One of the things I really like about our new house is how close it turns out to be to that wonderful patch of Queen Street that has all my favorite restaurants and cute shops, and all my old friends can be found there fairly often. That is, of course, only in my dreams.
I must say my permanent and revisited dream landscape gets ever more complicated! While I have not recently visited my once-usual mountain-to-valley walking trails and either been mauled by the tigers or returned to the crystal house where I'm dead and stand before the corpse throne, I know it's still there. And a good tornado or alligator is always available. But lately I've been favoring my visits to my city, Toronto, but it's a Toronto where the major thoroughfares keep coming unglued, twisting around, and connecting back up in really uncomfortable ways. I never do manage to get off the train or subway at the right station, but I do fairly often manage to arrange my path so that I can stop and do some shopping at that Bay-and-Bloor mall (which itself is getting fancier as the years go by) on my way home at night.
That patch of Queen Street, which is sometimes a patch of Bloor Street, where the really great little restaurants are up a side street, and where I almost always see my friend Cheryl Zalameda... last night was somehow only a few blocks from our house near the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Pretty neat!
Cher and I connected first by cell phone. This was after a period of cat-sitting... which... is another story, but I can tell you that my cell phone was easily as complicated as the entire rest of the dream. Then Cher and I met. One cool thing about my dream Toronto is that apparently we're getting around the problem of stores moving around, so now, for instance, Cheryl's favorite and VERY EXPENSIVE clothing line can be purchased on the city bus. She was going to a cocktail party later that rainy evening and had picked out the dress she wanted by shopping online. So we flagged down a city bus, and we got on, and she tried to purchase her dress.
Okay, so the information design of this store is just dismal. The way the items are listed on the Web site is not how they're listed on the bus driver's manifest. After it became clear he had NO IDEA what Cheryl was talking about, he handed the thick wad of paper to her and she tried to figure it out herself. She found the dress on the list, and beside it was noted the compartment where we'd find the actual clothing item. But when I opened the compartment in the dash near the door, it was empty! Oh no!
"But I need it tonight!" So she started going down the list, and finally chose a beautiful chocolate and cream affair, not quite what she'd intended, but I assume she looked ravishing in it. There was indeed one of these in stock, in a compartment under the front-most seat behind the driver.
I might note that we were not RIDING the bus. We were cabbing it. So the actual passengers on this rainy night were a little annoyed at how long we were taking at our shopping.
Off we went. Cheryl and I parted ways for the dream, as she needed to get ready for her party. And Luther took me to get my hair cut. Luckily, my new (real-world) hair-cutter-person's salon has a branch location in that patch of Queen/Bloor Street with all the nice stuff. It's a little humbler than the (real-world) Dunedin salon, but very friendly and quick. They gave Luther a glass of wine. Chris did a nice job, though he left the back too long, which is a little unfair after (real-world) he'd made the comment about Georgia and all at my last appointment.
It was still rainy. Come to think of it, it was rainy and somewhat dark for the entire dream. That's unusual.
Next door to the salon, a new roti place has opened up. It's just a little stand, really, and it's all vegetarian except the very first item on the board: Beef roti. The rotis come in lovely Chinese-food boxes, hand-dyed in swirls of color, each with a real flower tied to the top.
What's difficult about all this is that it is all so FAMILIAR. I wake up, and I know I've been dreaming, but as I begin to think about coffee and the work I should do instead of writing a blog post, I try to separate the dream from reality, but the process is fraught with error. That "very best" little restaurant on that side-street off Queen/Bloor, for instance: I almost always "remember" that as real, so as I wake up, I try to sort that real thing from the dream stuff.
But it's not real. It's just a permanent and often revisited part of the dream landscape. Like the mountain-to-valley hiking path and the crystal house, that restaurant is one of my anchors. And no wonder I go back there so often. The food is really good (I think they serve that palm-and-artichoke heart salad that I used to get at Kalendar), but also... my old friends hang out there.
So in my dream landscape, I can now apparently walk from my Florida house to an anchor-place that is frequented by my Toronto friends, who now themselves are as far-flung as ever. Nice, isn't it?