slipping house and found dress

I enter a house hanging on the edge of a cliff to rescue a tin box of letters and papers. the ocean has come up over the lip of the cliff and covered the grass where we were formerly sitting. an older man (our teacher? the descendant?) and I have taken off our shoes to go retrieve what’s left. the old house is tippy, precarious, and our added weight causes it to shift alarmingly, so we step back across the old wood floor gingerly– I find the letters, though they’re somewhat scattered. mostly they seem to be innocuous and not much worth the effort of saving– routine classmate valentines and such– there’s a good deal I may just throw away– the at the bottom are a few pieces that seem more meaningful– there’s a sheaf with handwritten messages from all my friends, expressing concern and care over my dark mood, and then there’s a folded-up piece of my own writing– I stuff it all back into the box and resolve to review it later on outside the tipping, sliding house. my companion is still working on his own search, so I poke around a little and discover an old handbag belonging to the former tenant– it hales from another era and seems to me to be redolent of history and character– it’s a large satchel type bag, and I’m imagining its owner, thinking how it’s just the sort of bag a lady might use to carry a shawl in, and lo and behold, I reach inside and pull out a length of fabric– which turns out instead to be a dress of deep blue and fascinating cut. the other guy has come over to see what I’ve found (there’s the sense he has prior claim on the house’s contents), and I hold up the dress to show him. I’m thinking I might be able to wear it, as the fabric is stretchy even though it at first appears quite narrow-waisted– but he gives me a dismissive look, and I feel quite horrible suddenly, though I play it off and offer the dress to him, telling him it would make an intriguing piece of art hung on a wooden hander on the wall.

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