|Cerebus #203 (February 1996)|
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
(Annotations for Cerebus #203, Cerebus Wiki)
In Cerebus' dream he sees an empty chair through a window. He think/says that there is 'one chair. one empty chair.' Someone else says 'a what?' and he thinks 'She never hears Cerebus when he says that.' Cerebus responds 'One empty chair.' and 'We've been here before' and thinks to himself 'She hears Cerebus wrong.' and someone else responds 'well of course you have -- this is --'. The next panel reveals that the person he is talking to is Astoria. Cerebus thinks 'No -- not just Cerebus -- both of us. We've been here before. We always have this conversation. It's always falling apart. They're not here. They're not here... well...'. The dream is a foreshadowing of the events in issue 264 when Cerebus returns to Sand Hills Creek with Jaka.
As to whether the dream was a signal? Yes, definitely. It was time, or rather past time. This is how the happy homecoming is going to play out because it's too late to play out any other way. The event was preordained in a real sense. He had obviously had the dream before and my own theory is that we all have these sorts of super-reality core moments in our lives that we visit and revisit and usually forget in our dreams The moment is on the cusp of the watershed moment when he crosses over from Jaka as Core Reality to Jaka as Regretted Mistake. His dreaming mind cast Astoria in the role because his unconscious dreaming mind was aware that this was an unhappy event and would be incapable of seeing any event that included Jaka to be an unhappy event even though every event in his life that included Jaka or someone who looked like Jaka had been and would continue to be an unhappy event. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." "Huh?" The severed ear is on the wrong side because I made a mistake, which I have admitted before and which presumably I will have to admit every time we discuss the reflection in the window. I made a mistake and put the severed ear on the wrong side in the reflection. Ger didn't catch it, so there it is.