I dropped in at a coffee shop. I had another hour before I was to meet Matthew to catch our train back. Time enough to have a coffee, rest my legs for half an hour before walking down to Union Station. I popped into a Second Cup, hoping for a decaf skinny latte.
(Virtuous, no? And to those of you who say "Why bother with coffee if there's no caffeine?" I reply, "Because I like coffee. I like the taste of coffee, the smell of coffee, the feel of that hot cup in my hands." Otherwise, I'd just pop a caffeine pill. They do exist, you know. If caffeine's the only reason you're drinking the stuff, you don't really like it.)
I get in line. Service is very slow, but I'm not too worried. If worse comes to worse and I actually have to leave before I get my drink, so be it. I'm enjoying the funky decorations of the place (the Second Cup franchise leaves its franchisees a lot of leeway in decor), the crowd of funky people around me, the crowded shop, the buzz of the city. Just as there's more to a cup of coffee than caffeine, there's more to a coffee shop than coffee.
Even as I'm thinking this, I'm surprising myself. I must've needed a day off. I'm extraordinarily mellow.
I'm not so mellow when the funky young things behind me start sniggering, and it evidently has something to do with me. Apparently this Second Cup, unlike any other I've ever been in, uses a pull-a-number system, and "Your number came up ages ago." Well, it couldn't have, could it, since I didn't know to take a number? Smug little prats. Like most urban teens, they consider themselves so very wordly and urbane, but haven't the life experience to know that how it's done in their neck of the world is not how it's done throughout the world. That's not urbane, kiddlies, that's provincial.
All this sneering occurs in my head. In reality, I simply move forward to order my drink.
When it arrives, I hunt around for my purse -- and it's gone! Or rather, the purse over my shoulder is not mine. In the crowded line, I must've, somehow managed to set down one black leather purse and pick up another, without noticing! I scan the floor behind me. The line-up was along the counter, and there are a surprising number of purses set down there beside their owners. Easy to see how this could have happened. None of them, however, are mine.
I scan the shop. Don't see it. Could someone have picked up mine, as I've managed to scoop the wrong one, and walked off with it? Is she still in the shop somewhere, as yet unaware of her error? I think to call my cell, usually snapped onto the side of my purse, thus alerting the person of her error (because at this point, I'm still assuming it was an error), but my cell phone is in my hand.
What to do? The panic is rising. Sternly pushed back, but rising. I'm five hours from home, I have a train to catch, I can't even pay for the coffee waiting for me on the counter! My train ticket is in my purse! Money! All my ID to replace! Ugh.I have my cell. I can call Matthew, so there's that. I look around the shop once more, scanning floors and tabletops, backs of chairs. Maybe I should check the bathroom?
I'm starting to catch people's attention with my anxious face and movements. Faces glance toward me, away, then back. People pause over their coffee to stare. No one is showing concern, though, no one is offering to help, nor even a sympathetic smile. Callous lot, just staring at me as if I'm a bug in a jar.
Then I realize why.
I am wearing nothing but my large red bath towel.
I am filled with relief. This is a dream!
I try to leave the dream. Nothing doing. But I know it's a dream, because the only times I'm ever naked or semi-naked in public, I'm dreaming. So now, even though it seems I have to continue in it, I'm a whole lot less worried about it all.
The manager of the store graciously gives me my coffee for free, and I sit down to savour it. The anxiety of the dream still compels me to keep scanning the room, and I'm a little worried at what nastiness my subconscious will have dreamt up for me when I get to the train station with no ticket, but hell! It's a dream!
May as well just enjoy the coffee and the funky, busy, urban ambience.
I woke up before I left the coffee shop, as it happens, which was a relief. A relief to be out of the situation (though once I sat down, I appeared to be fully dressed again), and a relief to know that yes, it really was a dream.
I don't interpret dreams. I rarely believe they have anything significant to tell me, that they're anything more than the farting of my subconsious. But they're entertaining, no?
Anyone care to take a run at determining what that was all about?