I'm in a huge mansion that has been divided into residential units. I'm there with Chandra, Vanessa and Brendan, and we are eating lunch in the rooftop restaurant while some young official explains the customs of the house. Apparently, we have just moved in. People start to leave; lunch is over. I see a pair of black satin gloves, tossed on somebody's plate like a used paper napkin. I recognize them as part of a costume, and snatch them up and go to wash them at a stone sink off to the side. The colour comes out of the gloves, leaving them a murky red. I ask if I may hang them there to dry, and am told that I may not.
I look over to another part of the roof and see a door. I am very familiar with this place, and know it's a small unit that is unoccupied. I suggest to Brendan that I can rent it for him, and he can live there, independent of his mom and sisters. He is thrilled and goes off to check out the accomodations.
The girls and I go down to discuss this with the owner/landlord, and I notice that there is no handrail on the Grand Staircase that goes down to the lobby. I press a button on the wall, and the top step becomes an elevator that glides me down the carpeted stairs with no fear. However, there are people in the lobby looking at me with disapproval, because the elevator is for the disabled, and I am obviously not.
We go outside with the official from the restaurant. He is carrying a quarterstaff, and he accidentally touches Chandra with it. She tells him in no uncertain terms to keep his stick to himself (if you know Chandra, you know what form that took). We are in a city, with many people walking, and eating in sidewalk cafes. The feel is European. Very colourful. There is a group of buxom young women in bright green pleated skirts with safety pins, or kilt pins all up the side.
Suddenly, the air is rent by the sound of machine guns. People raise their voices to be heard talking, over the din, but no one is alarmed. I'm thinking it might be some sort of street theater. A uniformed soldier (actor?) askes the green-skirted girls if they are ready, and they say yes. We are walking back to the house because we don't feel safe. At the door, I turn, and right behind me is a woman in camo, with her back to me. Across the sidewalk is a man, also in camo, pointing a machine gun at her. If he misses her, I'm toast. Even if he hits her, I'm probably toast.
Nobody is alarmed by any of this, except for myself and my daughters. I start to think maybe I should not have bought into this place.
...and I wake up, feeling grumpy and un-rested.