In Utopia, no-place or Eutopia, the good place, dreams are solid as marble and blue as the sea. Favilla Vogel, whose name means a bird, had been dreaming of flight. She had her arms wrapped around someone whose face she could not see, whose back nestled into her chest and belly as if they were sleeping lovers or mother and child, someone who trusted her, for not once in the course of the dream did her partner in flight turn to see who it was to whom belonged the encircling arms. Around them the crisp snap of drapery, like a silk flag in the wind or the more substantial flap of sailcloth in a stiff breeze—the sort of fair wind that would send your little skiff sailing across the open bay of Utopia, and make you burst into song.
Which Favilla did—in a fine contralto voice—several times a week, on the stage of the Passionate Series of Song. This twelvemonth they were staging The Loves of Vera Pavlovna, an opera from New Russia.