I awoke this morning in the middle of a dream.
I had been re-hired by a firm I worked for fifteen years ago. It was my first day back. Scrambled eggs, sausage links, and hash browns were being served on the over-polished, walnut conference table. Hmmm. Family breakfasts weren’t company policy when I worked there last time.
People, some familiar, some strangers, milled around holding full plates, not speaking to each other. The air smelled like frying bacon, but there was none to eat. There had to be a mound of bacon somewhere. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right club. I took a seat between two silent co-workers and began to eat, though the food had no taste and I wasn’t the least bit hungry.
I glanced around as the others in the room shoveled forkfuls into their mouths as if they were following orders. I pondered the point of the gathering. We certainly weren’t bonding.
The door was open to the back patio. It had been summer just yesterday. Now the trees were clad in fiery tones. I shivered in my sleeveless black and white dress and was suddenly wearing a layer of goosebumps. My feet were icy. I tapped them against the terazzo floor and realized I had forgotten my shoes.
Then, in strolled a man I had never seen. There was nothing striking about his physical appearance. He wasn’t tall, dark, or handsome. He was just what I needed. He was about my age, carrying a plate of bacon, a chartreuse sweater, and some pink, furry, slipper-like shoes that fit me but didn’t match my outfit.
I put down my fork and, unnoticed, walked out with him.