Alexandra - On Dreams

From Masq
Date: Setting:

IC:  10/11/2008
RL: 04/14/2011

Old Friends Antique Dealership


 A glass-frontaged store that looks like it forgot to notice the past few decades. A painted-gold logo on the main front window declares it the "Old Friends Antique Dealership" and a vase filled with flowers has been painted on the front door in bright, cheery colors. A simple awning keeps the weather off the area right in front of the store, and a small windchime has been hung from the frame to tinkle in the breeze.


 Walking into this shop is like stepping into another time. An old-fashioned, spring-mounted bell jingles over the door to warn of customers, and the warm lighting is reminiscent of candles, the air thick with the smell of dusty cloth and old books. Shelves and racks are somewhat haphazardly stocked with all manner of items, with the only commonality among them being that none are of modern make: toys from the days of the Great Depression, clothing from the Prohibition Era, a timeline of soda bottles along the back wall, and books that may not have seen the light of day in decades. An old record player frequently supplies quiet background music, and there are signs that at least one cat haunts the place. In addition, tucked away off to one side, is a small display with a sign proclaiming "Homemade Herbal Remedies" and inviting interested customers to inquire at the register.
 The counter across most of the back of the store supports a fittingly antique cash register, and must have come straight out of some old bar, being deeply varnished mahogany polished until it practically glows, with a sturdy brass foot-bar in place underneath, though no stools are in evidence. One end is clearly designed to flip up to allow access to the back area, and a door behind the counter is marked with a weather-beaten "Employees Only" sign, the former sporting a small pet door near the bottom, the latter a hand-drawn smiley-face in paint.
Another day at the Antique Dealership, though with the shift in weather comes a shift in wares. Winter is coming, or as close this southern area gets, and so the clothing area at least is getting a bit of an overhaul. The decorative scarves and thin sundresses are in the process of being changed out for heavier coats, hats, gloves... You get the idea. Like the old military peacoat that Alexandra's settling into place on the racks right now, giving it a careful checking as she does so to make sure it hasn't suffered for its time in storage.

And here to ruin your beautiful afternoon is a Liane, followed by Danny, both of them apparently snacking on some sort of fried thing wrapped in napkins, easily eaten in the hands. When they walk in, Liane immediately looks for a books of any kind. It should also be noted that Liane doesn't look as if she's slept within the last two or three days...and doesn't look tired. Nope, she's still surrounded by that air of nervous, boiling energy (of a nonmagical, natural source) that makes it hard to sit still.

Looking up as the bell on the door rings, Alexandra grins as she spots the pair coming in, "Well, hello there. C'mon in." The fried thing being snacked on gets a bit of a Look, followed by the plaintive admonishment of "No fingerprints on the merchandise, please?" As for Liane's search, there's an entire section devoted to nothing but books of various ages and subjects, ranging from practically Colonial histories to novels straight out of the hippy era. Oh, and also a cat, who's asleep atop an old edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, with one of his forepaws hanging out into the aisle.

Liane blushes but nods. Considering she's wearing her gloves (she's ALWAYS wearing gloves of some kind, really), she can follow the very letter of this command with ease! Danny herself also nods, and doesn't walk in at all. Just sort of leans against the wall near the door, nyomming. Liane herself happily heads to the book section, and seems to be looking for the oldest books there. Still, her librarian fingers twitch at their order, and she glances over at Alexandra. "Exc-c-cuse me. D-d-do you th-think you could h-help me f-f-find something on d-dreams? N-n-not like this." Liane says, motioning towards more modern book about the power of dreaming and positive thoughts. "S-s-something older might h-have more of what I am l-l-looking for."

They're not in extreme disarray, at least. Just not in library order. Looks more like they're clumped by subject, without worrying about which author or title goes before which. Giving the coat she's been fussing with a last brushing down with her hands, the shopkeep wanders over towards Liane with a nod, "Certainly. Were you looking for something about interpretation, or more of a scientific analysis?" And yes, there's an entire chunk of 60s era "power dreaming" style books. Don't look at them too hard, you might go tie-dyed.

"I'm l-l-looking for s-s-something on the n-n-nature of dreams." Liane explains to her delicious and rapidly disappearing fried snack. So close, Alexandra! For Liane is a proponent of the library of congress system! You were so close! "S-s-scientific? I s-s-suppose not very, th-though I b-b-believe their writers m-may think they are."

"Well, scientific in that they're more about theories as to what dreams actually are, instead of what it means when you have a dream about falling or somesuch," smiles Alexandra, staying just a bit outside arms' reach of the stuttering librarian. "I've got at least one book in here that tries to explain how dreams are simply the subconscious tapping the mic, only in much more complicated language." Then she laughs, "And at least one that goes on about conspiracy theories involving alien brain implants. It's a bit of a crapshoot, honestly."

Liane hmms. "Wh-what do you h-h-have in p-perhaps a f-f-folkloric bent? More occ-c-cult, I s-suppose." Her player sorries for the short icky poses, but is making breakfast!

That makes Alexandra pause and think for a moment, tapping a fingertip against her chin with narrowed eyes as she rummages her internal inventory. Hmmm... "I might have a few things. Over here," and she leads the way along the shelves before tugging a few volumes out from their neighbors, "This one's a collection of Slavic folktales about dreams and nightmares and such. Things like the Old Hag that sits on your chest. This one's much the same, but mostly Native American myths."

Liane seems pleased with these choices, finishing off the last of her fried treat (which smelled DELICIOUS because I am full of hunger) and then pulls off her promptly be replaced with another, thinner set of gloves from a pocket. She takes one of the books -- only after Alexandra has backed again, and flips through the pages with interest. "S-slavic tales...I'm n-not entirely familiar with them." She murmurs, this sparking her interest. The Native American book gets eyed, too. "D-d-do any of them s-speak about d-dreaming itself? That is, the origin of d-d-dreams."

"Both of those talk a bit about that, I believe. Like, how the Native American tribes interviewed believed that certain spirits caused certain types of dreams. I think there's an entire preface in that one on the subject." Leaning against the bookshelf, the antiquarian folds her arms and idly watches Liane, expression somewhat thoughtful, "Really, I'd be willing to bet most books of tales about dreams would have something similar, even if only in the stories themselves. After all, many of them were invented to explain just that."

"I d-d-don't have very m-much doubt of that." Liane murmurs. "I w-wonder if they talk of d-dream sendings?" The Native American book is pulled out as well with those carefully gloved hands. "V-visions, I suppose they m-might be called. I wonder wh-what they make of l-l-lucid dreaming."

"I imagine they'd regard lucid dreamers as shamans of a sort, given the symbolic importance early cultures placed on dreams." One hand lifts and waves vaguely at the book Liane's looking over, which is definitely old, but has been carefully rebound so the pages aren't in any danger of falling out. But definitely early in the life of the printing press, if the lettering is any indication. "Think about it: when a certain dream is supposed to herald a good harvest, and a person can have that dream simply whenever they want... I imagine there was a lot of pressure placed on anyone that could walk their own dreamscape."

"Q-q-quite bothers-s-some, I'd im-m-magine, for the p-p-poor dreaming fool." Liane murmurs, her voice strangely sympathetic and..complicated. "If y-y-you can only d-dream and herald, w-without the power to h-help more than that." The pile of books is given a loving pat. "I s-suppose I shall t-take these, then. Do y-y-you have anyth-thing else I m-m-might find int-t-teresting?" As if Alexandra already knows Liane's tastes and preferences!

An eyebrow perks at Liane's opinion on dreamers, but doesn't comment. Instead, she grins and stands away from the shelves she was leaning against, "That depends entirely what you're interested in. And you're too closed in for me to do more than guess. But..." and she makes a bit of a show of tapping her chin and looking around, "I just dug a lap-loom out of the back the other day, complete with shuttles. I haven't had a chance to clean it up and make sure it works, but if something like that strikes your fancy..."

Liane indeed looks interested! "I w-w-would like to see it. And I im-m-magine if it's w-wood, even if s-s-some pieces are d-d-damaged I could ask W-w-weston to fix them up a t-touch, or make a n-new piece entirely. He's r-r-really quite clever." Then, however there is a small, curious glance towards Alexandra. A puzzled glance. "C-c-closed off?"

Alexandra nods and starts back towards the store counter, gesturing for Liane to follow along and speaking as she goes, "Nothing looked damaged, but it had been sitting in a trunk for gods know how long. If nothing else, I was going to check it for dry-rot." The question brings a bit of a smile as the antiquarian steps behind the counter, apparently to pull the promised loom out from beneath it, "I'm certainly not one to comment on personal habits, but you don't look at people, I've noticed. Or rarely. And it's hard to read you," and she pauses with a soft grunt as she hoists the loom in question up onto the counter, "through all the nervousness. Please, excuse me if I'm being too blunt, but you did ask." She certainly doesn't sound malicious about it, for what it's worth!

"Oh." Liane blushes. "I-- I've b-been g-g-going outd-d-doors again for p-perhaps eight-t-teeen m-months, now. I w-w-was an ag-g-goraphobic, am-mong other things." Liane says this without sounding particularly bothered by the confession: it's as if she just announced she was from New York, or just came from the coffee shop. "I've g-g-gotte much better at s-social things. Though I s-suppose there's st-still things to work on."

"Everyone has their own hangups," agrees the shopkeep easily enough, carefully unpacking the bits of the loom from their storage arrangement instead of looking at Liane. All the pieces seem to be there, though it's obvious the device will have to be restrung and re-threaded, and it's still a little dusty, though all the cobwebs have been cleaned off. "If you do want to take this home, I'm going to have to warn you I'm not sure what condition it's really in at the moment. You could get it all set up and have it break."

"Hm. Do you th-th-think you m-might check it, and I sh-shall come around in a f-few days to pick it up? I r-really wouldn't know how to d-d-deal with it if it d-d-does break. I c-could pay for it now, and I s-suppose a c-consult-t-tation fee for looking it over." A pause. "I'm n-n-not even sure I h-h-have room in the bug f-for it at the m-moment."

Alexandra smiles up at Liane before shaking her head, "I always check and clean my wares before putting them out for sale, so don't worry about that. And I can certainly hang onto it for a few days. If nothing else," and the smile pulls into a slightly mischievous grin, "it'll get you back into my shop where I can tempt you to buy more things. For I am a devious and evil person." But she starts putting the shuttles and similar bits back into place without further silliness, being just as careful as when she pulled them out, "So just the books for today?"

There's a pause for Liane, as she mentally goes over her own little list in her head. "I th-think that will do. Unl-l-less you h-have any c-c-cookbooks as well? Or p-perhaps something u-useful for l-learning to cook in b-bulk? I've r-r-recently b-become a cook for a c-c-coffee shop."

There's a momentary pause and an amused look from Alexandra, who simply points back over towards the Book Section with twinkling eyes, "Third set of shelves from the left, the entire unit is full of old cookbooks. Some of them are even handwritten. And I'm sure there's a few that even talk about things like roasting whole pigs, though I doubt you get that much in a coffee shop."

"Oh n-n-no. I'd only r-roast a wh-whole pig if W-w-weston and Alex c-come over, I think. B-boys and their app-p-petites." Liane says with a fond little smile, before going over to look at the cookbooks. (Fade to black)