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  • The last step in making turtles. I poured chocolate over the caramel mixture in the little paper cups. It occurred to me that the chocolate was cold by now and shouldn't be pouring this well, but as long as I didn't question it, it worked just fine. There were lots of us in the shop but the ones in charge had to step outside for a second. They wanted me to stand behind the register, which I didn't know how to work. I was nervous about that. Plus, I didn't want everyone to think I was a lesbian too.

  • arranging the bottles of nail polish in a store display as if they were mine

  • When I got to the meeting, she was there. What do you mean she's on our team? Cory tried to keep us both calm and happy but it didn't work. I "fell" into his lap and knocked all her stuff off the table. I knew how much he liked my hair. I was him for a flash, and saw how uncomfortable everything was for him, not just this moment, but everything.
  • Various cousins, nieces, nephews, and myself, milled about around the glass entrance to the office building. Then Mr. Michaels made a quick arrival, dressed in expensive grey suit, dark loafers, and no shirt or socks. He moved quickly past us into the building, so as not to draw attention, muttering some of his usual admonitions ("no photographs..."), but in a friendly you-guys-know-the-drill way. He made a joke about his hair. My relatives and I followed him to the elevator, where a team of elevator operators, and Steve, Mr. Michaels' imposing assistant, waited inside. I'd forgotten my soda, having left it inside my cousin's tiny VW sedan, so I asked everyone to wait for me as I went back to the car.

    Back at the car, some girls made fun of it. No big deal to me, since I was only a passenger. My niece Robin arrived, and seeing me at the VW, wondered aloud why my cousin didn't drive me here in the Lincoln; my nephew Walter arrived, and made a cryptic joke. I grabbed my big 64-ounce soda, and took a sip through the straw. I was happy the ice hadn't yet melted to a great degree, and headed back to the building.

    Everyone was gone; they'd all taken the elevator up to the top of the building, where Mr. Michaels' office was. There was no simple way for me to get there. If the elevator opened, and I hit the mysterious B button, which, in fact, did nothing, the team of elevator operators would also do nothing. Or worse. It only worked if Mr. Michaels was there - hitting the B was a sign to take the elevator up to his office.

    I wandered about the ground floor of the building, and eventually ran into Steve, who was coming out of the stairway door, located alongside two normal elevators that didn't have the B button on them. I sheepishly asked Steve if there might be some way to take the elevator to Mr. Michaels' office, expecting a denial from him that such an office exists. Or worse.

    But he pulled me aside, and led me to a lounge. He sat down on one of the couches, and gave me the password that would allow a mere civilian like me the power to get to the office. I was to hit the B and mention the password; that was the sign to the operators that I was legit. Steve then ran through a lengthy bit of radio ad copy, a dialogue that ended in "1-800-DOT-COM". That was the password. I was confloozled. How was I supposed to remember all that? He repeated the elaborate password again, and I was none the wiser. Writing it down was not allowed; I had to memorize it, and recite it at the proper time.

    I gave up, but, luckily, my relatives reappeared, back from their appointment with Mr. Michaels. I sipped my soda some more, then rejoined them.

    In a rural area, on dirt and gravel roads, we stopped by the barn to visit our horse. I kept bumping into an old man carrying a large clear plastic tube filled with thin, limp, du Maurier cigarettes. I saw him along the road, in the barn, in a restaurant. While waiting for my meal in the restaurant, I offered him one of my cigarettes from my partially crushed pack. (I don't smoke - perhaps a phalic symbol?) The cigarette was still in perfect condition, thicker than the one hanging from the old man's mouth. He thanked me with a nod.

    I also remember taking a dirt road that cut right through the scrap metal yard a few times. There were a lot of old vehicles especially chip wagons, vans and buses. The crushed and rusting buses were stacked neatly on top of one another in rows by manufacturer and model.

    I was fascinated by all the decaying vehicles.

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