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I was lost outside the town, wandering along the forested road. I was confronted by men, who told me to go back.

I tried to find my way home, but kept walking in circles until I collasped where the men had confronted me.

I was picked up by an official young woman who drove me to a featureless building. We went through an airlock to a small room where I sat on a camp bed.

The girl fed me and gave me water. Her boss questioned me at length. What was I doing there? Why had I been walking along that road? I replied that I was looking for a job, and that I hadn't been lost at all.

Satisfied, the boss gave me a uniform just like all the employees.

I took up my station, just past a bend in the road, and turned away anyone who tried to pass.

- / +

  • The three of us went to help the waitress. It was our good deed. When she understood we were serious, she put us to work. We stood in a ring of counter, like behind a bar, in the middle, with no way out but to jump. Handles that shot through to the other side to push back the red stools. Looking through the drawers I found my brother's debts in folders, one labeled "turkey."

    Making milkshakes fast fast fast. If this is all there is to it, I could work here. Almost out of chocolate, I was worried. There was just enough ice cream left for me but every time I touched it with the scoop, it shrank till it was gone.

  • Pete on the phone laughing. Hung up. "I love love love Michelle." Jenna Elfman was in his kitchen feeding the baby. Carrots and dogfood all over the floor. Pete just laughed and wiped it up.

  • Blonde and handsome, we'd been set up but I wasn't supposed to be in love with him yet. He was worried about his hair - he'd shaved the underside and it refused to grow back. He showed me, lifting up the longer part. I could see the shape of his skull and the tiny hairs trying to grow. I could smell him, and I knew he was going to happen to me.

  • People had abandoned their houses and left signs. "due to bank crash I can no longer support wife's debts." Empty buildings stranded askew, like boats washed up, bumped into each other. We went into a shaky mobile home. Trees blowing and bending outside, the illusion that the house was rolling. The front room with the gray stone fireplace was odd-angled, slanty. Dark and Victorian. A sign hanging from a cord said "investigate bedroom at your own risk, floor is unstable." I liked the honesty of it, no one was trying to sell anything.

    Up the forever stairs to the room filled with things. An envelope lying face down on a table. I picked it up and read the other side, then put it down. She picked it up and read something different. When we tried it again, it gave us new words again, but when we tried to remember what it had said, it stopped working. A green glass plate, tea-set-sized, on the top shelf, inscribed with my name. I reached up and took it carefully. I asked the caretaker if I could have it and she scowled at me, I should have just taken it, no need to ask. I tried to fit the hundreds of magnets in the tupperware. George Clooney and the silent others helped.

  • I don't dream, much. But just recently I have had a few. But they are always more or less the same as the one from last night.

    I'm trying to get somewhere, to meet friends and I have to cross a large area filled with shops and Roman statues. But everytime I get halfway across a large group of look-alikes crosses my path and I struggle to get anywhere.

    Last night it was thousands of 1980's style Michael Jacksons. The other night there it was a collection of Groucho Marxs, cigars and all.

    Why? I have to know, it scares me.

    Her family came to visit mine. Her stepdad and I got along really well. We talked for hours about the mathematics of Rubric's Cubes. My parents seemed to be confused.

    Later, there was a large grey leather couch and a grey recliner. Her sister had a crush on me. Then, she left.

    I was trying to figure out how to get her alone somewhere. Eventually, I gave up and we just made out on the couch. I looked up to see my mom, staring blankly from the other room.

    Suddenly, I was starving, so we got up to go eat something. On the way to the kitchen, I saw Wintersweet. She waved, and I smiled back.

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