I am on a trip. With five other people. We have picked the sixth one up. We stop to stay at my Great Aunt's.
I am very tired already. The baggage is wet and disorganized. The other people say I am not positive enough. I explain what the Great Aunt likes as far as behavior. The other people want to know why I will behave a certain way to please the Great Aunt but not in the way they want me to behave with them. I am thinking about how long I have known the Great Aunt and how deeply I respect her. Also that it is good we will stay only one night. The other people are certain that she will like them just as they are and informal.
In the apartment one other woman goes back down for another bag. Everyone else disappears into bathrooms and bedrooms. They say they'll help but they don't. I sigh, because I've done this trip before and I can see what it will be like. I will be lectured for not doing positive talk but I will do most of the actual positive work, the heavy lifting, while the others argue about the exact right positive wording and which song to sing. I am not looking forward to the journey.
As I am going down to the car (I think we are in France) I see another woman I know in a cafe on the floor below us. It's a rabbit warren place like the Seattle Market with ramps and odd buildings and cubbyholes. The woman was the next partner for a man I was with. I was not a girlfriend but she was, perhaps because she was married to someone else at the time. Less threatening. I am past the low wall of the cafe and on a ramp by the time I recognize her. I think about stopping to talk but she is sitting alone. There might be too much talk. I am already feeling rather battered by the other five people. The baggage carrying is time alone and I treasure it. I wonder how many trips it will take and if anyone else will help me get stuff out to dry and reorganize. I run a few steps and joyfully slide down a wet ramp.
I wake up.
soundtracks: The Offspring