Harriet & Gail | The Dreamweaver

I was invited to a party given by some acquaintances who lived in a luxury high rise in Berlin.

I followed a couple onto the elevator as I overheard they were going to the same party.

The elevator took us to the 600th floor.

Entering the apartment, I was greeted by the hosts, an American couple I had seen before but wasn't really friends with.

The husband, a balding man with a mustache took my coat and invited me to take a rectangular leather cushion that I could use throughout the evening to keep myself comfortable if I found myself needing to sit on the floor.

As I entered the party, I was immediately introduced to an attractive, but somewhat stocky young German woman who went and sat down next to another man she said she was talking to earlier.

I asked if I could join their conversation and she said they were talking about politics. The minute I moved a chair over to join them, the woman got up and walked away and went to sit by herself at an empty table across the room.

I stood up and walked over to her and asked if I could join her.

She said I could but insisted we go and dance.

Knowing I was uncomfortable on the dance floor, she instructed me to simply keep my hands on my hips and tilt my body from side to side.

Not feeling very comfortable at the party, I slipped away, leaving my coat and briefcase.

When I returned to the lobby, I decided I should go back upstairs and collect my things.

Not remembering the apartment number, I waited for other people who I thought would be going to the party so I could follow them up in the elevator.

Just then, two well-dressed young men approached the elevator accompanied by the doorman who instructed them to take the lift in front of them to the 600th floor.

I entered the elevator with the two men and watched as the arrival clock re-set to seven minutes.

One of the men began to panic and I suggested we talk to help the man overcome his fear of being in the elevator.

I asked the men where they were from and the man on the other side of the panicky man said he was from California. I asked what part and he replied "San Francisco."

When I asked the other man where he was from he said "New York."

We finally arrived at our floor and I discreetly went inside the apartment and retrieved my belongings and quietly left.

I the found myself in the alley behind my childhood home on Washtenaw where Avrom had just parked his car and greeted me before walking through the passageway and up the stairs.

As I was walking by the landlord's garage, a phone rang from inside and I walked over and answered it.

I recognized the voice as being Harriet and she was surprised to hear my voice and asked what I was doing in Chicago.

She went on tell me that she was upstairs and invited me up for a cup of coffee.

Before hanging up the phone, Harriet told me that she and her husband had separated and she was renting the third floor apartment where I used to live as she and the landlord's daughter knew each other from synagogue. I asked her if she would consider dating me and mentioned I had been invited to a high society party the next day. She thanked me but said she thought it wasn't a good idea that she wasn't ready to date yet.

I went upstairs and sat with Harriet at the breakfast room table as she told me about the last thirty years of her life since we'd last seen each other in her high rise apartment in Chicago. She had invited me to dinner just after she had started seeing her soon-to-be husband who she worked for and who was still married.

I asked Harriet about her children and she said they had taken their father's side and no longer spoke to her. I mentioned that my son hadn't spoken to me in more than two years.

I decided to go back to the party, which was now in Florida and I arrived at the main entrance of the complex where visitors were required to take a light rail car to the residential building.

I got on the rail car and was surprised to see my old childhood friend Gail, who had retired in Florida with her husband and lived in the complex.

I noticed the arrival clock said we'd be arriving at the building––which I could see in the distance-–-in seven minute's time.

I complained that a seven-minute ride to the building was quite inconvenient and Gail countered by saying that it was a very good security measure.

I replied by saying I could never live there and couldn't imagine having to take a seven-minute ride every time I came and went home, even if it were free.

Next, I found myself at the airport looking for my flight to Africa and noticed that all the planes had departed except for a small plane which, while it looked like a proper jet passenger plane, was only a model which left me wondering why they would leave a model plane at a departure gate.

I made it to the bus terminal where I was greeted by my family and we were the last to board the coach as I had been late in arriving.

We took our assigned seats in the second row behind the driver, but as we wanted to sit with the rest of our family, we asked if we could go to the back of the bus nearer to them. Luckily, there were a few empty seats so we moved.

Shortly into the trip, I began to feel slightly unwell and the bus attendant suggested I return to my seat where I could lie down across the seats as no one was sitting in them.

I sat down in the aisle seat and the attendant buckled me in and placed a pillow on the chair next to me and told me I could lie down.

When the bus arrived at the train station, I was awakened by a male porter who stood over me accompanied by a policeman. The men looked annoyed but asked if I was okay that I had apparently fallen asleep and missed the arrival annoucement.

The two men helped me off of the coach and instructed me to cross the train tracks where I would see the airport terminal entrance where my family was waiting for me.

Crossing the tracks, I noticed a training slowly coming towards me so I pinned myself up against the platform and narrowly avoided being struck by the train me as it passed behind me.

Horrified to see what had happened as a result of their negligence, the bus porter and policeman rushed over to find me unhurt but covered in filthy black grease.

They helped me up onto the platform and told me they would accompany me to the first-class lounge where I would be able to shower and get a fresh change of clothes.

Then I woke up.

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