I live in Atlanta. Rolling down a hill far above the skyscrapers, I stick my invisible feet out through my invisible car and plant them against the buildings to keep from plunging into disaster. I cannot locate my workplace. The city is too large and poorly designed. I putz around until lunch hour, at which point I observe many attractive females wearing little in the warm climate.
(I wake. See, you don't live in Atlanta, you live in New York. You've been to Atlanta and that wasn't even it. Reassuring. I go back to sleep.)

I do not live in Atlanta. I am visiting. A bunch of us get off together in the bus station, which is a mall. I ask Josh where he's staying; he says he'll just call whichever Julia's closest. I tell him Yeah, I was just gonna call Jess and crash on her floor. (Sometimes you have to leave the city in a hurry.) I should probably do that. But first, I must ride my donkey.

My donkey is a genius. Most of the bystanders in the mall are unable to appreciate his gentle loping technique. On the second story, above the food court, we approach a curve, and I know he wants to show me his trick of walking on the other side of the railing -- only inches of width. If he slips, we both die. I must be patient and not interfere. Clop. Wait. Clop. Much later: Success.

A group of four jocks mocks him and I dismount and chase them outside, which instead of being a parking lot, is the grassy grounds and sidewalk outside a one-story suburban elementary school. I knock them all unconscious, so their heads land face up forming a little square, and I begin to steal their baseball hats. (New York Yankees? What the hell?) But one of them wakes and jabs me with a hypodermic. Shocked at this drastic escalation, I grab it from him and stab them all. Not even depressing the plunger, just causing as much pain as I can.

(What was in there? AIDS? He was carrying it for self-defense. There had to be something in there.)

Needleboy stands up, hatless, and I wail on him, but it's oddly unsatisfying, like punching a plastic statue. He remains stoic, staring over my shoulder. I am not winning.

  • There is a comic called Sacred Lasers. Awful '80s coloring - arbitrary yellow sky, visible newsprint dots - but brilliant dialogue. Five wise men of ancient China sitting on a hillside, debating the nature of existence, and what they are saying is genuinely profound. I am going to have to seek out every back issue. Some of them page by page.
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