I am traveling in a unknown town, down an unknown street. I keep feeling the blue silk purse in my pocket, fingering its drawstrings. Inside are silver gears, copper sprockets, shards of glass, corroded springs. Each dark shop window reflects me as I stride by, the few street lights cast long shadows. The sounds of traffic come from far away. This part of town at least is in bed, and perhaps asleep.
I am looking for the Watchmaker. I have heard that he can repair these small bits in my pocket, and make them hum again. Make it so that I can hear the time again, when I ask someone the time. I don't much like wearing a wristwatch.
A three way intersection announces itself with blinking yellow lights for the crosswalks. I turn from the broad avenue, and advance down a very narrow street, not quite an alley, and stop in front of the door with the giant pocket watch hanging out front. So I have found him.
"Ah, come in" he gestures, pulling open the door on the first ring, flooding the street with bright light. "Let me see what you have brought. Oticon told me you'd be here tonight."
Carefully he shakes the contents of the bag out on soft velvet board and examines each piece in turn with tweezers and a magnifying glass. He mumbles to himself and I cannot understand what he is saying. Looking at me over half-rimmed glasses, he waves in despair "weeks and weeks" he says. "Weeks and weeks" I repeat out loud. "Yes," he says, "this will take me weeks."
"But I need it tonight. Tonight, now, while I sleep, this must happen. You see Watchmaker, I am dreaming, and I know I am dreaming, and I know what I must do in this dream. It must happen tonight."
"Go for a walk," he says. "Thrice around the block. Let me see what I can do." I am not sure I can trust him and leave the bits and pieces with him, but really what choice...
So off I go around the block and two more times. On the third time around, I am stunned to find the lights out in his shop. The blue silk purse sits on the steps, carefully tied. It is light in my hand. Untying it carefully I discover a simple note that says:
"I am but a watchmaker. I cannot make it so you can hear time. That is for the one who put you to sleep. Wake up and all will be fine."
But of course I cannot wake myself up from the general anesthesia. I can only sit here on the cool stones of the Watchmaker's steps, and wait.
I am drowsy, and lean against the door jam. From the corner of my eye, I see that a small silver spider has let himself down on a long thread from far above, and is hovering just in front of my face...
The dream continues at the "Dream of the Silver Spider."