Still, the change was not enough to keep me from taking an unintentional nap, during which I had a dream about something unexpected. It was a brief scene in a used book store I frequented in Pasadena many decades ago. There was a woman there who sat behind the counter, and she had suffered some sort of injury or illness which left her unable to move her head but slightly. She would turn her upper body from side to side when she wanted to reach something nearby. All her movements were very slow, as was her speech, and her voice was barely audible. I never saw her move about the room, though over the years I spent many hours in that dim place, sometimes when rain was falling outside the big, grimy window fronting Colorado Boulevard.
The man who ran the store might have been her husband, or might have been her father. He was probably in his sixties or seventies, but I couldn't guess the woman's age. She had a soft paleness about her, as though she had been sitting there in that dim store for ages, never getting any sunlight. Most likely she had been. Eventually my horizons widened and I seldom went to Pasadena for many years, and one time when I returned the bookstore had closed. I don't know what became of the proprietor or the woman behind the counter, but this afternoon the woman appeared in my dream.
I was buying a used magazine full of house plans from her, and I kept telling myself I already had that magazine, but said nothing to her and ended up paying for it. When I woke up I realized that I did have that magazine at one time, but it had vanished during one of my moves even though I had always intended to keep it.I remember looking at it for hours on rainy days such as this one when I was maybe ten or twelve years old. But I didn't buy it from the used book store in Pasadena, and in the dream I didn't remember having ever lost it. Now two vanished fragments of my childhood have joined up in a dream, and have left me feeling very melancholy. It must be something in the rain.