time; but Eloise stopped me and said she had something important she needed to tell me. She quickly said someone else had also begun to have the same disenchanted feelings about me. Apparently the other person planned to take some kind of action against me. I asked who it was; she said, "Phil Herrera."
I tired to remember who that might be; the name sounded vaguely familiar but I really couldn't remember. Eloise pulled out an envelope which apparently was from Phil Herrera and she ushered me into a neighboring room. She sat down at her chair behind a large desk; I sat down facing her. I finally concluded Phil Herrera must be a former client; I sputtered, "I'm getting sued?"
She responded, "No."
She began to open the letter. I couldn't imagine what the person wanted from me; but it was all beginning to sound bad.
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Copyright 2008 by Steve Collier